I love Aardman. Never have they disappointed me with one of their features. Although, when ‘Shaun the Sheep Movie’ was released, I wasn’t really excited as I wasn’t a fan of the show (and when I mean I wasn’t a fan, I mean I haven’t really watched this show, outside of an episode that I tuned in years ago). Was this film based on a television program was going to be accessible to non-fans of the property? Was it only for the fans? Would I not get this film as I don’t know the character’s history with each other? These questions started to get raised, but then I watched the movie as part of this year’s mega year of animation, and surprisingly it answers my self-proposed questions. This is ‘Shaun the Sheep Movie’.
Day in and day out, the herd of sheep from The Farmer’s field are getting bored by doing the same thing, every day. However, Shaun looks out to beyond on a bus that features a person sleeping with the words “Day Off”. This gives him the dream and desire to have a day off today, however this day off leads to chaos and a crazy adventure that’s too big for the small screen.
I’m familiar with Shaun because of his appearance in the ‘Wallace & Gromit’ television special ‘A Close Shave’, as I’m a huge fan of ‘Wallace & Gromit’, although while the show was spun-off the short, this Shaun is different, however his still a clever sheep that he was in that aforementioned special.
Is it accessible for non-fans? Absolutely. I found myself enjoying this film from start to finish, with a property was almost unfamiliar to me. The film is loaded with charm, heart and witty gags and jokes, which some lead to laugh out loud results. An example of a scene that I was laughing out loud for was the restaurant scene, it is brimmed with quick witty gags that are familiar in other films, but just go all out with its ridiculousness as the sheep’s copy the humans around them to results that equal big laughs. Yet, it is still grounded with its tremendous heart and charm that comes in the film’s third act. And yes, the songs as well are great to listen too.
Is it fans-only? As I stated before, not really. Sure, the die-hard fans of ‘Shaun the Sheep’ will pick up references from the show, but they will be having a good time with the film’s quick pace with some clever and humorous gags, that even adults who have never seen the show will consistently get a laugh here and there, so it definitely appeals to all ages that the whole family can enjoy. Also, I found a reference to a ‘Wallace & Gromit’ special ‘The Wrong Trousers’ which was perfectly referenced in a quick (and small) easter egg during the animal pound scene.
And finally, the character’s history and relationship to one another. Right from the get go you get the main character’s names, and that’s all you need with this film, but it is a perfect introduction for people who have never seen the show, and it is brilliant for the fans showing their backstory and origins (if that wasn’t already revealed in the television series).
‘Shaun the Sheep Movie’ is an amazing film that could have just been a feature that only existed to make a quick buck thanks to the show’s growing popularity (I mean the show is almost ten years old, as I write), but thankfully it isn’t, it’s a film that has a good solid story, likeable characters, and its very well-paced with lots of clever gags that continued to delight me from start to finish. Heck, this movie might be a great way to introduce new fans.
‘Shaun the Sheep Movie’ is one of Aardman’s best works, and that’s saying something from great films like ‘Chicken Run’, the ‘Wallace & Gromit’ features and ‘Arthur Christmas’.
‘Sheep in the Big City’… I mean ‘Shaun the Sheep’ gets two thumbs up.