'Shaun the Sheep Movie'
Experimental feature

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Aardman’s newest animation feature is funny, endearing and a shear delight. Those knowing the TV series will know the main characters in Shaun the Sheep Movie. Most of them are woolly, bulb-eyed, stick-legged creatures given to jumping serially over stiles or fences in any crisis response when enemies need to be lulled into unconsciousness. In a word: sheep. Here they take an away day from Mossy Bottom Farm, by bus, to tour the big city in semi-disguise. That means thrift-shop hats, suits, frocks, buttoned up to or just beyond the giveaway woolly necks. Eyes poke out above dark snouts like fireflies on a midnight qui vive.

The Farmer is also in town, running his own gauntlet of comical catastrophes. The sets are a Toytown wonderland. The humans as well as the animals vocalise in non-lexical grunts, squeaks, murmurs, bleats. The other sound (figurative) is the pinball clang and ping of a script where few seconds elapse without a winning gag.

The sheep themselves are brought to life with a dotty brio quintessentially Aardman. I liked the ovine grins and smiles slid out from the side of the face like a PC’s disk drawer (with teeth). What other way to get a droopy-headed dumb chum, covered in wool, to keep showcasing its ivories?

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