#REVIEW: “SHAUN THE SHEEP”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Already released in Europe this past winter, Shaun the Sheep Movie finally lands in Canada this week with plenty of heart and charm to spare.
Shaun, the titular Sheep, spends his days at Moss Bottom Farm with the rest of his Flock, a Sheepdog named Bitzer and the Farmer that watches over them all. Shaun becomes tired of his every day routine, and decides to shake it up one day with the Flock’s help. But when a mix-up leads to the Farmer losing his memory, Shaun and his friends need to head to the Big City to make things right.
The Film, much like Aardman’s Shaun Shorts, is endlessly-charming from beginning to end. And much like the shorts, there is no spoken dialogue – only gibberish and animal sounds. It threw me for a loop initially, but it only lends to how delightful the Film quickly becomes. Fans of Wallace and Gromit and the underrated Chicken Run will marvel at the astounding level of detail in Shaun, the Farmer, the Flock, and everyone and everything around them. The animation is done differently now, but the care and effort the company is known for is still very evident. While it is very much a Film for kids, they sneak in a few jokes for the adults watching too – and believe me when I say they are downright hilarious to watch.
My only criticism for the Film is that despite its short running time (about 80 minutes and change), it feels stretched too thin in a few sections. And more often than not, it comes off more episodic than necessary. I realize there is only so much that can be done with these Characters, but a group of condensed Shorts may have been a better fit for the material. At least it would have led to a more focused and cohesive final product.
Nonetheless, Shaun the Sheep Movie will entertain and amuse younger viewers. There is not much to the story, but the animation is top notch and some of the Film references will leave older viewers laughing hysterically. If you have already topped out on your Minion fix, it might be time to give this mischievous sheep a try.
Elevation Pictures release SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE on Friday, August 5, 2015.