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4.9 out of 5 stars
Shaun the Sheep - Complete Series 1 [DVD]
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137 of 139 people found the following review helpful
So much greatness has come from Aardman Animations, or rather the gifted genius of Nick Park. Morph, Creature Comforts, Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run obviously leap to mind of the brilliance and wonder of stop-motion animation at it's best. And Shaun the Sheep is the next thing to continue that impeccable line of animated works.

Shaun the Sheep, as you no doubt have realized, is the spin-off series featuring the lovable character who achieved fame and stardom when he first appeared in Wallace and Gromit's A Close Shave. Here, Shaun has now grown into the young, brilliant leader of a flock of sheep in a quiet, peaceful countryside farm, where they get into all kinds of mischief, adventure, merriment and relaxation, either with or at the expense of the Farmer's trusty and friendly sheepdog, Bitzer.

And that's the theme for this whole series. Every episode features all kinds of wild antics, such as ordering pizza, playing football with cabbage, scrumping for apples, rivalling with the Naughty Pigs, exercising, trying to deal with wild, unleashed animals, performing magic tracks, having parties...the list goes on and on. And like all the other things that have come from Nick Park and Aardman, every single episode is presented and executed with great charm, brilliant humour and life-like animation.

Shaun the Sheep is something I personally consider to be the BEST thing on children's television today. The fact that it's Aardman should be reason enough for anyone to accept that, but other reasons include the fact that with each episode being roughly seven minutes long, a lot is packed into them, and each one is utterly wonderful and memorable. Shaun, being the star of the show, is even better here than he was in A Close Shave, showcasing unparallel charisma, leadership and all-round brilliance. But what also makes the show so special is the fact that he has a cracking supporting cast.

A leader is nothing without his flock, and that's evident throughout the whole collection with all his fellow sheep, who are absolutely hilarious. The most outstanding members of the flock includes Shirley, the largest, laziest sheep in the flock who eats anything and everything and has to be moved around by the other sheep in order to go anywhere. There's also Timmy, the cute but mischievous baby sheep who's always getting into trouble, much to the despair of his panicking mum, who doesn't seem to be doing that good of a job of looking after him.

The Naughty Pigs are also wonderful bullies, and the oblivious, mumbling Farmer adds more brilliance to the show, but I would say that the best supporting character out of the lot (second only to Shaun) is the sheepdog Bitzer. Although a dog that suffers the most from the antics of Shaun and his friends, as well as trying so hard to fulfil his duties, Bitzer is also a great friend to Shaun and the rest of gang, partaking in games, enjoying pizza, movies and embarking on all kinds of adventures with them, as well as helping them out whenever in trouble. Bitzer's presence makes all the episodes even more fun to watch, and really, there is a lot to be said about a sheepdog who enjoys listening to music on his iPod and eats sandwiches/drinks tea.

On top of all this, the show also has a really catchy theme-song, performed by the one-and-only Vic Reeves. And that's the icing on the cake. It's typical high-quality, which you'd only get from Aardman.

This DVD set consists of five discs and contains all forty episodes from the series. Basically, it's collecting all the volumes that have been released previously, "Shape Up With Shaun", "Off The Baa!", "Saturday Night Shaun", "Abracadabra" and "Wash Day". But rather than just release all the regular DVDs together and put them all in a box sleeve, the BBC and 2entertain have put together a beautiful DVD set that folds out. The set is beautifully decorated with characters from the show and also features a fabulous panorama, with each of the discs produced in a way that adds to the image effect. It's a really nice touch that adds to the package.

What can you expect for extras? Well, there's a grand little sing-a-long feature to the "Shaun the Sheep" theme tune, which you'll get plenty of enjoyment out of. There's also a nice behind-the-scenes look at Aardman Studio, documenting the making of the show, a guide on how to make your own Naughty Pig, and an introduction to the main characters of the show. I found these extras to be very satisfactory and should be enough to please all fans. There's also subtitles and typical, high-picture quality, which is a natural given that it's from BBC and 2entertain.

Shaun the Sheep: The Complete First Series is a fantastically good 5-disc DVD set. It's a brilliant show with virtually nothing to criticise. I would recommend getting this over the individual volumes, personally. At £30, it is a bit steep, but the volumes are about a tenner each individually and would cost you more altogether if you decided to get them instead of this. Besides, you're getting every, single wonderful episode and some nifty extras here, all in a beautifully presented package. Unquestionably essential for all Aardman lovers and fans of Nick Park.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2009
This collection of the Complete First Series of Shaun the Sheep is, like the titles song itself says, a treat. The quality of the episodes is remarkable and the sense of innocent humour is most touching. Of course these are no ordinary sheep. That in itself makes it something of an endearing experience, for one has to contrast immediately the notion of 'sheep' with the sheer ingenuity of this particular herd and its slim hero. But the dog is a tremendous character in its own right and its solidarity and complicity with the sheep is a tribute to an enduring sense of camaraderie. And then there are the mischievous pigs to contend with, or the aliens or just the desire to eat pizza like the farmer. The latter is himself the embodiment of distraction on account of his extreme shortsightedness. This places him in the most absurd of situations so that he is easily hoodwinked by his own woolly friends. But above all the whole thing is all-too-human and each episode navigates the initial challenge with an admirably restrained quality that preserves the inner core of a sensitive feeling for the inevitable ironies of life --fortunately, in this case, without irreparable consequences. Though slapstick abounds, it never gets out of hand and the technological element, which can be so overwhelming in the twin production of Wallace & Gromit, is also kept in proportion. All-in-all this whole collection is a delight indeed and my kids and I have watched the whole thing once and are already on the second or third round. So from my own end of the world and from my own personal experience, I cannot recommend this collection high enough as a source of innocent family entertainment.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 15 August 2009
Fantastic for everyone, laugh and fun without a word. Surely you will ask for more, like me and my children.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2010
As an American into Ardman productions, this collection is essential since it contains episodes not available on any of the Disney re-packages. These include a few episodes with some very mildly risque jokes involving things like Sheep poop and the farmer's butt - nothing that your whole family wouldn't laugh their heads off at but which Disney apparently would prefer to shield for the impressionable minds of 4-year-olds. If your sense of humor is a little more flexible, they are all great. I don't think there's a single episode that doesn't stand up on its own. Please don't consider this as children's humor even thought its been type cast as such. Well worth having for any age group, and the five-minute segments work perfectly. Well justifies getting yourself an all-regions DVD player if you're outside Europe.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2009
What else can i say than BUY this DVD set, wonderfully funny and poetic !!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2010
Don't waste your money on the US (NTSC) versions. The 4 discs (so far) of that series are still 12 episodes short of this set. Buy this set.
If you are in the US, as I am, and don't have your DVD player unlocked for all regions than you aren't really trying. My granddaughters absolutely LOVE these and of course Poppa (that's me) introduced Shaun to them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2011
I got 'introduced' to Shaun when I was told that they have a giant TV at a local health club which shows Shaun (minus sound) while people are working out!!!!!!!!! I started recording episodes & very soon ordered the Series 1 box set!The making of docos on the box reveal that they use the same technique as Ray Harryhausen with those old Sinbad movies, that's to say stop motion but the Shaun shows are incredibly smooth & lifelike! I also spotted some old film references, most notably in Bitzer's new hat which is a routine copied from a 3 Stooges movie (which in turn was copied from a Buster Keaton movie which featured the same routine - Steamboat Bill Junior, I think!) The 3 Stooges references (homages?!) don't stop there - many is the time that one of the characters gets a face full of mud & in Snowed In (when's that out on dvd?) there's a massive snowball fight! I found the shows to be totally addictive & will keep a lookout for all future dvd's! Thank you to Amazon for supplying these at a great price!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 November 2010
I never would have heard of this show except my local Costco had it for sale. I have enjoyed stuff from Aardman Animation in the past and decided to take a chance on this one. I was not disappointed. Great, family oriented entertainment from top notch Aardman Animation. I look forward to getting other collections as they are released.

Why did I order this through Amazon UK being that I live in the United States? The release here in the United States is 4X3 and this one was 16X9. That and it was cheaper to order it through Amazon UK, including the VAT and all. I also have a region free player so being that this was a region 2 disc set and I live in region 1 made no difference at all. Thanks much!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 13 February 2010
Bought for an 87 year old lady who is frilled to bits with it Thanks
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2010
I don't understand some people, this set gives childeren and their parents hours and hours of fun!! And the price of the set is amazing! My 2,5 year old would watch it all day every day if we would let him (and no we don't). To me Shaun is a masterpiece, your child watches it with big eyes and laughs all the time and parents enjoy it to because of the subtil jokes for adults, what more can you want from a dvdset?
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