When a plan for Shaun and his sheep friends to take a day off from the boring routine of farm life goes horribly awry, they must undergo a venture into the big city to retrieve the lost farmer.
First of all, I have always admired the effort needed to create a stop-motion film, and on a couple of occasions throughout Shaun you do just stop and think “wow, someone actually had to make this frame by frame”. It is a staggeringly impressive feat. And it is made with such passion and precision that you can’t help but love it straight away. It does help that it’s also just a great film.
One thing that you should probably know before going into Shaun is that there is no dialogue whatsoever. All the characters both human and animal communicate through sounds alone, so if you are expecting witty one liners you aren’t going to get any. But with slapstick this good, who needs them. The comic timing (as always with Aardman) is absolutely spot on. It is consistently laugh out loud funny and a few scenes will go straight into the Aardman bank of classic slapstick moments (the fake horse, I am looking at you).
At the heart of why Shaun works is the characters. Despite not having any dialogue they are incredibly well thought out and believable characters. You truly root for Shaun and friends, whilst riling against the villain, who is brilliantly despicable and evil, and fits in beautifully with the long history of Aardman villains (although nothing will ever top the Wrong Trousers’ penguin). You can tell a film has well drawn characters if when they cry you start to along with them, and that is exactly what I did.
Overall, it lives up to the standards set by the rest of Aardman’s back-catalogue. Which really is the best thing that can be said about an animated feature.