Shaun the Sheep Movie: Misadventures in the City
By: Andrew Chin
Ever since debuting in the 1995 Academy Award-winning short A Close Shave, Shaun the Sheep has delighted fans in 180 countries thanks to his popular TV show. The Wallace and Gromit spin-off is back in the spotlight again for his film debut in Shaun the Sheep Movie.
The charming family-friendly feature is already a hit, grossing nearly USD60 million worldwide, while opening on the Mainland last month and across America in August. Like other Aardman Animations productions, the stop-motion animation is a visual treat, especially during scenes where characters whiz through the crevices of the big city modeled after London.
Story wise, it’s a simple one fueled by charming characters. In need of a day off, the unusually sharp Shaun the Sheep concocts a plan to distract the farmer, Mr. X.
However, things go awry when Mr. X is whisked away to the city, awakening in a hospital with no memory. Blazer the dog immediately goes to the city to find the farmer. He’s followed by Shaun, and then the remaining flock who must deftly elude a fierce animal catcher.
Rather than rely on pop culture references like many Disney and Pixar fare, Shaun the Sheep relies on classic hijinks. When Blazer is finally able to sneak into the hospital disguised as a doctor, he finds himself leading surgery. Shaun and friends’ misadventures at a fancy restaurant are full of slapstick fun.
As for Mr. X, he finds himself the toast of the town. Thanks to his sheep shearing ways, he’s stumbled onto the hair trend of the moment and becomes a stylist star. When Shaun and friends finally find the farmer, he shies away from them with no memory of them at all.
The final thirty minutes is devoted to Shaun and friends trying to revive the farmer’s past life, with its riotous fun ending with a touching scene back on the farm.