Niall Ritchie

Review: Shaun the Sheep

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It was only a question of time before we saw Shaun again, but this time on the big screen. After 130 episodes of Shaun the Sheep, the well known CBBC TV series, returned with its own movie.  Aardman have certainly not disappointed with this film, and once again, they have produced another ingenious stop-motion clay animation film with Shaun the Sheep The Movie.

We first met Shaun in the 1995 Aardman’s A Close Shave, where Wallace and Grommit’s Knit-O-Matic leaves Shaun shivering, after giving him a “light shave”. The machine then proceeds to turn Shaun’s wool into a sweater, which Wallace then places on the shaking Shaun.

The basic storyline is this: Shaun and his flock, who live on Mossy Bottom Farm, concoct a plan to get a day off, being sheep they don’t do much anyway, but this is a world created by Aardman Animation, where you also have animals walking on their hind legs. The plan starts by outwitting Bitzer the dog, (a notable character from the CBBC series), ensuring the farmer stays asleep. However when the plan goes wrong the farmer is speedily sent careering into the Big City in a runaway caravan.

A bang to the head leaves him with no memory, forcing Shaun and his flock to follow him to the Big City to mount a rescue mission and restore all harmony. This may sound simple but it never was going to be with Shaun the Sheep. On their journey, which roll’s on a huge momentum of amusing moments, they have to stay out of trouble, avoid animal containment, disguise themselves in human clothes (including wooly jumpers), eat like sophisticated human beings and break Shaun out of the animal containment centre.

Shaun’s none-language-specific movie is pretty much what you would expect, 85 minutes of the TV show with lots of bleats, baa’s and packed full of the slapstick and visual comedy. These unique aspects enable those who come from the 180 countries in which the TV series is aired, to understand every inch of what is happening, which is truly outstanding. Well done once again Aardman, for the long hours spent posing clay characters, and for producing a film that mixes both adult and childish humour.

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