Like plasticine? Discover more about the creative genius as we put Nick Park In the Spotlight...
Although the action sags just a fraction around the 40-minute mark, it's the set pieces that really lift this into the realm of cartoon genius: the montage of inept flying attempts, Rocky and Ginger's narrow escape from Mrs Tweedy's new pie machine (an horrific contraption of chomping steel and industrial menace) and the magnificent, soaring climax. Despite the fact British animators (such as the directors, Nick Park and Peter Lord, themselves) regularly scoop Oscars for their short films, our record in full-feature length cartoons has been scrappy at best. There have been a few highlights--Animal Farm (1955), The Yellow Submarine (1968), Watership Down (1978)--and, er, that's about it really, unless you count The Magic Roundabout: Dougal and the Blue Cat. ChickenRun, made by the Aardman production house who produced the delightful Wallace and Gromit shorts among many other treats, has proved that Britain can compete with the most calculated, merchandised and screen-tested Disney production and win. --Leslie Felperin
"BUT I DON'T WANT TO BE IN A PIE. I DON'T LIKE GRAVY"
The action that goes on in the background, like where Mrs Tweedy pinches Mr Tweedy's bottom in the scene where food rations are doubled, doubles me up every time, and the spatial sound (if you have a TV up to it) when Rocky and Ginger are in the oven never fails to make my kids jump, and the bit with Edwina , the first time my kids saw it you could cut the tension with a knife.
You can watch this film a dozen times, and get something new out of it each time. A good sucess indicator is, whenever I drop a CD/DVD into the player, Chicken Run is already in there
Truly a classic with some mind-boggling animation and characterisation when you consider the disciplines of stop-motion animation.
Good fun for young and old.
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