Shaun the Sheep Movie
Directed by Richard Starzak, Mark Burton
Written by Richard Starzak, Mark Burton
Starring Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Omid Djalili
Shaun the Sheep Movie is about Shaun the Sheep, a sheep who fed up with his daily routine just wants a day off. However, that plan goes awry when The Farmer ends up in The Big City. Shaun and his sheep friends must then go to The Big City to go and search for their lost farmer to restore the routine that they had disrupted. Shaun the Sheep Movie, is a stop-motion animated film from Aardman Animation the studio behind Wallace and Grommet and Chicken Run. If you are familiar with Aardman’s other work, then you know what kind of movie Aardman had made with Shaun the Sheep Movie.
What worked in Shaun the Sheep Movie was the stop motion animation. The movie being stop motion was a nice break from all the animated films that have been 3-D computer generated over the last two decades because it becomes monotonous it all looks the same. While stop-motion animated film every few years, there are still few enough of theme for it to be something that makes Shaun the Sheep Movie unique. Another element that worked in Shaun the Sheep Movie was that the film does not contain anthropomorphic animals, some anthropomorphic elements seep in, but generally, the animals are not anthropomorphic. That troupe is something that is a cliche among animated films and this movie only using sparse elements of it was refreshing. The film also contains no spoken dialog, not even from the human characters. The human characters dialog is represented through sounds and tones that indicate what the dialog would have been. The no dialog device works in the movie because the point of view character in the film is a sheep, and the animals would not comprehend the English language. This tool also works because the gags in the movie were mostly sight gags. These sight gags are executed as if they were dialog gags.
What did not work in Shaun the Sheep Movie is that the movie should have been a short film. Granted the film is only 85 minutes, it is a story that is told in 30 minutes. There is stuff in the movie that did not need to be there, and it makes the film feel like it has an excess layer of fluff that does not need to be there. As much as the no dialog thing worked within the movie, its shortcoming is that even the human characters do not speak. While, this makes sense with POV character being a sheep, the human characters could have spoken.
Shaun the Sheep Movie, is ultimately a story about not taking things for granted, the classic you do not know what you have until it is gone thing. Aardman Animation delivers a film that contains superb stop-motion animation and a movie that is sure to delight audiences young and old. Shaun the Sheep Movie receives 4/5.