Hey guys! I’m new to WordPress, so to get a feel for the site and how it suits my hobbies of reviewing movies, my first reviews/posts will be ones that I’ve already written. In the spirit of the new year, I will be posting only my “Top 10” and “Bottom 5” movies of 2015 (or at least for the ones I wrote reviews for). Enjoy and let me know what everyone thinks. 🙂
Let’s get this out of the way, I’m a fan of the WALLACE & GROMIT shorts, as well as claymation in general. Aardman Animations usually belts out pretty solid stuff. But, man, that trailer for this movie did not do it for me. It looked like it was going to rely on the most childish form of humor that you can put in a film: gross-out humor. So my faith in this being a good film was shaken. I was going to see this film anyway, as claymation is such a treat to see on film, but I had low expectations that this would be anything than what the marketing team seemed to want it to be: a kids movie. But then early reviews started cropping up. IMDb gave it a 7.4/10 (as of 8/12/2015), which is a decent score to have on that site, and on the ever popular RottenTomatoes site, critics gave it a 99% (as of 8/12/2015), and they hate everything, and audiences gave it an 83% (as of 8/12/2015), so my hope was renewed. Had an extra comp pass for work and sat down with… cautiously high expectations.
Shaun is a sheep who lives a frustrating life on Mossy Bottom Farm. Once, Shaun and the rest of the sheep had a great relationship with the Farmer, but time changed them into having a very unsteady relationship almost to the point of professionalism rather than family. Well, Shaun’s tired of the same old routine of getting sheered and discarded and just wants a day of fun with the rest of the sheep. They trick the farmer into going to sleep and high jinks ensues. However, the sheep hid the Farmer inside of a trailer and it rolls away toward the big city. The Farmer’s trusty dog Bitzer chases after him. Knowing that he’s responsible for this mishap, Shaun and the sheep pursue as well. But upon arrival, the Farmer goes missing who suffered a head injury leading to amnesia and neither Shaun nor Bitzer can find him. Things are only more complicated as the city’s sadistic expert animal snatcher hounds the sheep like a crazy-man and it becomes a desperate search to reunite with the Farmer and bring him home.
Aardman needs to slap their marketing team every which way that can possibly exist because this movie is SO CUTE!!! Yes, Shaun and the rest of the sheep are adorable in appearance, especially Timmy the baby sheep, who is fifty kinds of adorable, but it’s their camaraderie, their teamwork, and resourcefulness that just makes me gush at these characters.
Now bare in mind, folks, these characters don’t talk. This is a… semi-minimalist film. The characters just grunt, mumble, and everything in between. The characters act through their facial expressions and that’s pretty much it. The claymation for it is outstanding. It’s engaging, from its drama to its comedy, there’s truly something for everyone. There’s even a couple of sad bits in there that really add to the story as well.
Also keep in mind that this movie isn’t… overly funny, per se. Not because the jokes fall flat, but rather it opts for the WALLACE & GROMIT formula in that the characters are more likable than funny. Granted, there are a few knee-slappers in the movie, but just don’t hold out for it being a riot. This isn’t Dreamworks, or even Disney. This movie is doing its own thing, and if you’re a fan of this style of story-telling, I highly recommend it.
Sadly, I don’t see this movie doing very well at the box office. According to Box Office Mojo, the film’s only raked in $6.2 million at the box office on a budget of about $25 million (according to a Google search), despite it being out in America for over a week. Again, Aardman’s marketing team sucks. Jack-asses… which is a shame because I think this film is thoroughly enjoyable.
I honestly don’t know what to say about this movie. It’s a smaller film compared to say, FANTASTIC FOUR, which there is too much to say about. I honestly chalk this movie up to being an experience. It’s wholesome, it’s fun, and there’s a great deal of enjoyment to be had by one and all.