Thursday, August 20, 2015

Movie Review: Shaun the Sheep

Shaun the Sheep
directed by: Mark Burton and Richard Starzak

Shaun the Sheep is a fantastic movie. The theme is quite classic, of characters realizing what they have once they've lost it. And, it's the characters that make this movie really great. The different animals show a range of personalities from being rude to level-headed. Just seeing the farm sheep get into antics in the big city was hilarious as they try to pass off as humans. The movie was so funny and heart-warming, too.

The main plot stems from the tiresomely repetitive work that the sheep do on the farm. A bus passes by the farm one day that shows a big sign on the side suggesting a break from work is needed. In reality the sign is just an advertisement for a chocolate bar. Shaun devises a plan to get his break. I love how his ideal break is just sitting in the house, watching t.v., and sipping on a plant-based (nonalcoholic) cocktail. It's a really cute scenario.

In order to get their break, the sheep also need to put the Farmer to sleep and keep the dog away. They make the Farmer count sheep which is a well-known device for helping put people to sleep. The dog on the farm eventually puts a stop to the sheep's shenanigans and goes to retrieve the Farmer, but an accident occurs and the still napping Farmer rolls into town in a trailer. It's up to the dog to get the Farmer back. The sheep are starting to miss their normal routine, too, especially that of mealtimes. Shaun decides he'll travel into town, too. Right after, all the other sheep follow his lead and, also, take the bus into town.

As soon as they get to the big city, the villain of the movie appears. The animal control man. Because of him, Shaun and all the other sheep buy clothing to pass themselves off as human so they won't be captured and put in the shelter. It's absurdly hilarious to see the sheep dressed in clothes especially since the animal control guy develops a crush on two of the sheep dressed as a singular woman. In the movie previews you can see Shaun wearing a green turtleneck. It was funny because the first time I saw the preview, I wondered who that green cactus was. It was just Shaun in a turtleneck.

Shaun eventually gets captured and put in the shelter. There are all sorts of animals inside. I loved the really buff poodle and the dog with the eye problems. It's here that Shaun reunites with the dog from the farm and meets an ugly-but-in-a-cute-way dog that helps them find the Farmer. Once they find him, it's still not an easy ordeal getting back to the farm routine as there are complications from the Farmer's accident.

I loved the scene where all the sheep sing the melody from the Farmer's old cassette in order to calm the smallest sheep. It was lovely but very sad as it reminds you of the very first scene of the movie where there's a younger Farmer and farm animals enjoying each other's company and how different their current scenario is to that.

One thing I found odd while watching the movie was how Shaun carried the photo of the young Farmer with him as he travelled and why he didn't show that picture to the Farmer when they met in the city. Thinking on it now though I'd guess it's because he was a bit shy at the time and he instinctually acted like a normal sheep. Shaun is just too cute.

I loved this movie. I even shed a tear in a couple of scenes but I'm a big softie like that. I definitely recommend seeing this movie for yourselves. The entire animation was great. I'd give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

-O. Pelaez

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