Unlike many of the poorly received animated films on my list recently, Chicken Run was quite a success and is currently the highest grossing stop-motion feature. Fusing parodies of old POW movies like The Great Escape with an untold number of chicken-related puns, the film creates a surprisingly fresh and funny take on material that could have devolved into unentertaining silliness. Chicken Run stars Mel Gibson (before his descent from popularity) along with a host of less familiar British actors who, along with the skilled puppeteers, create unique and lovable characters out of clay figurines. I also love the score by the great Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell, which is more instantly recognizable than memorable.
While the animation is seamless, it’s a tad distracting in its unrealism. Unlike real chickens, more “meat” is put into the animated chickens’ thighs rather than their breasts (for obvious reasons, considering it’s a family film), and my VC doesn’t care for Aardman Animations’ habit of giving the characters large mouths that stick out on either side. Despite this, with a hilarious script and some instantly classic scenes, such as the trip through the pie machine, Chicken Run is my favorite stop-motion film, outdoing other works like Wallace and Gromit and The Pirates: Band of Misfits, which are good and entertaining but can’t rival the imaginative genius of this film.Best line: [the plane is being dragged down by Mrs. Tweedy] (Ginger) “Great Scott, what was that?” (the Scottish hen Mac, after a string of Star Trek references) “A cling-on, Cap’n, and the engines can’t take it.” VC’s best lines (she can’t make up her mind): (Ginger) “Listen. We’ll either die free chickens or we die trying.” (Babs) “Are those the only choices?” and (Bunty, the negative hen) “Oh, face the facts, ducks. The chances of us getting out of here are a million to one.” (Ginger) “Then there’s still a chance.”
Artistry: 4 Characters/Actors: 6 Entertainment: 7 Visual Effects: 7 Originality: 5 Watchability: 6 Other (aforementioned look of the animation): -5 TOTAL: 30 out of 60
Tomorrow: #315: American Graffiti
© 2014 S. G. Liput