Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Like its principle characters, this film doesn't so much fly, as flutter.

Chickens mount a breakout from the farm they're incarcerated in. Oh, and it's by Aardman Animation. You can pretty much fill in the rest.

AA have always set a high bar for themselves, so when a film like this one scores lower, it's still a hit.

As always, we get fun lovable characters, tons of inspired ideas, and no end of excellent dialogue.

Rocky: "Over in America, we have this rule: if you want to motivate someone, don't mention death."
Ginger: "Funny, the rule here is, always tell the truth."

Ginger: "You know what the problem is? The fences aren't just round the farm. They're up here, in you heads. There's a better place out there, somewhere beyond that hill, and it has wide open places, and lots of trees... and grass. Can you imagine that? Cool, green grass."
Hen: "Who feeds us?"
Ginger: "We feed ourselves."
Hen: "Where's the farm?"
Ginger: "There is no farm."
Babs: "Then, where does the farmer live?"
Ginger: "There is no farmer, Babs."
Babs: "Is he on holiday?"
Ginger: "He isn't anywhere! Don't you get it?"

Ginger: "Fowler, you have to fly it. You're always talking about 'back in your day'. Well, today is your day."

When Mrs Tweedy purchases a huge complex machine that Ginger and Rocky get trapped inside, there can be no doubt that this is Nick Park playing at what he loves best.

Also, the reveal of how Rocky has had a public image of flying without being able to, is pure cinematic magic.

However, as tends to be the case with Aardman's theatrical releases, for some reason the trade-off is the jerky picture quality. Their TV productions have always moved much smoother than this.

Still, if you have a thing for watching films that look like they have been shot on a phone, then Chicken Run will reward you greatly. The simple plot, and unusually straightforward climactic sequence, are definitely not the studio's finest hour, but with Aardman there just are no bad hours. Ever.

Like its characters, this never quite soars, but certainly manages to succeed.

(available here)


3 comment(s):

At 9:17 am, Blogger Maurice Mitchell said...

Chicken Run is one of Aardman's best films. Never quite takes it to the level of great though.

At 12:28 am, Blogger Me said...

Chicken Run is one of the all time greatest animation films: Because of :
- the script (witty and very British)
- the sound (effects, movements, it's all there)
- the animation (attention to detail of movements and expression).

The comments above are more reserved, but quite wrong on the "jerky animation" front: My guess there is Steve has seen it in less than ideal conditions.

The following Aardman feature length animation was not quite up there: Pirates.

At 12:58 pm, Blogger Steve Goble said...

Glad we all enjoyed it. I was watching it as it was broadcast on analogue PAL TV, if that's any help. I did see the trailer for Pirates 1 at the cinema, and I'm afraid I thought that looked jerky too! :)


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