Sunday, July 19, 2015

Shaun the Sheep Movie - she[a]r delight

movie review

Shaun the Sheep Movie will make you flock to the cinema

Shaun the Sheep Movie

Starring: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, and Omid Djalili
Directed by: Richard Starzak and Mark Burton
Tagline: Catch them if ewe can!

Even though talkies may have revolutionized the film industry, the charm of silent movies still remains undeniable. The creativity and aesthetics of silent films also seem to have inspired the dialogue-free animated feature Shaun the Sheep Movie, a terrific outing that relies on visuals and sound effects to relay its comical story.

Based on Aardman Animations’ popular Shaun the Sheep television series, which is itself a spin-off from the Wallace and Gromit franchise, the movie follows the adventures of its eponymous hoofed protagonist, as his attempts to escape the mundanity of life’s routine leads everyone on an unexpected adventure.

Bored of the daily grind, Shaun (voiced wordlessly by Justin Fletcher) hatches a plot so that he and his flock can have a day off. But the scheme goes awry, accidentally sending the Farmer (John Sparkes) to the Big City in a runaway caravan, with a concerned Bitzer (also voiced by Sparkes) in tow, and eventually leaving the Farmer with amnesia. Shaun and his woolly chums must then mount a rescue and restore order to their world.

Written and directed by Richard Starzak and Mark Burton, the stop-motion comedy is winningly sweet and delightfully amusing, populated by adorable characters that are instantly lovable. Its plot isn’t very complex, but the narrative never lose their momentum, seamlessly going from one visual gag to the next oddball turn with dexterity. The filmmakers make perfect use of expressions, gestures, and sound effects to deliver everything from broad storyline details to nuanced emotional minutiae; the absence of dialogues adds to the film’s copious charm, making its execution seem all the more clever.

Overall, it may be a little padded and perhaps it could have been a tad shorter, but Shaun the Sheep Movie never feels tiresome as it continuously impresses with its creativity and humour. The film effortlessly captures the joys of classic cinematic ingenuity, and will delight Shaun the Sheep fans, although being familiar with the television series that preceded it is not a requisite to appreciate the film; the project works well as a self-contained feature and you can enjoy it even if you haven’t seen the series. Its continuous supply of slapstick humour and touching moments make it a delight to watch, and while it may be primarily aimed at a younger audience, the movie is amusing enough to keep adults entertained and is likely to leave all its viewers with a smile on their face.

Rating: 4 out of 5

- By Sameen Amer

Sunday Magazine, The Express Tribune - 19th July, 2015 *

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