Monday, 21 October 2019

A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019)

Shaun the Sheep Movie - Farmageddon.jpgDirector: Will Belcher, Richard Phelan
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Rating: U
Starring: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Amalia Vitale, Kate Harbour, David Holt, Richard Webber, Simon Greenall, Emma Tate, Andy Nyman, Chris Morrell, Joe Sugg


Since their early days of Wallace and Gromit and Creature Comforts, Aardman Animations have crafted themselves a distinctive style out of plasticine which is suited for an array of stories across various settings. With 2015's Shaun The Sheep Movie, the studio showed they don't need dialogue to tell their pleasant stories, and once more reiterate that with its fantastic successor.

At Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun (Justin Fletcher) finds his attempts at mischievous fun keep being thwarted by Bitzer (John Sparkes). When an impish alien named Lu-La (Amalia Vitale) crash-lands nearby, Shaun sets off on a mission to send Lu-La home, before a shady organisation captures her.

It may not be embraced by all nowadays, but there's a reason silent cinema lasted so long, and was popular enough to birth the very medium of films. No matter what your age, or what part of the world you lived in, silent cinema is easy to understand due to how universal it is, with no language barriers preventing the performers movements and actions from being understood. The cine-literate team at Aardman Animations understand that, and have once more crafted a film that conveys so much, without any actual words being uttered. This time around, the simplicity of the films story is presented alongside an unabashed love for the science-fiction genre. The film settles into very recognisable tropes, and takes the time to lovingly parody them, but none of it comes from a need to mock. It all comes from a place of clear adoration, and sits well alongside the glorious array of witty gags the film regularly brings.

The good nature behind the filmmakers translates well onto the big screen, as the picture is completely joyful to behold. Directors Will Belcher and Richard Phelan have delivered a final product so utterly charming, where every character is fully rounded and comes with understandable motivations. But beneath the sheepy goodness and alien burps, there's a beating heart within that is never forgotten. The jokes may come very regularly, but the tale of this bubblegum coloured alien who misses her home remains emotional throughout the 87 minute runtime. It's a wonderful balance that's handled with such sincerity and confidence 

A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon is a loving hug of a motion picture, sure to leave viewers of all ages smiling and laughing throughout the 87 minute runtime. Ewe better believe it.

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