Chicken Run is a 2000 British-American stop-motion animated family comedy film and the first animated feature film produced by Aardman Animations in partnership with DreamWorks Animation. The film was distributed by DreamWorks Pictures in the US, released on June 23rd 2000 and by Pathé in the UK, released on June 30th 2000. The film was directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park. It features the voices of Julia Sawalha, Mel Gibson, Timothy Spall, Phil Daniels, Tony Haygarth and Miranda Richardson. The film focuses on a band of chickens who meet a smooth-talking Rhode Island Red rooster named Rocky as their only hope to escape from certain death when the owners of their farm decide to move from selling eggs to chicken pot pies. It is published by DreamWorks Animation, Aardman, and Pathé. The second sequel is set to be released in April 4, 2022
Plot[edit | edit source]
The Tweedys are a grumpy middle-aged couple who run a chicken farm in Yorkshire, England. The coop is run in the style of a World War II Camp with the chickens accountable for the number of eggs they lay each day or else face being on the chopping block. One chicken, Ginger, has attempted numerous plans to flee the coop, aided by contraband smuggled into the coop by two rats, Nick and Fetcher, but she is always caught by Mr. Tweedy and his dogs, and placed into solitary confinement. However, Ginger is released just in time for roll call the next day, When Mrs. Tweedy finds Edwina had laid no eggs for a week, Mrs. Tweedy then kills her with a hatchet for dinner and Ginger faces problems with Nick and Fetcher who are tired of being payed with chicken feeds and want eggs instead.
Mrs. Tweedy realizes her farm is failing and reads a catalogue on products to increase the profits. Ginger tries to convince the other hens to speed up their efforts to escape, but soon comes to conclude the only escape route is to go over the fence, something chickens cannot do. Soon, a Rhode Island rooster appears to fly over the fence and crash into the coop. The hens fawn over the new arrival, Rocky, and keep him hidden from the Tweedys. Ginger finds part of a poster Rocky dropped, claiming that he can fly. She tries to convince Rocky to help them escape by teaching them how to fly, but Rocky's wing was injured and cannot show them immediately. Fowler, an older rooster, says because Rocky is American, then he's snobby, and he calls Americans names such as, "overpaid" and "oversexed". Rocky puts them through a set of exercises that seem to have no purpose while assuring the chickens they are making progress. Soon, the Tweedys have machinery delivered and begin assembling it. At the same time, Mrs. Tweedy measures Babs, and orders food rations doubled, intending to fatten the chickens up, demanding they all be as fat as Babs is! Ginger is the only one to take serious note of this.
Soon, what is revealed to be a pie machine is completed, and Mr. Tweedy grabs Ginger for its first test. Rocky rescues Ginger, and they manage to jam the machine, giving them more time to work out their escape. Fowler apologizes to Rocky for misjudging his character, and gives Rocky his respect for saving Ginger, giving him his old Scotland badge in tribute, and surrendering his entire bunk to him. Rocky decides to flee the farm the next day. Ginger finds Fowler's medal and the second part of the poster, showing that Rocky was a stunt rooster, "flying" by being shot out of a cannon. This revelation shocks and depresses the chickens, and a fight soon breaks out between Bunty and Mac as morale falls. When Fowler arrives to restore order, he begins talking of his days in the Royal Air Force, until Bunty starts to criticize. Fowler hits her with his stick, and then, the argument becomes physical as all the chickens get involved. Ginger realizes they can build a plane from Fowler's pictures and personal recollections. The chickens race against time to assemble the aircraft while Mr. Tweedy works to repair the pie machine.
The chickens finish their machine just as Mr. Tweedy completes repairs and enters the coop to grab the chickens. Led by Ginger, the chickens launch an open revolt, tying up and gagging Mr. Tweedy and readying the "crate". As they prepare for take off Mr. Tweedy breaks himself loose and knocks down the ramp. Ginger jumps down while Fowler turns the plane around, knocking Mr. Tweedy unconscious. As Ginger struggles to lift the ramp, Mrs. Tweedy arrives with an earlier used hatchet. Rocky, (who had seen the billboard advert of chicken pies), flies in over the fence and hits Mrs. Tweedy. Ginger and Rocky grab onto a string of lights caught on the plane's landing gear- Mrs. Tweedy soon wakes up and now in a burst of primal rage grabs onto the lights too, weighing down the crate. Ginger heads down the string to cut it, but Mrs. Tweedy crashes into her own billboard, the impact had sent Ginger out of the crate and onto the string. Just as Mrs. Tweedy swipes at Ginger with her hatchet but is foiled by Rocky launching eggs at her with the help of Nick and Fetcher which causes Mrs. Tweedy to accidentally make Ginger drop the pair of scissors, Ginger tricks Mrs. Tweedy into using the hatchet to sever the string. Mrs. Tweedy ends up falling through the barn and crashing into the pie machine, plugging up the safety valve, this causes the machine to build up pressure and explode in a mushroom cloud of gravy which floods the entire farm, destroying the barn leaving only what's left of the barn and the barn door standing. Mr. Tweedy (who isn't covered in gravy and was standing behind the door), who reminds his wife, "I told you they was organized", which only enrages her further. Having enough, Mr Tweedy then pushes the door on top of her. It is unknown if she survived as the chickens cheer and continue flying to freedom.
The film concludes with the chickens having found a bird sanctuary where they can live in comfort and raise their new chicks, while Ginger and Rocky fall into a romantic relationship. Meanwhile, Nick and Fetcher discuss starting their own chicken farm so they can have all the eggs they could eat. In the post credits, Nick and Fetcher end up arguing over whether the chicken or the egg came first. Rocky then tells the two to be quieter. Nick and Fetcher then complain of him being a movie star.
Release date[edit | edit source]
Chicken Run was released in 2000 and Aardman Entertainment was also released on that year. This movie was scheduled to be released on June 30, 2000 in the UK and on June 23, 2000 in the United States.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Julia Sawalha as Ginger
- Mel Gibson as Rocky Rhodes
- Miranda Richardson as Mrs. Melisha Tweedy
- Tony Haygarth as Mr. Willard Tweedy
- Benjamin Whitrow as Fowler
- Timothy Spall as Nick
- Phil Daniels as Fetcher
- Jane Horrocks as Babs
- Imelda Staunton as Bunty
- Lynn Ferguson as Mac
- John Sharian as Circus Man
- Frank Welker as Dogs (uncredited)