“Shaun the Sheep Movie” is about a sheep’s desire to have a day off. Taking cues from its classic Aardman origins, the film takes its titular character through various farm schemes to find a way to escape and follow a truck to the big city. Along the way, he meets animals and humans that don’t have his best interests at heart. Certain animals try to help the farmer capture Shaun and that’s where the film goes deep.
For a movie told mainly in gestures and grunts, there’s 85 minutes to project emotional feelings onto the action. Some might see a loving tribute to Tati while others see an Orwellian call to arms. My daughter just wore her Sheep ears and laughed her ass off during the presentation. I wanted to dissect the film and then dismiss it as a workable British kiddie movie. However, I can’t do that.
Aardman at the peak of their skill is one of the greatest animation houses working in the world. When they dip below their standards, they are still pretty awesome. I’d put Shaun on par with “Chicken Run” in terms of scale and scope. You’ll buy the high-wire action and stunts involved in getting Shaun off the farm and into the main adventure. However, you don’t have the stunning dialogue and jokes that come with other Aardman work. In the long view, this might end up being one of my favorite summer films.
Release Date: 8/7/15