Shaun the Sheep Movie: Simple, Unpretentious Animation for Adults & Kids Alike
John SparkesJustin Fletcher...
Mark BurtonRichard Starzak
In 1 Cinema
Based on the Shaun the Sheep highly-popular television series – which in itself is a spin-off of the much-loved stop animation franchise of Wallace and Gromit – the big-screen version of Aardman Studios’ small-screen superstar delivers the laughs and the “baas” in what turns out to be one of the most refreshing and innovative animated offerings this year.
Scripted and directed by first-time filmmakers Mark Burton and Richard Starzak, Shaun the Sheep is completely without dialogue and its story is centred on a sheep called Shaun (grunts and sheep noises provide by Justin Fletcher); the leader of a flock living on an enchanting rural ranch run by the hard-working man referred to as The Farmer (Sparks).
Daydreaming of a day-off from The Farmer’s demanding schedules and daily routine of feeding and shearing, Shaun, with the help from his fellow sheep, decides to stage a revolution of sorts by putting The Farmer to sleep – so they can be free to do as they please – by locking him in a caravan and tricking him into believing it’s nightfall.
Disaster soon strikes when The Farmer’s caravan accidentally rolls off and into the nearby city sending the animals on the farm in complete chaos. Feeling somewhat responsible for what has happened, Shaun decides to head into the city and try to get The Farmer back who in the meantime, has developed a case of amnesia.
Most of the laughs – the comedy is simple, subtle and typically British – are delivered through the mumbles, grunts and groans of the animals and humans alike, making it pretty clear that you don’t need a celebrity voice-over, complicated visual effects or even an audible dialogue to get your story across. The narrative is easy to follow and there’s something awfully comforting about watching an animated picture which – aside from a couple of hilarious references to movies such as The Silence of the Lambs and Taxi Driver – doesn’t need to go down the usual product-placement or pop-culture-reference road in order to connect with its audience. In terms of characters and set-design, the film’s incredible attention to detail is evident and there is an effortless charm about it from beginning to end.
Adult or child, it’s hard to imagine anyone who won’t be enticed by the story; delightfully charming, Shaun the Sheep is a much better way to spend eighty-two-minutes of your time than you’d think.