For Reel

Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)
August 23, 2015, 12:45 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , ,

Director(s): Mark Burton & Richard Starzak
3 Stars
Shaun the Sheep MovieThe most memorable set piece of Shaun the Sheep Movie involves the destruction of an upscale restaurant by the bleating heroes. Disguising themselves as humans, Shaun and his fellow sheep do their best to acclimate to fine dining and unfortunately make a series of misjudgments that blow their cover. The way that the scene is approached demonstrates Aardman Animation not relying as much on the Rube Goldberg-like gags that they found fame with in Wallace & Gromit, but rather as a series of observational jokes that are more familiar to the likes of Chaplin. To further the silent comedy connection (this being a film which has no audible dialogue, save for grunts and mumbles), the low-key piano accompaniment at the restaurant turns into a frenetic slapstick score when the sheep are discovered and the chase begins. Unfortunately, despite the inspiration that Aardman clearly takes from silent comedy, they succumb to the familiar frenzied editing popularized by Chris Miller and Phil Lord. While it does lead to the occasional well-timed sight gag (such as the repeated cuts to a crazy-eyed dog in an Animal Containment cell), it more often muddies the situation by disrupting the sense of space and movement. Regardless, the film is gentle and amusing, and the supporting characters generate a fair amount of chuckles.

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