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Chicken Run [VHS] 
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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
Top Customer Reviews
"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
I admit to watching Chicken Run as an adult at the cinema when it was first released. My recollection was that it was Aardman's first full-length movie and it didn't disappoint. Great animation and charming British humour all the way through.
My son really enjoyed watching it and in typical fashion it's now all he wants to watch.
Unlike anything ever seen on the big screen, ‘Chicken Run'  is that year's most original comedy hailed by critics and audiences alike as "magical entertainment for all ages!" While the chickens on evil Mrs. Tweedy's farm dream of a better life, a clever hen named Ginger is hatching plans to fly the coop for good! The only problem is, chickens can't fly - or can they? Every escape attempt goes fowl until Rocky, a smooth-talking all-American rooster, who crash-lands into the coop. It's hardly poultry in motion when Rocky attempts to teach Ginger and her fine feathered friends to fly...but, with teamwork, determination and a little bit o' cluck, the fearless flock plots one last daring attempt in a spectacular bid for freedom! Featuring unforgettable characters, incredible animation, and all-star voice talent, this instant classic from the Academy Award® winning creators of “Wallace and Gromit” and is eggs-traordinary fun for the whole family!
FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: Won: Broadcast Film Critics for Best Animated Feature. Won: Dallas Fort Worth Film Critics for Best Animated Feature. Won: Los Angeles Film Critics for Best Animated Feature. Won: New York Film Critics for Best Animated Feature. Nominated: BAFTA Awards for Best British Film and Best Visual Effects. Nominated: Empire Awards for Best British Director Nick Park and Peter Lord, Best British Film and Best Debut for Nick Park and Peter Lord. Nominated: European Film Awards for Best Film.Read more ›
As with all Aardman films adults will have fun picking out the references to many classic films and TV shows, not just the Great Escape, and the children will just enjoy the ride as the flock of heroines, and just a few heroes, grab their heartstrings and imaginations.
There are lots of extras on my copy of the DVD including several trailers, a making of, Aardman Archive clips, and a directors commentary. It is in 1.85:1 full colour with 5.1 surround sound. Released in 2000 it still feels fresh each time we watch it again. The Wiki entry for this film is well worth reading if you wish to know more about it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We had this on video for my eldest granddaughter and she watched it over and over again - so decided to buy dvd for youngest grandchildren and they love itPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Got this for my daughter who absolutely loved it. Thanks!Published 2 months ago by Ms. Francesca Mason
‘Hennen Rennen’ (Chicken Run) Blu-ray. Another Blu-ray release that as far as I can see, only appears to be available in a French and a German version. Read morePublished 2 months ago by David Welford