I used to watch Shaun the Sheep on TV all the time, so I was pretty interested when I saw that a full-length Shaun the Sheep Movie was in the works. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how well characters who were amusing in a short, seven-minute TV episode would translate over to a full-length movie. After all, none of the characters, including the Farmer, ever actually speak. Well, Aardman Animations did a fantastic job! Clearly everyone agrees with me as this movie is rated a virtually unheard of 99% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and was the #1 movie on their Summer Movie Score Card for 2015.
“MEET SHAUN! He’s a little sheep with big dreams, and lately, life on Mossy Bottom Farm has become a bit dull. When Shaun takes the day off for some fun in the Big City, he gets a lot more action than he bargained for. Now Shaun and his flock must use their wits to hatch a baaaa-rilliant plan to get back home in an adventure the whole family will love.”
Through a series of unlikely events, Shaun and the flock accidentally cause the Farmer to travel into the city and lose his memory. He becomes Mr. X, the hottest hairstylist in town, famous for his haircuts which are strangely similar to how one might shear a sheep.
Just like in the TV show, not one word is ever spoken in the entire movie. Meaning and emotion are communicated through bleats, sighs, grunts, grumbles, facial expression, and tone. The movie is full of the visual gags, both broad and subtle, that we expect from Shaun the Sheep. The entire family was laughing out loud during the restaurant scene, especially when the pianist started playing chase music, but my favourite scene is when Shaun is caught by Trumper, an overzealous animal control officer, and brought to the city pound. I loved how each animal had their own way of dealing with incarceration, both towards each other and then with the humans who visited considering adoption. There’s a little flash of a Siamese cat as Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs – get it?
Later, when the sheep are free and trying to get back home, there’s a nod to Monty Python and the Holy Grail when one of the sheep begins banging two empty halves of a coconut together to similate a horse’s hoofbeats. This Monty Python fan was smiling! In fact, I would say that adults will enjoy this smart, story-driven movie just as much as the kids.
When it comes to the bonus features, I was fascinated by the “Making the Shaun Movie” featurette. I love stop-motion animation, and it’s always a wonder to me to think about how much work and dedication goes into creating just a few seconds of animation, let alone 85 minutes. This look behind the scenes gave me a whole new appreciation for the artform.
- “Making the Shaun Movie” Featurette
- “Meet the Characters” Featurette
- “Join Shaun Behind the Scenes” Featurette
- “Meet the Crew” Featurette
- Parody Poster Gallery
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