Shaun the Sheep – Just What We Need To Make Us Laugh Intelligently

ShauntheSheep.jpgAardman Animation is known for its thought-provoking animated films such as Wallace & Gromit, Creature Comforts, Chicken Run and Flushed Away. It is a British animation studio located in Bristol, England. Their latest installment, Shaun the Sheep, does not disappoint. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Willie J., age 16 comments, “But, the backbone of any and every Aardman film, including this one, is the screenplay. Shaun the Sheep has a wonderful screenplay – full of wit, cleverness and humor.” Tre’ana H., age 11 adds, “This film is dazzling, amusing and comical.” See their full reviews below.

Shaun the Sheep Movie
By Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

Being a fan of Aardman, I was very excited to see this movie. And I was not disappointed. Shaun the Sheep is a charming, funny, and entertaining movie that continues the tradition of good movies by Aardman.

The animation is beautiful. Claymation is my favorite type of animation because of how off-beat it makes everything look, so I’m already partially biased on the cinematography. That is a huge reason I love Aardman.

But, the backbone of any and every Aardman film, including this one, is the screenplay. Shaun the Sheep has a wonderful screenplay – full of wit, cleverness and humor. I can’t tell you how hard I laughed at the Silence of the Lambs’ reference (the only one in my theater who did laugh at it). There is a restaurant named “Moon,” and, in the film, a cow jumps over it…get it? It’s the little things like that make this film so great. Without dialogue, this movie is still more intelligent than many. That isn’t to say it’s a silent film, but it doesn’t have any talking. It doesn’t need it. The saying, “A picture is worth 1000 words” applies to motion pictures as well. The way the movie uses images to convey messages or to tell jokes and to advance the story is impressive and entertaining. It makes us feel smart, that we’re able to put the pieces together and not have to be told everything. I’d even say it’s refreshing.

I wish I could say more about the movie, but it’s excellence was so expected and it’s formula is so familiar, that I can’t elaborate too much. It’s vintage Aardman, basically. Fortunately, that is a fantastic thing. So I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It can be seen at a local theater near you.

Shaun the Sheep Movie
By Tre’ana H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

This film is dazzling, amusing and comical.  Shaun (Justin Fletcher), the antagonist is tired of the farmer’s (John Sparkes) everyday routine. He wants a day off, a change. So he causes chaos on the farm. He convinces the duck to trick the dog by stringing him a bone to distract him from watching the sheep.  A mix-up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City. That’s when it all begins. This spectacular film is loaded with visual delights for the young and old.

Directors Mark Burton and Richard Starzak bring these animals alive as people and give them so much personality. The sheep don’t talk but through imagination, expressive grunts and hand movements and looking at the story through the sheep’s eyes, you can figure this unique movie out.  The music makes it extra groovy. The storyline is what you perceive it to be. The sheep costumes are stylish and appealing. Their dark faces and mouths on the side of their faces add to the visual humor of the movie. The movie is tricky because you would never think animals would be this clever.  It makes you curious as to what might happen next.  I can’t wait to get my dog, so I can see if he will be this smart.

My favorite part is when the sheep goes into the clothing store running from Animal Control.  The sheep buys and puts on the new clothes in the store disguising themselves as Animal Control employees. They get dressed up and come out of the store looking and walking like normal people. It is so funny!

The message of this film is to treat animals fairly just like you want to be treated and consider them smart.

I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18 and I give it 4 out of 5 Stars because it is a family-oriented funny movie.