Chicken Run is an absolute joy! The wizards at Aardman Studios, known for their Oscar winning Wallace & Gromit claymation shorts, have outdone themselves with this wonderful family film. This movie is fun for both children and adults, and has more entertainment value than most of the live-action films out this summer.
The story is the chicken-coop equivalent of the 1963 World War II classic, The Great Escape,and features many references that will have Grandpa laughing right along with the kiddies. There are also some very humorous nods to other adventures like Indiana Jones and Star Trek. Taking place on an English chicken farm, the plot involves some very ingenious chickens, led by Ginger, who attempt to escape from the farm and gain their freedom. Just as they are about to give up trying, out of the sky comes Rocky, an American Rooster, who gives them the hope that maybe, perhaps, possibly, with a lot of hard work of course, he can teach them to fly. Meanwhile, the evil Mrs. Tweedy and her husband, who run the farm, have other plans for Ginger and her feathered friends. Mrs. Tweedy thinks the chickens are stupid, but Mr. Tweedy suspects that they may be up to something. When he attempts to warn her that the chickens are revolting, she casually replies that at least that's one thing they agree about.
I have to be careful or I'll run out of adjectives to describe how finely crafted this film is. The writing is fantastic, the directing is good enough to give any live-action epic a run for its money, and the comic timing is flawless. Every aspect of the plot is perfectly thought out and the claymation is positively the best ever filmed.
What's more, Chicken Run effectively tells an epic action adventure, complete with richly developed characters, comedy, drama, and even a believable love story (as far as chickens are concerned), and it does so without excessive violence or sex! However, I must warn you that there is plenty of fowl language. (Sorry, I couldn't resist)
Chicken Run has as much wit, charm, and heart as Toy Story 2, and that's no small feat. This is truly a movie for the entire family, and one of the best films of the year. Put simply, it's worth crossing the road for. Don't miss it!!!
For more about Chicken Run, click the link below!
June 25, 2000
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A.J.'s Rating:4 High Flying Hens
Directed By: Peter Lord and Nick Park
Starring: the vocal talents of Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha, Miranda Richardson