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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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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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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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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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on 5 September 2015
This is a brilliant example of a highly educative and understandable animation for kids and a funny and intelligent one for adult.
Shaun does not speak, so even if you and your kid are not english speaking, you can still fully appreciate it: it is made of the essence of cinema and audiovisual expression: sound and pictures, where characters expression, action, colors and sound effects tell you what's going on, the mood and even the intentions and personalities of the characters.
It is another incredible plasticine creation from the same guys of Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run and PIrates.
A mix of gentle touch and crazy inventions, a surreal attitude and a bunch of good values cleverly shown and told through short and delicious stories
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on 16 December 2014
Originally, Shaun the Sheep was a guest character in Nick Park's wonderful "Wallace and Gromit" Series. Through the episode "A Close Shave" and one appearance in "the Cracking Contractions" series, Shaun became so popular that he has ended up with his own series. Set after the "Wallace and Gromit" episode, we find Shaun and his flock living at the Mossy Bottom Farm. The farmer, unnamed so far, is their owner and his dog, Bitzer, has to take care of the flock every day. Making sure that Shaun and his mates do not cause mayhem around the property and region. Which is what ends up happening under various circumstances (ex: the farmer, Bitzer, Shaun, or a sheep from the flock like Shelly and Timmy). Other characters join in the episodes of this first season. We have three pigs, a bull, a rooster, a chicken, a duck, the farmer's cat named Pidsley, the delivery guy, an old woman, and travelers who pass by the farm. A rich and diverse range of characters that bring up conflict and misadventures to the characters.

With forty episodes, this set offers the first season of this stop-motion series. Each episode is six minutes long, and unlike Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep doesn't contain any dialogues. Everything is seen from the point of view of the animals, which means that the human dialogues are mumbles, and the animals either bleat, bark, oink, or quack when they interact with each other. Not once do we get any subtitles describing what the animals are saying. Viewers therefore have to interpret the story through its images. That is characters actions, visual puns, corporal expressions, and objects interactions. With the music to complement the story's atmosphere, Shaun the Sheep is pure visual storytelling, without dialogues, making the series very exportable across the world and understandable for every ages, training the public on how to interpret people's reactions by their behaviors and reactions. Also, the writing is sharp, not infantalizing, and is aimed at every group age. Which means that even adults can appreciate the series, which is true considering some of the nice comments I read on YouTube from people who watched some episodes either alone or with their families.

In its bonuses, you have a making-of on how the series is animated, another where kids do wonderful and intelligent presentations of the characters, another making-of on how to build a pig in claymation, and a Sing-A-Long for the opening credits song.

Technically, the series is 16:9 anamorphic (set for a widescreen), in stereo, and comes with subtitles for those who have hearing issues.

As such, Shaun the Sheep is a wonderful series for people of every ages and is a wonderful Aardman masterpiece.
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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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on 16 October 2010
Shaun the Sheep - sheer genius! OK, it's meant for little ones, but the ideas are so good and the animation so clever we bought it for ourselves, and we're septuagenarians. Don't try to do anything else when Shaun's around, you can't take your eyes off him or you'll miss something hilarious. If you want a break from the world, a rest from your worries, watch Shaun the Sheep. Brilliant!
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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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on 13 February 2010
Bought for an 87 year old lady who is frilled to bits with it Thanks
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VINE VOICEon 24 February 2015
I used to watch Shaun the Sheep when it was being shown on the BBC just before the news at 6. When I saw this on offer i bought it. After watching some of the gruesome crime programs or the other depressiing programs I find that watching a few of Shaun's antics my mind feels so much lighter and cleaner.
Now those who may never have seen Shaun the Sheep and believe that it is for young children let me tell you that there are a lot of jokes that will only be picked up by adults. Half the fun is spotting them.
If you enjoyed the Wallace and Gromit films you will love Shaun the Sheep. I just ordered series two.
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