Retro Review: Chicken Run

The creators of the British animated classic “Wallace and Gromit” bring their magic to a full length feature.

It’s an ingenious little adventure that follows the hopes and dreams of a chicken named Ginger (Julia Sawalha).

Her dream is to escape Mrs. Tweedy’s chicken farm. She claims she can do it on her own but what bewilders her is that she is afraid for all her fellow fowl within the coop. So their plan focuses upon all of them in one huge jail-break. Ginger’s prayers seem to be answered when a “flying” rooster named Rocky (Mel Gibson) drops into the coop after escaping a traveling circus.

Meanwhile Mrs. Tweedy (Miranda Richardson) develops a plan to turn her little farm into a massive “chicken pot pie” factory forcing Ginger and Rocky to teach all the others to fly before they become pies.

What makes “Chicken Run” so ingenious was how the animators made us want to be apart of the chicken world. We fall head over heals involved with these chickens and their daily lives. Coupled with that involvement, “Chicken Run” also cleverly delivers us into a “prison breakout” movie filled with humor, and excitement.

“Chicken Run” is a pure delight.

For many people this will be their first experimentation with a full length animated feature involving clay. The clay for me helps reflect the tones and dimensions of the characters. In some ways I think it aids a lot in the audience’s involvement in the chicken world.

Placing aside the claymation and those magnificent machines, “Chicken Run” also brings back a lot of classic Hollywood moments in the films setting. There are scenes which remind us a lot of the classic World War 2 prison movies. Films like the “Great Escape”, “Stalag 17” and even the misadventures of “Hogan’s Heroes”. What I liked about those film references here is that they weren’t here to poke fun at the films but to pay homage. The references also aid the audience in diving deeper into the film and its delight.

If you remember “Wallace and Gromit” then you may recall all their huge machines which helped enchant their everyday lives. From the rocket-ship to the sheep shearing machine, “Chicken Run” has these kinds of machines which have always amazed me in their transformation and assembly. How do they dream up these wondrous machines?

(4.5 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

One thought on “Retro Review: Chicken Run

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