[Moving picture of popcorn]

Laramie Movie Scope:
Shaun the Sheep Movie

Another delightful Aardman animated feature

[Strip of film rule]
by Robert Roten, Film Critic
[Strip of film rule]

November 24, 2015 -- Aardman Animations isn't a powerhouse studio like Pixar, but its productions, like “Chicken Run” and “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” never fail to be delightful, clever, whimsical and funny. This film is no exception. It fits right in to the Aardman pantheon with its clever animals and not-so-bright humans.

In this story, Shaun the Sheep (based on a TV show) gets bored with farm life and decides to take the day off. He persuades his fellow sheep and other farm animals to help (but he has to pay off the duck with bread) with an absurdly complicated scheme to get the farmer and his dog out of the way so they can take over the farm house and kick back.

The scheme seems to be working fairly well until the farmer, who has been stashed in a small travel trailer, goes off the farm by accident when the trailer rolls off down the hill and into a city. The dog goes into town to rescue the farmer, while the pigs take over the farm house. The sheep find out they are no good running the farm without the farmer. They head into town to get the farmer back. Despite their antics, they really like the farmer and will do whatever it takes to get him back to the farm.

The farmer loses his memory when the trailer crashes, and ends up becoming a hair stylist, using his sheep shearing skills. His haircuts become very fashionable. When the sheep and dog catch up with him, he doesn't remember them, or the farm, due to his head injury. Meanwhile the farm animals are being hunted by an obsessed dog catcher. The sheep use disguises to pass for human.

The animals have a number of misadventures in the city, being chased, and sometimes captured by the dog catcher. With the aid of a stray dog, they escape the dog pound and come up with a plan to capture the farmer and take him back to the farm, hoping this will jog his memory. The plan, predictably, is ridiculously complicated and funny. There is very little dialog in the film. Meanings are conveyed by expressions, signs and context. There is also a very nice musical number in the film with a chorus of singing sheep.

This is one of the best of the Aardman animated features, very similar to the better Wallace and Gromit stories. It is fast-paced and has sharply-defined characters. It is witty and funny without being mean-spirited. There are also lots of funny cultural references and jokes about the superficiality of modern fashions. This is really a delightful, funny film with some good music as well. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

[Strip of film rule]
Copyright © 2015 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
[Strip of film rule]
Back to the Laramie Movie Scope index.
[Rule made of Seventh Seal sillouettes]

Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)