Who Is The Lady In The Dress?
Shaun The Sheep Movie
Voices of: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Omid Djalili, Kate Harbour, Richard Webber, Tim Hands, Simon Greenall and Emma Tate
Directors/Scriptwriters Richard Starzak and Mark Burton (based on "Shaun The Sheep" by Nick Park)
Composer: Llan Eshkeri
Cinematographers: Charles Dave Copping and Alex Riddett
Aardman Animations/Studio Canal
Rating: PG with a few moments of peril
Running Length: 90 minutes
This film is based on the “Shaun The Sheep” television series and is done in the animation form called Claymation, in which the characters do look like clay. It is stop-action, piece by piece, scene by scene. Some of the previous films in this manner by the same company have been “Chicken Run” and “Wallace and Gromit.” Humor borders on “The Three Stooges” variety.
In "Shaun The Sheep", there is no dialogue as such, only noises, grunts, cries, etc. What passes as speech can be guessed at. We begin at Mossy Bottom Farm, where the Farmer (red hair) has a routine that all the animals are familiar with, including his patient, long-suffering dog, Bitzer. The animals may seem content and docile, but in reality, we wonder just who runs the farm, anyway. Basic premise is that the farmer gets knocked on the head in the City, has amnesia, is hospitalized, wanders the city and gains fame as a barber---because he is handy with clippers. Suddenly, everyone has his hair style and the salon he wandered into is rich. Meanwhile, back at the farm, the animals don't know why he isn't coming back. Pigs live in the house watching television, and Shaun (leader of the sheep) has to take things into his own hoofs and go to the City looking for the Farmer. The herd decides to follow and then we have a storyline that rivals that of the “Minions” movie. To go from Point A to Point B, you have to go through the alphabet.
Humor abounds and nothing is sacred. The sheep have to go in disguise, raid a used clothing store and come out with one atop another, disguised as women. Animal control is included in the plot and that means the animals at the Pound have their Adoption Day. The animal control officer (Trumper) is after the sheep by now, but doesn't realize the lady he is courting is actually two sheep.
Claymation is a favorite of mine and this film does not disappoint. Aardman Animations has a wry sense of humor when it comes to the relationship between animal and human, life on the Farm and life in the City, even including a hospital. “Benny Hill” would have been at home here. Language is not needed when gestures and eye-rolling tell the story. The patient way of claymation animation still has a space in the world. Plus, it makes you wonder just how important dialogue is, anyway. "The Tribe" and now "Shaun The Sheep", each a different type of movie, get along well without it.
Do stay for the end credits and even after the pictures are finished, there are still sounds from the Farm.
Copyright 2015 Marie Asner