Shaun the Sheep Movie is a 2015 British stop-motion animated adventure comedy film based on the Shaun the Sheep television series by Nick Park starring a character introduced in the 1995 Aardman Animations' Wallace and Gromit short A Close Shave. The film follows Shaun and his flock into the big city to rescue their farmer, who found himself amnesiac there as a result of their mischief.
It was produced by Aardman Animations, and financed by StudioCanal in association with Anton Capital Entertainment, with the former also distributing the film in the United Kingdom and several other European countries. Richard Starzak and Mark Burton wrote and directed the film, with Ilan Eshkeri composing the music, while Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, and Omid Djalili provided the voices. The film premiered on 24 January 2015, at the Sundance Film Festival, and was theatrically released in the United Kingdom on 6 February 2015. It grossed $83 million on a $25 million budget.
The movie was nominated of The Acamedy Awards in the Category of Best Animated Film.
Plot[edit | edit source]
The film opens with a montage, set to Tim Wheeler's "Feels Like Summer". The montage shows clips of a young farmer just starting out his career with a new flock of lambs. He bottlefeeds the smallest, Shaun, and lets the little ones run and play with his new puppy Bitzer. Sometimes he plays with them as well, and they are a big happy family of sorts. He also takes a photograph of himself holding baby Bitzer and baby Shaun, with the rest of the lambs gathered round them. He keeps this photograph for many years.
Time fast-forwards to the present day, and Shaun, living with his flock at Mossy Bottom Farm, is bored with the routine of life on the farm. One day, he concocts a plan to have a day away, by tricking the farmer into going back to sleep by counting his sheep repeatedly. However, the caravan in which they put the farmer to bed accidentally rolls away, taking him the entire way into the city. Bitzer, the farmer's dog, goes after him, ordering the sheep to stay on the farm until he returns.
The farmer receives a blow to the head and is hospitalized, where he is diagnosed with amnesia, and leaves the hospital. He wanders into a hair salon, where he cuts a celebrity's hair as if he was shearing a sheep. The celebrity loves it, which leads the farmer to be known as the mysterious hair stylist "Mr. X".
Meanwhile, Shaun and The Flock find life impossible without the farmer, so Shaun sneaks on a bus to the city; the rest of the flock follow him on another bus. He manages to disguise them as people and they begin looking for the farmer, but Shaun is captured by Trumper, an over-zealous animal-control worker. Shaun is reunited with Bitzer in the animal lock-up, and with the help of a homeless dog named Slip, they escape and Lock up Trumper. They find the farmer, but he does not recognize Shaun, who is heartbroken by his owner's hostility.
Shaun and The Flock sings to Timmy and The Farmer listen the song and remebers having heard beafore. Despite this, he throws the note of "Memory Loss" and Shaun learns about the farmer's memory loss, and he and the flock devise a plan, which involves putting the farmer and everyone else to sleep with the sheep-counting trick, returning him to the trailer on a pantomime horse (really the sheep in an elaborate disguise), and hooking the trailer up to a bus returning to Mossy Bottom. The plan is initially successful, but they are pursued by Trumper who becomes insane and intent on killing them outright.
At the farm, the group hide in a shed, which Trumper tries to push into a nearby rock quarry. Fortunately, the farmer wakes up and regains his memory, Shaun figths Trumper saving The Flock and The Farmer, but Trumper grabs Shaun and throws it in the quarry obsesing to kill him. Fortunately The Farmer saves Shaun and complints Trumper to try to trow him and his animals, and after that, Trumper is defeated. The Farmer and the animals have a renewed appreciation for each other, and the next day, The Farmer and Bitzer cancels the day's routine activities. Slip leaves, but is adopted by a bus driver who finds her on the road. The animal-control service is turned into animal-protection centre, and Trumper, no longer welcome there, finds work wearing a chicken suit to promote a restaurant.
In a mid-credits scene, the farmer witnesses the events caused by his oblivious self and the animals on the news, as the animals watch in horror.
After that, The Rooster comes by carrying a sign that says "The End", but the credits end up covering it
Before the final credits the rooster appears with a sign saying "The End". As the credits move up the screen, The Rooster jumps in order to stay visible but is finally covered up. When the credits come to an end we see the rooster again, now playing a game on his mobile phone. He notices us, turns the sign round to show the words "Go home" and walks off. The screen is blank for a moment, then a sheep appears with a vacuum cleaner.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Shaun the Sheep/Timmy: Justin Fletcher
- Bitzer/The Farmer: John Sparkes
- Trumper: Omid Djalili
- Timmy's Mom/Merly: Kate Harbour
- Shirley: Richard Webber
- The Twins: Simon Greenall
- Hazel: Emma Tate
- Nuts: Andy Nyman
- Slip: Tim Hands
- Junior Doctor/Animal containment visitor: Henry Burton
- Hospital Consultant: Dhimant Vyas
- Animal Containment Visitor: Sophie Laughton
- Operatic sheep: Nia Medi James
- Maitre D/Golfer/Stylists/Angry Panto Horse/Hospital Characters: Sean Connolly
- Bus Station Announcer/Hospital Announcer: Stanley Unwin
- Celebrity with Hair Trouble: Jack Paulson
- Nick Park: Himself
Reception[edit | edit source]
The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 99%, based on 142 critics, with an average rating of 8.2/10. The site's consensus reads, "Warm, funny, and brilliantly animated, Shaun the Sheep is yet another stop-motion jewel in Aardman's family-friendly crown". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 81 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". On CinemaScore, audience members gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
Lou Lumenick of the New York Post gave the film three out of four stars, saying, "Shaun the Sheep Movie may be less elaborate than Aardman masterpieces like Curse of the Were-Rabbit, but there's still much to enjoy. It's not often you see a cartoon that references both Night of the Hunter and Silence of the Lambs". Inkoo Kang of The Wrap gave the film a positive review, saying, "Refreshingly for children (but especially for adults), there are no lessons to learn and no faults to admonish. Instead, it's an 84-minute, dialogue-free distillation of all the innocent fun we wish childhood could be". Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review, saying "Playful, absurd and endearingly inventive, this unstoppably amusing feature reminds us why Britain's Aardman Animations is a mainstay of the current cartooning golden age". Peter Keough of The Boston Globe gave the film three and a half stars out of four, saying "Like a great silent movie, it creates its pathos and comedy out of the concrete objects being animated, building elaborate gags involving everyday items transformed into Rube Goldberg devices".
Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune gave the film four out of four stars, saying "Sometimes the simplest movies are the best. Case in point: Shaun the Sheep, a dialogue-free, non-digitally designed, plain old stop-motion animated film that is hilarious beyond human measure". Guy Lodge of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying, "Though realized on a more modest scale than other Aardman features, the film is still an absolute delight in terms of set and character design, with sophisticated blink-and-you’ll-miss-it detailing to counterbalance the franchise’s cruder visual trademarks". Joe McGovern of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A-, saying, "In a bold move that pays off, the movie jettisons dialogue altogether and tells its whole story through barn-animal noises, goofy sound effects, and sight gags so silly they’d make Benny Hill spin in sped-up ecstasy. The effect is contagiously cute". Jordan Hoffman of the New York Daily News gave the film four out of five stars, saying "From the company that gave us Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit, this adorable tale about a sheep who leads his comrades on a big-city adventure is some of the most pure visual storytelling you’re going to see this year".
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Academy Awards, Best Animated Film (Mark Burton and Richard Starzak): Nominated
- Golden Globes Awards, Best Animated Film (Mark Burton and Richard Starzak): Nominated
- BAFTA Awards, Best Animated Film (Mark Burton and Richard Starzak): Nominated
- Toronto Film Critics Awards, Best Animated Film (Mark Burton and Richard Starzak): Winner
- British Animation Awards, Best Long for Animation (Mark Burton and Richard Starzak): Winner
- Critics Choice Awards, Best Animated Film (Mark Burton and Richard Starzak) and Special Achievement Award for the 2015 Critics' Choice Award (Shaun the Sheep Movie): Nominated and Winner
- Golden Tomato Awards, Best Movie 2015:UK (Shaun the Sheep Movie, Winner), Best Animated Movie 2015 (Shaun the Sheep Movie, 2nd Place) and Best Movie Relese 2015 (Shaun the Sheep Movie, 5th Place)
- Annie Awards, Best Animated Film (Shaun the Sheep Movie), Directing in an Animated Feature Production (Mark Burton and Richard Starzak), Writing in an Animated Feature Production (Mark Burton and Richard Starzak), Production Design in an Animated Feature Production (Matt Perry and Gavin Lines) and Editorial in an Animated Feature Production (Sim Evan-Jones): Nominated
- Seattle Film Critics Awards, Best Animated Film (Mark Burton, Richard Starzak, Julie Lockhart and Paul Kewley): Nominated
- Satellite Awards, Best Animated Film (Shaun the Sheep Movie): Nominated