It’s a fine art as making a children’s film that doesn’t send the adults rolling their eyes or running for the hills and actually finds away to entertain us all. Shaun The Sheep Movie is an incredibly simple yet surprisingly delightful affair that proves you only need a little bit to go along way.
More than anything, Shaun just wants the day off from the standard routine and have a chance to have a little bit of fun. However the fun quickly turns frantic as a bit of a mix up with the farmer, an old caravan and very steep hill leads them all to the big city. The farmer ends up losing his memory and working in hair salon and it is up to Shaun and the rest of the flock to get everything back to the greener side of the grass where they all belong.
You wouldn’t think that in this modern day and age where we are infinitely used to the advent of the “talkie” that a movie with no dialogue from its primary characters can still generate emotion out of audiences both young and old, but simply put Shaun The Sheep Movie does exactly that and it is an absolute joy to take in and fall in love with.
It is barnyard bliss as Aardman studios goes straight to tickling our funny bone by ditching the spoken word in favor of barnyard animal sounds, goofy sound effects and emotive clay mated characters who can tell more in their expression then the dialogue ever could. Writer/Directors Mark Burton & Richard Starzak craft something that is infinitely beautiful out of ideas that are shockingly simple. It flows with an effortless energy from beginning to end. It maintains a childlike innocent throughout the narrative while still remaining as a terrible smart piece of entertainment that isn’t adjacent to anything like Barney The Dinosaur but feels like an animated kids version of Monty Python where they all get up to a variety of different hijinx. It’s so minimal that you almost have to be in awe of it all.
While it isn’t a voice ensemble that is going to light the world on fire, it is one that has the nuances and the beats that the world that these characters live in down to an absolute tee. Even when the narrative is working through some expositional moments, we still get to have fun with it all as it proves the utter importance of how to craft an image on the screen. If everything else is done correctly, you just don’t need the words.
Ultimately, Shaun The Sheep Movie is one of those things that just transcends barriers, because no matter what language you speak or background you come from something cute and funny has the chance to delight us all.