Over the weekend, me, my wife and a friend of ours took my son to see "Shaun the Sheep" and I believe that I was the only one excited and actually wanted to see the movie.
I have always been a big fan of the Aardman Animation team from the time I was a child. I had an art teacher, she was a big time hippie, and she used to show us old "Wallace and Gromit" cartoons. She liked the claymation and thought it would be good for us to see how artistic you could be with clay. Needless to say, we worked a lot with clay in my class. I was immediately drawn to the artistry and imagination in these cartoons. I loved how it looked like Play Doh, but the characters were interacting like real people. It was totally awesome and I became obsessed and watched all the "Wallace and Gromit" I could find. When I got to high school, I pretty much forgot about these cartoons and clay art. I was playing sports and chasing girls and the last thing on my mind was clay or "Wallace and Gromit". After we had our son, I started to get back into claymation and I started to watch more cartoons from Aardman Animation. Basically, I re found my love for "Wallace and Gromit". My son liked the cartoons too. It was a win win.
Last year, I was very happy to hear that the TV show "Shaun the Sheep" was going to be made into a feature length film. In fact, I read that they'd been working on one for six years, but when you do animation with clay, it takes a very long time. That was okay, I could wait. When I first saw previews for "Shaun the Sheep", the young me was very excited and wanted to take my son to see it ASAP. We had to wait, life gets in the way, but we finally saw it over the weekend and it did not disappoint.
I loved every single thing about this movie. Now, before you go to see it, remember how these particular cartoons work. There's no dialogue. The closest thing you'll get to dialogue is mumbling and animal sounds. That shouldn't deter you from seeing this movie. The movie moves along seamlessly and dialogue isn't necessary. I liked that, instead of a voice over, when a dog writes a letter to the titular Shaun, while Shaun reads it, it's a dog's bark. No human reading the letter, just a dog barking, but you still get the gist of what the dog is saying. The movie starts out with Shaun being a baby and we meet his owner, known simply as Farmer, and we meet the sheep herding puppy Bitzer. It's a very sweet opening. You see the Farmer and the sheep and Bitzer getting acclimated to farm life and they're all very happy. There's great music accompanying this opening scene. After the first ten minutes or so, we see what looks to be a teenage Shaun, an older Bitzer and a much older Farmer. They go through daily farm life and everything is planned. It's so boring, that Shaun dreams of a day off in the big city. Shaun and the other sheep devise a plan to get a day off. They plan everything almost perfectly. The one problem, the RV they put Farmer in rolls away and heads very fast towards the city. After all the mayhem on the farm, with a RV escape and the farm being destroyed, the sheep gather and Shaun decides he's going to find Farmer and bring him home. He is on his way to the city and when he arrives, he's met, not only by an animal containment officer, but on another bus, the rest of the sheep arrive. Meanwhile, Farmer is in the hospital after the big RV accident and the doctor's believe he has memory loss. Bitzer follows him all the way to the hospital, but is not let inside since no dogs are allowed. Bitzer eventually gets in, dressed as a doctor, but when he sees a bone on a skeleton, he's found out to be a dog and he's taken to the animal containment cell. Farmer eventually escapes when he sees the doctors diagnosis. He finds himself in a barber shop, and since he's so good at cutting sheep's hair, he tries his hand at cutting a famous actors hair. The people at the barber shop are appalled until they see the actor's joy at his new hair do. Farmer becomes a big time star and everyone in the big city wants him to cut their hair. Shaun eventually finds Farmer, but with his memory loss, Farmer doesn't recognize him and shoos him away. Shaun then gets found by the animal containment officer and he's thrown into animal jail along with Bitzer. Bitzer and Shaun devise a plan to get out, and with the help of another dog, they escape. Shaun meets up with the other sheep and they devise a plan to get Farmer back to the farm in the hopes that he will remember them and they can all be a happy family again. The only obstacle is the animal containment officer and he's determined to stop all the sheep. There's a great climatic scene on the farm and, spoiler alert, the sheep win(I don't think it's really a spoiler because, 1)the show is still on the air and all the sheep are fine and 2)it's a kids movie). Farmer remembers them and they are all a big, happy family again. There are a ton of great scenes in this movie and I highly recommend that parents take their kids and go see this movie. "Shaun the Sheep" is funny, heartwarming and a great family film.
I love this movie and I highly recommend it.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor and co host of the X Millennial Man podcast. He spends more time prying dried playdough out of the carpet than he does building things. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.