Shaun the Sheep Movie

I have been told by my peers that Shaun the Sheep is a pretty popular kids television show. About a sheep! And shenanigans! Sheepanigans!

So these people were excited that a movie was coming out. But much like my recent review of The Unbeatables, Shaun the Sheep Movie came out a long time ago in the UK. The delay wasn’t as extreme, but it came out in theaters in February for the British and obviously early August for America. Unlike the last animated film, they didn’t even have to replace the voice actors with Americans, because it is a movie has no words! That makes me feel like it is just petty on their part. Booo pettiness!

This is also one of those movies I knew nothing about going in. It has that classic looking stop animation that the Wallace and Gromit studio is known for, which makes sense given that it is the same studio behind this film. Hell, apparently Shaun is a spin-off character from that franchise. I am seriously behind on my stop motion British genre films.

Gasp gasp
But I am strangely up to date on my sheep based films.

How do you describe a movie like Shaun the Sheep? Well, hopefully with good grammar and real human words.

Shaun the Sheep lives on a farm! He has an owner, who raises the sheep, a cow, some pigs, and has a dog too, Bitzer. Bitzer runs things around the farm. Sometimes he herds sheep too.

Well, their life is pretty standard. Wake up, eat, get herded, go back to sleep. Not a lot changes and everyone finds it dull. Duller than a pair of kids scissors covered with tape.

So Shaun gets the idea to have a “Day off”, by sort of tricking their owner to think it is still night time, locking him away so they can do whatever they want all day! No one will get hurt, just a few tricks and sheepanigans. But of course like all well laid our plans, something goes wrong. Now Shaun and the sheep and Bitzer have to go on a journey, AWAY from the farm their home, into the big city and you know, do things. Things!

And look! A dog that is actually more dog than human! There are levels of humanization in the animal kingdom!

My review of Shaun the Sheep is going to be short and straight to the point (despite all my fluff already). Shaun the Sheep is a funny and witty stop claymation film. I am always awed by clay/stop motion work, given the extreme amount of time and dedication it takes to getting it all done and done well. One of those things I tried to do as a kid because of all my free time and getting no where fast and giving up after an hour. The camera work despite the just very small sets is also well done, given a few types of shorts I couldn’t even imagine were doable for the genre.

Given the lack of dialogue outside of human mumblings to sounds like words, all of the jokes take place as sight gags or slap stick, and it is great that it leans a lot more in the sight gag department. There is almost always something happening in the background that is interesting, making it a movie you definitely have to pay hard attention to in order to get the full experience. (Which should technically be true for all movies. It just happens to be more true in this film).

If there is one main disappointment I had it would be its length. It sort of seems too long because of the no dialogue. About a third of the way into the film I was fighting back sleep. I was entertained from the movie, but not enough variation in sound was making it hard to fight back the tiredness. After the movie was halfway through, I had no problems anymore. That is when stuff started getting hectic to appease my millennial mind that always needs things exploding to keep my attention.

Despite this, Shaun the Sheep movie will most definitely end up nominated for Best Animated film, but as of now, it will also lose to Inside Out.

3 out of 4.

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