HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Shaun the Sheep Movie
HTS Overall Score:77
How many movies do you know of that are about intelligent sheep? How many of these said movies are also done in stop motion filmography? And of course how many of them are based off of the wildly popular show “Wallace and Gromit”? Yes, you got it, “Shaun the Sheep Movie” is an offshoot of “Wallace and Gromit” using the Nick Park character as his own standalone creation here. Not only is there a MOVIE about Nick and his sheep (and various other sundry farm animals), but the movie is hot off the heels of the first season of their very own show. A show that is shaping up to be almost as popular as “Wallace and Gromit”. The movie is sweet, simple, adorably goofy and hysterically funny at times.
It’s kind of hard to give an exact plot summary of “Shaun the Sheep Movie”, as there isn’t exactly any dialog to the film. Well, unless you count various bleating sheep, grunts, mumbles and general gobblety gook to be dialog. The movie mainly uses pantomiming and various situational comedy bits to get its point across. However, I digress, back to the beginning. There are days that are bad, there are days that are good, and then there are days that you really REALLY wish you could start over from the moment you got out of bed. This is one of those days for Nick Park and his sheep. Tending his little farm, Nick thinks today is going to be a great day, but Shaun the sheep and the rest of the flock have something different in mind. Bored of the same old hum drum life, the sheep trick Nick into falling asleep so they can stuff him in an old trailer and have the day for themselves.
What starts out as an innocent enough day of watching DVDs and having the run of the house turns into a nightmare when the trailer slips its moorings and goes rolling down the hills into the big city. Reality sets in for the sheep at this point and Shaun spearheads an operation to go into the big city and get their beloved master back. That simple little plan may not exactly be as easy as it sounds though, as Nick is harder to find in a massive city than they had anticipated. Dodging crazy people, stray animals and the worst of the lot, an animal control operative with a bit of an ego problem, creates a bit of a conundrum for the sheep. To make matters worse, Nick isn’t exactly going to find his way home. It appears that he’s lost his memory along the way, and the only thing he finds familiar is shearing peoples head like sheep. Thus he sets up in a barber shop and settles down in his new life.
As you can probably guess, the sheep do eventually find Nick, but getting him back to Mossy Bottom Farm is a bit more effort than just saying “hi Nick, let’s go back home!”. They have to wheedle him out of his job, get him back home unharmed AND stay out of the clutches of the egomaniacal Animal Control agent in the process. More than enough to make the hair on any sheep turn grey before its time.
What is fantastical about “Shaun the Sheep Movie” isn’t the animation (although stop motion animation is a fun little novelty), or in the fact that there’s no dialog but the fact that even without dialog the script is COMPLETELY understandable. The situational gags and simple pantomiming of the sheep work so incredibly well that it almost makes one feel like there IS dialog to go along with the situations. The humor is well placed and had me giggling more than a few times. Pop culture gags go hand in hand with the silly miming gags, especially a little Hannibal Lector one that had me laughing a good bit harder than I should have been.
There’s plenty of silliness to go around, as the sheep keep donning disguise after disguise to get through the big city. The main one having them dress up as overly bundled humans and watch as the Animal Control specialist starts to hit on “shaun” incognito. Then amping it up another notch or so by having them try to imitate humans during a restaurant scene. Sometimes it feels like the 86 minute movie was a bit too long, but not by a whole lot. The simplicity of the concept really works best in the confines of a 22 minute show with different encounters each episode. Trying to stretch the gag into almost an hour and a half just pushes the concept a bit too far in my opinion.
Rated PG for rude humor
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=59713[/img]“Shaun the Sheep Movie” comes to Blu-ray with a very pleasing 1.78:1 AVC encoded image. The digitally created stop motion photography looks great, and detailed well beyond the means that old fashioned stop motion animation was able to pull off in decades past. You can see the individual strands of wool on the sheep, as well as crinkling of pant legs and textures that usually were not able to be replicated in traditional stop motion animation. Colors are solidly bright within the confines of the animated world, with good saturation and no apparent color grading. Blacks are deep and inky, but there is some color banding that plague a few of the darker scenes. It’s a very nice looking transfer, that’s for sure, just not in the upper echelons of animation like a Pixar film.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=59721[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is simple but quite effective. Being that there IS no dialog, the center channel only gets a mild workout with the occasional bleating sheep or mumbling character in the film. The rest of the work is doled out to the surrounds and mains as the world of the Big City comes to life. The shrieking of a bus horn blares in fronts and then dissipates in the back as it blasts by our poor sheep, and the score infuses every bit of the remaining 5 channels with equal aplomb. LFE is tight and punchy, adding some serious oomph to the encounters with the animal control psycho, as well as giving some mid-range kick to the score when needed.
• Making the Shaun Movie
• Meet the Characters
• Join Shaun Behind the Scenes
• Meet the Crew
• Parody Poster Gallery
“Shaun the Sheep Movie” is classic humor for people of any age. The jokes hit all levels, ranging from pop culture gags that will make the adults laugh, down to cute and adorable sheep burping jokes that will make the single digit kiddy winks giggle with glee. There’s an element of the old 1920’s silent film structure to the movie and that’s what makes this really such a unique experience. Audio and video are great, with no apparent issues and there’s even some cute extras that tend to be aimed towards the younger generation. Being a huge fan of animated movies, I have to give “Shaun the Sheep Movie” a solid thumbs and recommend it as a great family watch.
Starring: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Omid Djalili
Directed by: Mark Burton, Richard Starzak
Written by: Mark Burton, Richard Starzak
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Runtime: 86 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: November 24th, 2015
Buy Shaun the Sheep Movie Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Recommended for a Watch
More about Mike