Based on an animated series which began in 2007, Aardman Animations’ Shaun The Sheep is a straightforward film with a lot of heart and humanity. Directed by Mark Burton, the story revolves around a farmer and his animals, in rural England. While he was young, the farmer had a deep attachment to his sheep-rearing activities. The film starts off a few years later, with the farmer older and now disinterested in his everyday activities, while the animals still eagerly wait for him.

Shaun, a bored sheep has the same routine every day. So when an opportunity for adventure comes his way, in the form of a vacation ad, he grabs it with both feet! Shaun, the flock and the dog, Bitzer, who guards them, go wild with a series of  clichéd but hilarious moments, and end up sending their sleeping master rolling downhill to the Big City. They are forced to rush to his rescue and get him back from the city. But before they can do that, they must escape from the clutches of the vicious animal control-worker Mr. Trumper, who captures Shaun and Bitzer, and keeps them caged in an animal shelter.

The stop-motion, similar to that of Chicken Run (2000), is clever in its way and the detailing of characters and objects is superb. The use of social media in the film is interesting-  it is depicted in many different ways. The entire film has no dialogues, with all the communication taking place through expressions and animal sounds. And quite amazingly, this works! Towards the end, you can almost feel the anguish of Shaun and his flock, even though they haven’t uttered a single word.

Why you should watch this film:

Watch this with your kids over the weekend for the goofy antics of  Shaun and his crew. They will love it! Crisp and genuine, Shaun The Sheep is a sweet film, and quite unlike the usual animation comedies we get these days.

Shlomoh Samuel