Starring: Mel Gibson, Phil Daniels, Miranda Richardson
Director: Nick Park, Peter Lord
Running Time: 84 mins
Chicken Run is a British film about a group of chickens living on a farm ruled by oppressive farmers who come together to escape their brutal lives.
Aardman, creators of the legendary Wallace & Gromit shorts, have been known to make some amazing stories to go along with their beautiful stop-motion animation. Unfortunately, Chicken Run isn’t one of them. It’s got the odd good joke, but in general, it’s nowhere near as exciting a story as it sets out to be.
Before we get into the negatives, though, let’s just recap on how amazing the animation here is. Nick Park and Peter Lord do such a good job at directing this film, and they turn the small plasticine world into such a convincingly real world with ease, and it’s absolutely beautiful to watch.
What’s more is that this is in the middle of the modern Aardman and classic Aardman animation styles. Originally, it looked very tangible, but not so consistent, with the odd continuity error, but nowadays, it often looks a bit too close to CGI, whereas this film features beautifully practical-looking animation as well as good continuity, which is wonderful to see.
However, the story here doesn’t live up to the best of Aardman. The plot is a simple escape story, but it’s basically 80 minutes of chickens sitting around planning the escape, meaning you don’t really get to see any decent action or excitement, leaving the bulk of the film pretty dull to watch.
In terms of the comedy, there is the odd good joke, but it’s more the parody gags (i.e. Mel Gibson’s character shouting freedooooom and the Animal Farm parodies) that work rather than any of the original humour, so it’s not really that funny a film to watch either.
Overall, I’ll give Chicken Run a 6.6, because despite its brilliant animation style, it fails to deliver a captivating story or any properly decent humour, leaving it a disappointingly dull film.