Ranked | Aardman Animation

6. Chicken Run

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Chicken Run was Aardman Animation’s first big-screen release back in 2000, which actually makes me feel incredibly old. This is the story of a sexy rooster (can roosters actually be sexy?) Rocky (Mel Gibson), crash-landing into Mrs Tweedy’s chicken farm. The word on the street is that Rocky can fly, that’s how he ended up there in the first place. Ginger (Julie Sawalha) thinks that Rocky’s high flying antics might be just the thing to help her and her friends escape the farm and certain death.

Guess what? Rocky can’t really fly. He was just a stunt rooster who used to get fired out a cannon. No, I didn’t know that was an actual thing either, but there you go. Eventually Rocky and Ginger and the rest of the gang come up with an elaborate plan for escape. Think The Great Escape with chickens.

I remember really enjoying Chicken Run when it first came out back in 2000. It is a really good film. It’s smartly written and manages to translate some of the magic of the Aardman Animation television work to the big-screen effortlessly. Why, then, is it so low down on my list, I hear you ask? Well the release of Chicken Run and its subsequent VHS release (ask your parents) were timed almost perfectly with my stint working behind the tills at Blockbuster (again, ask your parents). Now, if the promotional video we were sent ever broke, then we were allowed to play films in the shop. Weirdly enough that promotional video used to break almost as soon as came into the store.

There were, however, conditions around what films we could and couldn’t watch. Namely that everything had to be a U certificate. This limited the choice somewhat, and it seemed like a really good idea to watch the latest animated releases over and over again. I’m pretty sure it’s the fact that I have seen Chicken Run upwards of 6 times in a single shift that has forever ruined it for me. Incidentally, this is also true of Happy Feet and Cars, which came out around the time of my second stint manning the tills at Blockbuster.

It’s a nice little film but for me, it will always conjure the smell of stale popcorn, the man who came in every week without fail to buy titles from our… gentleman’s range, and the dreadful blue uniform I was forced to wear. Sorry Chicken Run, you deserve better.

Oliver Buckley

Oli has been writing for Ready Steady Cut since November 2017. He has a PhD in Computer Science and he writes articles about TV, film and, very occasionally, science.

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