Film Review: Shaun the Sheep (UK, 2015)

shaun the sheep film

Shaun the Sheep is a simple but smart story. It also marks the big screen debut for the Aardman Animations’ character who was spun-off from Wallace & Gromit’s A Close Shave before he got his own popular TV show. This little sheep that could is as charming and engaging as ever and along with his gang he makes the jokes look so effortlessly funny. In short, it’s a shear delight.

The story comes to us courtesy of writer/directors Mark Burton and Richard Starzak. This pair have put in an obvious amount of thought, care and detail into crafting the tale and this is before you consider the fine and laborious hand-crafted work that goes into the gorgeous, stop-motion animation. Shaun the Sheep has no discernible dialogue (although the voice actors include Justin Fletcher, Omid Djalilli and Sean Connolly, among others). Despite being a silent film, the characters are more expressive than the actors in your average movie thanks to some well-placed bleats and grunts as well as the meticulous level of detail that has been applied to the characters’ facial expressions.

The story goes that Shaun is a little bored with the humdrum drudgery of his daily life on the farm. So he concocts an idea to distract the farmer, thus allowing the group of sheep to have some fun. Unfortunately, this pack get a little more than they bargained for with the farmer sustaining an injury which results in memory loss. This leaves this big farm “family” to get up to lots of hijinks in the big city.

The jokes in this film are occasionally slapstick which should entertain the kids. But there are also some gags designed specifically for the adults, including lots of film and cultural references (look out for the cameo by Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep creator, Nick Park as well as the Abbey Road-like crossing to name just two). There are also scenes where the sheep have to adjust to the human world like Paddington had to do in his recent film.

Shaun the Sheep has a big heart that matches its epic adventure. This film is like a cup of tea and a warm blanket in that it’s comforting and reinforces the idea of home. I shouldn’t bleat on about it but this cute film is an absolute joy where you can get in touch with your inner child and enjoy some good, clean, energetic fun. It’s sweet, not sickly and above all, is a timeless romp the family will love.


Shaun the Sheep opens in Australian cinemas on March 26.


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