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Shaun the Sheep (2015) Reviewed By Jay

United States, 04 April 2014


Jay´s Review

Claymation studio Aardman ("Wallace & Gromit") has created an award-winning PG-rated tale of a busybody sheep who must fix a problem he has created. These characters are based on a long-running TV series in the UK. We are charmed by mornings at the farm: a montage of activities that starts with a rooster crowing and ends with the farmer finally emerging from his house. There are many funny steps in between.

 is inspired by an ad on a bus; he decides to think outside the box and break up the morning routine. As a result he gets The Farmer in big, big trouble. Now he and his stalwart sidekick, the sheepdog Bitzer, have to get their amnesiac shepherd and his flock out of that dangerous city and safely back home. By the way, the entire movie is done with NO dialogue but not one child in the screening audience missed it.

Writer/director Mark Burton ("Madagascar") and writer/director Richard Starzak have used the voices of:

  • * John Sparkes ("Peppa Pig") The Farmer loves his animals but through some mischief by Shaun, lands in the big city with amnesia. At least he remembers how to use a clippers: he has sheared many a sheep.
  • * Jason Fletcher ("Gigglebiz") When our hero Shaun lands in the big city animal shelter, we watch all the creatures try to appeal to visitors in hopes they will be adopted. This scene contains many adult movie references to jails that made the parents laugh but went over the heads of the little 'uns.
  • * John Sparkes ("Calendar Girls") Bitzer is the epitome of the hard-working sheep dog. I loved his morning routine where he is seen walking out of the yard clutching a roll of toilet paper with a newspaper under his arm. Like Shaun, he is determined to get The Farmer back home where he belongs.
  • * Omid Djalili ("Moonfleet") is Trumper, the Animal Containment Officer who we come to realize will stop at nothing to recapture the fugitiveShaun.

As you can see by the credits, this cast and crew are from children's television in the UK. They even offer an odd musical interlude. My major concern was that too much of the movie was over the heads of the children; in fact about two-thirds of the way through, a little voice piped up, "Is it going to get better again?" About then, the final (lengthy) chase scene began and after that, no child had a dull moment. Whew!

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