Another week, another review of a children’s film. It’s what happens when you have kids, so stick with me (and remember this when you’re 10-15 years older). Most kids’ movies are pure torture for me. Literally worse than Michael Bay’s “masterpieces”. They use the simplest language, stick to the easiest shticks, and lean more on CGI and the “boom” of theaters than a useful narrative.
Shaun the Sheep, however, is quite different. If you’ve ever seen Wallace and Gromit, then you’re probably familiar with the hilariously dry British invention of Nick Park. He uses a antiquated medium (“clay-mation”), and no dialogue (other than muffled “words” from the human element and the standard “moo” and “baa” from the barn animals). Although many potential viewers might be turned off by the last sentence, Park’s work is visually stunning, and sound effects convey every emotion perfectly.
The story follows The Farmer having an accident and developing amnesia. This leads him onto a bus and into the urban center of London, far away from his farm, animals and main responsibilities. The animals, led by Shaun the Sheep, pull together to find the Farmer and bring him back home. Hilarity ensues as the farmer’s innate proclivity to sheer his sheep finds him working in a high end salon and finding celebrity doing so. Shaun and his barn yard pals use cunning and hard work to avoid a London dog catcher and bring the Farmer back to the farm where he belongs. 4 stars.