Oscar Nominee, Animated Feature Film: Shaun The Sheep
Tis Oscar time, and here at Deluxe Video Online that means our asses are strapped to the couch catching up with all the nominees.. All for you dear reader.
Shaun The Sheep A Movie Review
From Aardman Animations comes Shaun The Sheep, a spinoff of the critically acclaimed franchise Wallace and Grommit. Featured in their classic “A Close Shave” Shaun proved popular enough to warrant a TV series and eventually its own feature film
Many will dismiss Shaun The Sheep for its childish nature, as It’s a kid flick through and through. There isn’t any carefully disguised adult humor or pop culture references that you have come to expect from Pixar’s movies, but his is also what makes Shaun The Sheep movie great – The sheer simplicity of it all.
The story obviously revolves around Shaun, an unusually intelligent sheep. His life is quite routine as it consists of Shaun waking up, eating, and getting shaved. This all becomes very boring for Shaun as you could imagine and leads to our hero planning a vacation for himself and the other farm animals.
This all leads to a series of events in which Shaun and his flock must travel to the big city to rescue the farmer that is struck by a bout of amnesia. As if farm animals trying to get by in the city isn’t difficult enough, their mission is further complicated by an evil animal control employee that is hot on their trail.
Like all Aardman productions the story is simple, innocent and engaging.
It’s a beautiful world
The simplicity of the story and lack of dialogue lends itself to Aardmans stop-motion world and proudly put’s it front and center. Just minutes into the film I found myself lost in the magnificence of it all. Aardman has an eye for the most minute detail in this fantastic world he created, and while stop-motion is certainly a labour of love and it can take weeks to craft just a minute of animation. Knowing this makes Shaun The Sheep’s world truly impressive in its scope and size.
The humor is subtle and nuanced and sure there are some silly fart jokes mixed in there but you’ll find that the laughs are universal. This is an easy win if you grew up watching Hanna – Barbera or Hey Arnold! Shaun the Sheep will appeal to your inner child.
Too much of a good thing?
Being a huge fan of the Wallace and Grommit shorts as well as Shaun The Sheep, I was excited for the prospects of another Aardman feature-length film but a bit apprehensive as to how it would translate when pushed to over an hour. We have all seen entertaining shorts get the silver screen treatment and beat what was a funny premise to death, Take Mr. Bean or any SNL skit turned movie (excluding The Blues Brothers) for example.
Shaun The Sheep does struggle with this slightly over it’s eighty minute plus run time, as pacing becomes a bit of an issue and Shaun gets dangerously close to overstating his welcome. This is where the lack of dialogue, while an impressive feat, nearly becomes the undoing of the movie. Luckily, directors Richard Starzack and Mark Burton reign Shaun The Sheep in the nick of time.
Ewe have to see it
Shaun The Sheep is a throwback to the silent film era when the likes of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplain, much like them Shaun relies on visual cues and timing for its laughs. This keeps the audience engaged and ultimately pays huge dividends as Aardman Animations has crafted a universal comedy that can be enjoyed by all.