Shaun the Sheep Movie

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Shaun the Sheep Movie
Film poster showing Shaun, Bitzer, Timmy, Slip, Shirley, and other sheep are running, and Trumper catches them.
British theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
  • Paul Kewley
  • Julie Lockhart
Screenplay by
  • Mark Burton
  • Richard Starzak
Story by Mark Burton
Based on Shaun the Sheep
by Nick Park
Starring
Music by Ilan Eshkeri
Cinematography
Edited by Sim Evan-Jones[1]
Production
company
Distributed by StudioCanal
Release date
  • 24 January 2015 (2015-01-24) (Sundance)[3]
  • 6 February 2015 (2015-02-06) (United Kingdom)[4]
Running time
85 minutes[5]
Country United Kingdom[1]
Language English
Budget Less than $25 million[6]
Box office $106.2 million[7]

Shaun the Sheep Movie is a 2015 British stop-motion animated adventure comedy film inspired by the television series Shaun the Sheep, created by Nick Park. The film follows Shaun and his flock into the big city to rescue their farmer, who found himself amnesiac there as a result of their mischief.

It was produced by Aardman Animations, and financed by StudioCanal in association with Anton Capital Entertainment,[6][8] with the former also distributing the film in the United Kingdom and several other European countries.[9] Richard Starzak and Mark Burton wrote and directed the film, with Ilan Eshkeri composing the music, while Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, and Omid Djalili provided the voices. The film premiered on 24 January 2015, at the Sundance Film Festival, and was theatrically released in the United Kingdom on 6 February 2015.

Shaun the Sheep Movie was nominated at the 88th Academy Awards for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It was also nominated in The 73rd Golden Globe Awards, BAFTA Awards and won in the Toronto Film Critics Awards for Best Animated Film. It also earned five nominations at The Annie Awards including Best Animated Feature. Aardman is planning a sequel to the film.

Plot

Shaun, a mischievous sheep living with his flock at Mossy Bottom Farm, is bored with the routine of life on the farm. One day he concocts a plan to have a day off by tricking the farmer into going back to sleep by counting his sheep repeatedly. However, the caravan in which they put the farmer to bed accidentally rolls away, taking him all the way into the city. Bitzer, the farmer's dog, chases after him.

The farmer receives a blow to the head and is taken to a hospital, where he is diagnosed with amnesia before leaving. He wanders into a hair salon and, acting on a vague recollection of shearing his sheep, cuts a celebrity's hair. The celebrity loves the result and the farmer gains popularity as a hair stylist called "Mr. X".

Meanwhile, the sheep find life impossible without the farmer, so Shaun sneaks onto a bus to the city; the rest of the flock follow him on another bus. They manage to disguise themselves as people and begin looking for the farmer, but Shaun is captured by Trumper, an over-zealous animal-control worker. Shaun is reunited with Bitzer in the animal lock-up, and with the help of a homeless dog named Slip they manage to escape while imprisoning Trumper. They find the farmer, but he does not recognize Shaun, who is heartbroken.

Feeling unwanted, Shaun, Bitzer, and the flock make a makeshift home in an alley. Their spirits are revived when they stumble upon evidence of the farmer's memory loss. They devise a plan which involves putting the farmer to sleep again, returning him to the trailer on a pantomime horse (really the flock of sheep in an elaborate disguise), and hooking the trailer up to a bus returning to Mossy Bottom. The plan is initially successful, but they are pursued by Trumper (having escaped the lock-up), who is now intent on killing them outright.

At the farm the group hides in a shed which Trumper tries to push into a nearby rock quarry with a tractor. The farmer wakes up, regains his memory, and Trumper is defeated through teamwork. Slip leaves, but is adopted by a bus driver who finds her on the road. The farmer and the animals have a renewed appreciation for each other, and the next day the farmer cancels the day's routine activities for an official day off.

Epilogues reveal that the animal-control service is turned into an animal-protection centre, Trumper finds work wearing a chicken suit to promote a restaurant, and the farmer sees a news report detailing some of the mayhem he slept through during his rescue from the city.

Cast

Omid Djalili
Trumper
Omid Djalili voiced Trumper.

Source of character names unless otherwise noted:[1]

  • Justin Fletcher as Shaun, a sheep who acts as the leader of the flock
    • Fletcher also plays Timmy, a lamb who admires Shaun
  • John Sparkes as Bitzer,a shepherd dog who assists the Farmer
    • Sparkes also does the voice of The Farmer
  • Omid Djalili as Trumper, an Animal Containment worker
  • Kate Harbour as Timmy's mum
    • Harbour also plays Merly, a worker at the hairdressers shop
  • Richard Webber as Shirley, a fat sheep
  • Tim Hands as Slip, a homeless dog
  • Simon Greenall as the twins, two sheep
  • Emma Tate as Hazel, a member of the flock
  • Henry Burton as a junior doctor
    • Burton also does an Animal containment visitor
  • Dhimant Vyas as a hospital consultant
  • Sophie Laughton as an Animal containment visitor
  • Nia Medi James as an operatic sheep
  • Sean Connolly as Stylists
    • Connolly also plays the Maitre D, Golfer, Angry Panto Horse and Hospital Characters
  • Stanley Unwin as Bus Station Announcer and Hospital Announcer
  • Andy Nyman as Nuts,[1] a sheep with strange eyes.
  • Jack Paulson as a celebrity with hair trouble
  • Nick Park as himself

Production

Mark Burton and Richard Starzak, directors and writers of the film, at the San Francisco Film Society

The film was in development by January 2011, with a plan to release the film in 2013/2014.[10] With the film directors Burton and Starzak wanted to "take the sheep out of their comfort zone." which resulted in having the film set in a city.[11] In adapting the television shorts to feature length, the directors sought to give the characters "an emotional life" with Burton noting "if you get that right, the audience is going to root for those characters are laugh more."[11]

The film, in keeping with the short it's based on is largely silent. The lack of dialogue in the TV series was a practical decision, as the team had limited resources,[12] but Burton and Starzak sought to keep this element, with Starzack citing his disappointment with voice changes on cartoon shows growing up as a reason.[11] Early on both Burton and Starzak struggled with writing a full film without words and came up with several contingency plans, which included inserting a speaking human character into the cast, or having a character that performing songs to explain the narrative.[11] The film had an initial release date of 20 March 2015,[13] which later was moved to 6 February 2015.[4] Principal photography and production began on 30 January 2014.[14]

Music

Soundtrack

Shaun the Sheep Movie
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released 1 June 2015
29 June 2015 (CD)
Recorded 2015
Genre Soundtrack
Length 54:45
Label Silva Screen Records
Producer Various Artists

Ilan Eshkeri composed the music for the film.[15] The title song, "Feels Like Summer", was a collaboration between Tim Wheeler (of rock band Ash), composer Ilan Eshkeri and former-Kaiser Chief Nick Hodgson.[16] The soundtrack was released in the United Kingdom digitally on 1 June 2015, and on CD on 29 June 2015.[17]

All music composed by Ilan Eshkeri, except where noted.

No. Title Performer Length
1. "Feels Like Summer" Tim Wheeler 3:00
2. "Humdrum Day" Ilan Eshkeri 2:31
3. "Shaun's Plan" Ilan Eshkeri 2:01
4. "You're Mine" Chad Hobson and Lucille Findlay 3:40
5. "Shaun's Farm House Party" Ilan Eshkeri 1:18
6. "Runaway Caravan" Ilan Eshkeri 3:19
7. "Anarchy on the Farm" Ilan Eshkeri 1:17
8. "Shaun's Mission" Ilan Eshkeri 1:23
9. "Doctor Bitzer" Ilan Eshkeri 2:09
10. "Trumper" Ilan Eshkeri 1:33
11. "Big City" Eliza Doolittle 3:19
12. "Le Chou Brulé" Sally Heath 0:54
13. "Gaol House Blues" Ilan Eshkeri 1:12
14. "Beauty Parade" Ilan Eshkeri 1:50
15. "Gaol Break" Ilan Eshkeri 2:53
16. "Finding the Farmer" Ilan Eshkeri 2:41
17. "Building the Horse" Ilan Eshkeri 2:04
18. "Feels Like Summer" The Baa Baa Shop Quintet 1:44
19. "Trumper on the Scent" Ilan Eshkeri 1:01
20. "Got to Sleep Counting Sheep" Ilan Eshkeri 1:44
21. "Panto Horse Chase" Ilan Eshkeri 1:44
22. "Caravan Ride Home" Ilan Eshkeri 1:34
23. "Showdown at the Quarry" Ilan Eshkeri 4:38
24. "Goodbye Slip" Ilan Eshkeri 1:00
25. "Feels Like Summer – (Instrumental)" Tim Wheeler 1:50
26. "Life's a Treat (Shaun the Sheep Theme) – (Rizzle Kicks mix)" Mark Thomas, Vic Reeves and Rizzle Kicks 2:41
Total length: 54:45

Release

Shaun the Sheep Movie premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, as part of the Sundance Kid program on 24 January 2015.[3] The film was theatrically released in the United Kingdom on 6 February 2015, by StudioCanal.[4]

The United States film posters spoofed some of the higher-budgeted films of that year, including Ant-Man (renamed Ant-Lamb), Minions (renamed Muttons), Spectre (renamed Shaun), Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (renamed Mutton: Impossible - Rogue Bacon), Fantastic Four (renamed Fantastic Flock), and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (renamed The Hungry Games: Eating Hay).[18]

Home media

Shaun the Sheep Movie was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United Kingdom on 1 June 2015 by StudioCanal.[19]

Reception

Critical reception

The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes records 99% positive reviews based on 156 critics and an average rating of 8.1/10. The site's consensus reads, "Warm, funny, and brilliantly animated, Shaun the Sheep is yet another stop-motion jewel in Aardman's family-friendly crown."[20] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 81 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[21] On CinemaScore, audience members gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[22]

Lou Lumenick of the New York Post gave the film three out of four stars, saying, "Shaun the Sheep Movie may be less elaborate than Aardman masterpieces like Curse of the Were-Rabbit, but there's still much to enjoy. It's not often you see a cartoon that references both Night of the Hunter and Silence of the Lambs."[23] Inkoo Kang of The Wrap gave the film a positive review, saying, "Refreshingly for children (but especially for adults), there are no lessons to learn and no faults to admonish. Instead, it's an 84-minute, dialogue-free distillation of all the innocent fun we wish childhood could be."[24]

Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review, saying "Playful, absurd and endearingly inventive, this unstoppably amusing feature reminds us why Britain's Aardman Animations is a mainstay of the current cartooning golden age."[25] Peter Keough of The Boston Globe gave the film three and a half stars out of four, saying "Like a great silent movie, it creates its pathos and comedy out of the concrete objects being animated, building elaborate gags involving everyday items transformed into Rube Goldberg devices."[26]

Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune gave the film four out of four stars, saying "Sometimes the simplest movies are the best. Case in point: Shaun the Sheep, a dialogue-free, non-digitally designed, plain old stop-motion animated film that is hilarious beyond human measure."[27] Guy Lodge of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying, "Though realized on a more modest scale than other Aardman features, the film is still an absolute delight in terms of set and character design, with sophisticated blink-and-you’ll-miss-it detailing to counterbalance the franchise’s cruder visual trademarks."[28]

Joe McGovern of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A-, saying, "In a bold move that pays off, the movie jettisons dialogue altogether and tells its whole story through barn-animal noises, goofy sound effects, and sight gags so silly they’d make Benny Hill spin in sped-up ecstasy. The effect is contagiously cute."[29] Jordan Hoffman of the New York Daily News gave the film four out of five stars, saying "From the company that gave us Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit, this adorable tale about a sheep who leads his comrades on a big-city adventure is some of the most pure visual storytelling you’re going to see this year."[30]

Box office

The film cost less than $25 million to produce.[6] It grossed $106.2 million worldwide,[7] with some of its biggest markets being the United Kingdom ($22 million), North America ($19.4 million) and Germany ($12.1 million).[31]

Accolades

Sequel

On 14 September 2015, StudioCanal announced it was working with Aardman on a sequel.[6] On 25 October 2016, Aardman confirmed a sequel would go into pre production in January 2017 as Shaun the Sheep Movie 2, with Richard Starzak, director of the first film, returning.[32]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Shaun the Sheep Movie (2014)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Lodge, Guy (January 24, 2015). "Film Review: 'Shaun the Sheep Movie'". Variety. Retrieved October 29, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Means, Sean P. (15 December 2014). "Sundance Film Festival adds three children's films and a Robert Redford premiere". The Salt Lake Tribune. Utah. Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c Payne, Joey (28 May 2014). "Film Changes W/C 26/05". Digital Cinema Media. Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Shaun the Sheep Movie". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d Hopewell, John (14 September 2015). "'Legend,' 'Shaun,' Smash Benchmarks for Studiocanal". Variety. Archived from the original on 15 September 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)". Box Office Mojo (Amazon.com). Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  8. ^ Jaafar, Ali (9 February 2015). "StudioCanal In Talks To Re-Up Slate Financing With Anton Capital – Berlin". Deadline. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Shaun the Sheep set for big-screen adventure in 2015". BBC. 25 April 2013. Archived from the original on 15 September 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Aardman Animations plan new Shaun the Sheep film". BBC. 27 January 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c d Owen, Luke. "Interview: Mark Burton and Richard Starzack talk Shaun the Sheep Movie". Flickering Myth. Retrieved 13 November 2017. 
  12. ^ Braw, Simon. "Richard Starzak & Mark Burton interview: Shaun The Sheep". Denofgeek. 
  13. ^ Jardine, William (24 September 2013). "Aardman News: Shaun the Sheep Movie Coming March 2015". A113Animation. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "Cameras are Rolling on the Shaun the Sheep Movie". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Ilan Eshkeri Scoring Aardman Animations' 'Shaun the Sheep'". FilmMusicReporter.com. 30 November 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  16. ^ Newman, Melinda (4 August 2015). "'Shaun the Sheep' Composer Demonstrates Turning 'Baas' Into Music: Exclusive Video". Billboard. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  17. ^ "Movie Soundtrack Released in the UK!". Shaun the Sheep official site. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  18. ^ Gardner, Elysa (5 August 2015). "'Shaun the Sheep' stars in blockbuster movie ... posters". USA Today. Retrieved 7 September 2015. 
  19. ^ Healy, Jamie (1 June 2015). "Whiplash, Ex Machina, American Sniper: 1 June's new DVDs". Radio Times. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  20. ^ "Shaun the Sheep Movie". Rotten Tomatoes. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  21. ^ "Shaun the Sheep Movie". Metacritic. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "'Mission: Impossible' Beats 'Fantastic Four'; 'The Gift' Unwraps $11.8M, 'Ricki And The Flash,' 'Shaun The Sheep' Results — Box Office Final". Deadline.com. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  23. ^ Lumenick, Lou (3 August 2015). "Charming 'Shaun the Sheep Movie' will delight kids and adults alike". New York Post. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  24. ^ Kang, Inkoo (4 August 2015). "'Shaun the Sheep' Review: 'Wallace & Gromit' Spin-Off Is Pure, Wordless Entertainment". TheWrap.com. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  25. ^ "Review: 'Shaun the Sheep' absurdly amusing for all ages". Los Angeles Times. 5 August 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  26. ^ Keough, Peter (5 August 2015). "Movie review: 'Shaun the Sheep Movie' is a sheer delight". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 15 September 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  27. ^ Covert, Colin (5 August 2015). "'Shaun the Sheep' is a hilarious stop-motion joyride". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Archived from the original on 5 August 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  28. ^ Lodge, Guy (24 January 2015). "'Shaun the Sheep Review' Review: Aardman Animations' Latest Delight". Variety. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  29. ^ McGovern, Joe (30 July 2015). "'Shaun the Sheep Movie': EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  30. ^ Hoffman, Jordan (5 August 2015). "'Shaun the Sheep' stands out from the flock". Daily News. New York City. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  31. ^ "Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) - International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  32. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (25 October 2016). "Aardman, Studiocanal Reunite Flock For 'Shaun The Sheep Movie 2' – AFM". Deadline. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 

External links

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