Chicken Run

2 Jun

Picture from the film Chicken Run

Wallace and Gromit’s Fowl Friends

audio transcript

The stars of Chicken Run are inventive, eccentric and – to say that they’re plasticine models – surprisingly expressive and endearing. Apart from the cute characters and quirky comedy, the film has some subtle and unexpected high points with realistic lighting, a dark storyline and great music that all add up make it a fine first feature for Aardman animations.

audio transcript

Aardaman animations, the creators of Wallace and Gromit seem, at least to me, above any criticism. There was only one thing that could have ruined their first full length feature ‘Chicken Run’; that would have been the pressure to bow down to anyone who said that for a major international success their eccentric, English humour would have to be diluted. Many say they gave in, but for me that didn’t happen. The international success factor is there, summed up by the choice of Mel Gibson as voice talent. But he’s a resounding success – so it’s hardly ‘selling out’. We have the cute characters and the quirky comedy we expected, but also unexpected bonuses such as beautifully constructed long shots, amazing lighting, a deep vein of black humour and great background music that brings a depth to the whole affair as well as a chance to heighten the tension in something that could easily come across as a little pedestrian. As well as Mel Gibson’s finely honed voice work as an all American rooster, there is some solid work by British artists bringing to life humans, chickens and rats – and despite some star names no-one is hamming it up or taking the lead, it’s a fine team effort. So in the final analysis the first long feature from Aardman is a success – and we’re all looking forward to the blockbuster feature debut of that famous wensleydale cheese loving one man and his dog.

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