From the creators of Wallace and Gromit, another movie that children and families alike will adore – the Oscar nominated Shaun the Sheep Movie. Shaun the Sheep originally started as a five minute short on television and grew into the feature length film that hit the theaters in 2015.
Shaun along with with his animal friends on the Mossy Bottom farm get into plenty of trouble. Normally, they get away with it and avoid the eye of the farmer, but this time things go wrong.
Everyone is tired of the same routine and Shaun just wants a day off. He and his friends get the farmer to fall asleep, but they get caught by the farmer’s trusty dog, Bitzer.
After an exciting and somewhat terrifying ride through the countryside in a runaway trailer, the farmer comes to rest in the big city. The farmer gets hit on the head by a lamp post and loses his memory about who he is and where he belongs.
Now it is up to Shaun, Bitzer and the gang to get the farmer back to the farm before Animal Control Officer Trumper can track them down.
Obviously, I’m skipping a few things to avoid giving away too much of the story line, but you can get the main idea.
The story is not much different from Toy Story or Homeward Bound and the script isn’t much different from that of Mad Max: Fury Road, but this story brings it’s own special twist to the tale.
I have watched this show since it began airing in the US and I never thought it would get put onto the silver screen. But without saying a word, the characters are so lovable and emotional. Even if you have never seen the show, you connect with these characters deeper and faster than you expect – especially Timmy.
Most important things in a story with zero dialogue is facial expressions, physical separation on screen and music.
The expressions and especially the eye movement from all of these characters is so detailed, everyone can connect these animals. Shaun captures your heart and never lets go.
Physical separation between characters is a great way to show emotional feelings. The directors of photography used space between Shaun and the gang to show how responsible Shaun feels for the farmer’s disappearance.
The final thing that this movie does exceptionally well is cue music for great story telling. Naturally, the directors had to use the theme song – which is so catchy. But this movie features a lot of original music including the main track “Feels Like Summer” and the beloved theme song “Life’s a Treat.”
There is no question, this story is made for children but there are certain subtleties that are for the adults.
There are all sorts of hidden jokes throughout this movie that make it great for adults. Two of the biggest things are the nod to Abbey Road,
and the more disturbing reference to Hannibal Lecter and Silence of the Lambs.
Gimmicks and jokes like these are a great way to keep people interested. Shaun the Sheep does a fantastic job of using clever and well-timed jokes to keep the story moving. The important thing is that they never take away from the importance of the moment.
No joke ruins any sad or tense moments. On the contrary, it is the absence of these jokes that makes certain scenes more intense.
This movie is fantastic on all levels. It is short – it’s hard to make a five minute segment into a feature length film – but it is packed full of enjoyable moments.
Shaun the Sheep is funny, caring, sweep and smart. This movie is great for all ages and can be enjoyed in a family setting or alone.
If you don’t take my word for it, it’s certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes at 99 percent by top critics.
*Images from ShauntheSheep.com, Wikipedia, Movie Silently, Crave Online, Meta Critic. Video from Youtube.