Like plasticine? Discover more about the creative genius as we put Nick Park In the Spotlight...
Chicken Run [DVD] 
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'Wallace and Gromit' progenitor Nick Park's first big screen outing is an animated pastiche of 'The Great Escape'. Life on Tweedy's Chicken Farm is far from pleasant for the inmates; they are badly treated by Mr Tweedy and his domineering wife, and kept alive only as long as they keep producing eggs. Ginger the hen's (voiced by Julia Sawalha) various attempts at escape have failed due to the lethargy and downright incompetence of her fellow prisoners, but when Rocky (Mel Gibson) - the famous Flying Rooster - crash lands in the farm, she sees the chance she has been waiting for: Rocky can teach everyone how to fly, and they can stage a mass break-out! However, the braggardly Rocky is not all that he seems; can he really help Ginger and the others find freedom before Mrs Tweedy (Miranda Richardson) hatches her fowl plan to turn them all into chicken pies?
As warming as a nice cup of tea on a cloudy day, Chicken Run is that charming singularity, a commercially successful British family movie that has near-universal appeal without compromising its inherent British pluckiness (that will be the first and last poultry-pun in this review). It invites us into the Plasticine-world of Tweedy's farm, a far-from-free-range egg factory ruled with an axe of iron by greedy Mrs.Tweedy. One intrepid chicken, Ginger (voiced by Julia Sawalha) sets her sights on breaking out the whole flock, a cast of beautifully individuated chicken characters including ditsy Babs (voiced by Jane Horrocks), matronly Bunty (Imelda Staunton) and practical-minded Mac (Lynn Ferguson). Each effort is thwarted, and Ginger repeatedly reaps a spell in the coal bunker for her troubles, prompting the first of many allusions to The Great Escape, one of several World War II films name-checked throughout. (Grown-ups will have a ball playing Spot-the-Allusion Game here.) When an American rooster named Rocky (Mel Gibson) literally drops in from the air, the hens are set all a-flutter with excitement thinking he'll help teach them to fly away at last. But Rocky is not all he seems.
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 FelperinSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
PLEASE make listing obvious if item I'd anything other than English.
"BUT I DON'T WANT TO BE IN A PIE. I DON'T LIKE GRAVY"
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Stalag 17 for chickens. Absolutely brilliant. I`m an OAP and can watch it over and over again. Worth every pennyPublished 2 months ago by Roger
Once you forget it's Mel Gibson doing the rooster, it's not bad and the kids enjoy it.Published 3 months ago by JJ
Love this film takes me back to being a kid again the quailty is only a little bit better than dvd but really it is like HD tv quality and the menu is stuck in a different language... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
My grand daughter who is already a great fan of Shaun the Sheep has really enjoyed this other Ardman's animation creation all about escaping chickens!Published 4 months ago by Anne Wizard
brilliant all round entertainment for all the family, with many stars voicing the characters providing excellent visual fun for all and jokes that the older person would recognise,... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Paulb64