Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan, and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it's up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home. (IMDB)
PG (for crude humor)
August 5, 2015
Writers: Mark Burton, Richard Starzak
Cast: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Omid Djalili
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rating: PG (for rude humor)
The return of claymation, from the studio that brought us Wallace and Gromit, Shaun, from Shaun the Sheep, returns from the BBC television series in his own feature film. The claymation style is entirely familiar and hits a note with what some viewers might remember from an older film titled, Chicken Run.
Shaun the sheep is tired of doing the same work at the farm everyday. He decides to take a day off. In order to do that, he needs to make sure the farmer doesn’t know. When more happens than they can handle, the sheep find their way into the big city. Now they need to get back to the farm. (IMDB)
Violence: Not much to speak of, just sheep running around causing havoc.
Language/Crude Humor: Some fart jokes and a claymation butt crack.
Sexual Content: N/A
Drug/Alcohol Use: N/A
Positive Content: Shaun the Sheep Movie is full of friends coming together for one cause, and throughout the film, these sheep are unified. It’s admirable to see the sheep and their complete dependence on their master.
Okay, okay, I get it. I know what you are thinking… “Oh, great. Another movie about sheep.” Just kidding. No one is thinking that.
I should admit ignorance off the bat. I’ve not seen Shaun’s apparent massively successful cultural influence over the last decade or so. Shaun began as a spinoff of Wallace and Gromit, from Aardman Animations Studios. Shaun the Sheep was a popular British television series I guess I’ve also missed out on. I do have fond memories of watching Chicken Run when I was younger, so despite my lack of familiarity with Wallace and Gromit, at least the plasticine animation style wasn’t entirely foreign.
Shaun the Sheep Movie (yes, that’s actually the title of the film) is a story of a bunch of raggedy farm sheep who accidentally send their farmer into a memory loss coma in the big city. It becomes the duty of Shaun to find the farmer, and return their homestead to peace and normality.
It’s all absurd honestly. What would make the movie less relatable would be talking sheep, so to fix the issue, really no one speaks. They mutter incoherently and you quickly pick up what they are trying to communicate, and it’s actually very funny to watch. The sheep end up in the big city, and as you can imagine, a small sheep herd in a downtown area causes quite a mess.
I feel at a bit at a loss writing this review. I’m usually seeing movies to seek out some great truth or to discuss great writing or photography at length. While the authenticity of Aardman Animation’s work to replicate life in plasticine figurines is very good, Shaun the Sheep Movie isn’t about hidden meanings or political statements. You won’t find any underlying realities, but you will be bombarded with silly.
Typically you worry for the heroes in a film, hoping they will be able to escape whatever peril they find themselves in. You might be thinking, “Oh, if they solve that problem, there are still four other things going horribly wrong!” Instead of focusing on how to sneak past the farmer, the sheep decide to put him asleep by hopping over a fence, forcing him to count them. It’s really that simple, again to the point of absurdity. But it’s hilarious how simple each problem becomes when the sheep realize a ridiculous solution to their plight. Of course, just dress like humans and lumber around the city like oafs. It’s brilliant. It’s so funny to think about when you reflect on it.
You won’t find any excuses for senseless violence here either, because violence hardly exists in this universe. No one dies. We wonder if it is less for commentary and more for what might induce more laughter. Why throw someone off a cliff to their demise when oxen can punt them across a ravine and into a pile of manure? It’s sensible for life at least.
There is something so lighthearted about Shaun the Sheep Movie where you leave the theater feeling enamored by the simplicity of it. Oh, to see every loose end tied up, and every relationship restored better than it was before. If you didn’t get closure during the movie, don’t worry, you will get it in the blooper reel.
Everything about it is so fun and strangely charming. I think it might warrant a Wallace and Gromit marathon at the least.
Shaun the Sheep Movie is worth your time, no matter your age. It’s not the movie of the year, but you don’t go to an animated movie about sheep to fulfill that criteria, do you?
+ Fun, familiar animation that will be right at home for fans of the style
+ Brilliant pacing and structure which flows smoothly
- Lack of dialogue might be too different for some viewers