It’s amazing to think that Shaun The Sheep started off as a minor character in one of the Wallace & Gromit shorts, as since then he’s become a bit of a children’s entertainment powerhouse, with a TV series, loads of merchandise, a spin-off (in the form of Timmy Time), and now a movie.
In the film Shaun decides that once more he must try to outwit the farmer so that and the flock can take the day off. However a series of accidents results in the sheep ending up in the big city. They dress up as humans and set out to look for the farmer, who has been knocked over the head and has amnesia. During to his shearing skills, the farmer becomes a celebrated hairstylist, but can Shaun and co. get to him and help him recover his memories, before the evil animal control man can get them?
While there are a lot of animated children’s TV shows with little or no dialogue, it’s a tougher thing to pull off at feature length, but Shaun The Sheep The Movie does it in spades. It has massive amounts of wit and charm, along with a surfeit of whimsical inventiveness that offers plenty of very funny moments and the sort charm that’ll keep a smile on your face throughout the running time.
Aardman Animation’s feature length movies have never been lacking in imagination, but sometimes they’ve been so busy being imaginative that’s its slightly gotten in the way of telling the story (not that they’ve ever made a bad film, but often it’s been easier to admire them than to think they’re brilliant movies in their own right). That’s not a problem here though, as everything pulls together to create a film that whizzes along with great pace, wit and charm, and where its flights of fancy add to the overall smile-inducing eccentricity of the stop-motion movie.
While Aardman has many fans, this is the first of their movies which I’m happy to recommend without any provisos or caveats. It’s genuinely fun for all the family, with enough jokes that only adults will understand to ensure that grown-ups will enjoy the visual wit as much as the youngsters.
Overall Verdict: Shaun The Sheep The Movie is a riot. If only real sheep were this much fun.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac