Lovely and creative, this clay-mation story sees Shaun the sheep feature in his own big screen adventure and there’s visual delights for children and adults. It has a big soft heart beating throughout and charm to offer in bucket loads. Just a good clean fun cinematic outing with gloriously British witticisms to watch.
Getting increasingly bored of farm life and the Farmer’s daily schedule, Shaun dreams to break the mould and have some fun. In striving for this day of difference the Farmer ends up trapped in a caravan hurtling to the big city, leading to Shaun, dog Bitzer and the rest of the flock having to venture into the city to find the Farmer.
This is a perfect movie trip if you were thinking of taking your children along. There’s cuteness to spare and the feelgood factor is very high, even as Shaun feels lost without his Farmer, there’s never a scary moment and the U certification sticks true. This doesn’t mean the film will be childish drivel for adults though as visual gags and adult jokes will easily fly over young ones heads and keep you entertained too. This is why I love well made children’s films, they should look good and cater for all crowds and this most certainly does that.
Firing thick and fast from convenient signs to repetitive headlines on papers through to nursery rhyme based puns and a somehow brilliantly funny red eyed staring dog this movie shuttles along nicely never losing momentum and being a perfectly timed film, needing no less or no more. Aardman animations have a fantastic track record of great family films filled with visual jokes and this doesn’t stop that run.
For adults there’s clever back alley bread dealings, subtle humour about camp fashion, salon stereotypes and a ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ caged cat. The whole social media and technology angle comes into play nicely too, from the Farmer distracted by his phone at the beginning to a neat little montage of sharing, likes and buffering as Mr X rises to fame. This is an inspired modern edge that will work for young and old as the whole world can relate to this growing trend of social media now.
The animation is just gorgeously charming, the depth of the moving clay that you can see, gives the film more quality and it’s just something so impressive to marvel at, the sheer amount of work and time to create a stop-motion film has to be credited and I love all Aardman works for this reason. They’re examples of art and though not as big as Disney they should be for the effort put into making them. Glassy eyes, sculpted models and little towns and green landscapes are perfectly crafted giving the film a delightful different look.
The songs, I believe only two come from outside sources and don’t feature harmonious sheep, feel a tad jarring, only because the amazement of creating a charming film with no dialogue gets blocked slightly by poppy tracks. The trailer also ruins a few gags that could have been funnier had you not seen them coming and obligatory fart and burp moments get tiresome but heck it is a kids film after all.
A fun story using dull routine to spark off the plot and then ultimately save the day, this lush home grown clay created gem is an irresistible watch.