Cinema Review – Shaun the Sheep

In an attempt to break the mundane routine at his home in Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun the Sheep devises a plan to get a day off. Unfortunately, the day off turns into a madcap adventure, when the farmer ends up in the big city.

Aardman Studios have a reputation for creating charming and touching stop motion films, for kids and adults alike and, although the story of Shaun the Sheep is a little on the light side, the film still has a warm heart.

The story is rather simple; Shaun and his woolly friends want to inject some fun into their lives, so they conspire to get the farmer out of the way for a while. In a twist of fate, the farmer ends up in the big city without a clue of who he is, and it is up to Shaun and his friends to save the farmer, and themselves. Although this is just about the gist of the film, Aardman have stayed true to Shaun the Sheep’s brand, and kept the story about mundanity and adventure. This stands to the studio, who could easily have turned this small screen rascal into a large screen superhero (or similar).

Unlike small screen heroes who suffer on their way to the big screen, however, Shaun the Sheep retains his charm on the big screen, and the decision to remove dialogue, and treat the film almost like one of the greats from the Silent Era being part of the appeal.

Writer / Directors Richard Starzak and Mark Burton allow the emotion of the scenes and characters to shine through in this lovingly crafted film, by using facial expressions and a reliance on audience sympathy to carry the film. There are plenty of sight gags, however, and tons of emotion conveyed through music – particularly the use of ‘Home’ by The Foo Fighters. The animation is beautiful, as we have come to expect from Aardman films, and there is the feeling that if you just stretched out your hand, you could touch the lovingly realised sets.

In all, Shaun the Sheep is fairly light on story, but it is a loving nod to the Silent Era, that’s full of heart and charm. The animation is lovely, and there is a true feeling of love and acceptance from the film.

Rating: 4/5

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