Ranked | Aardman Animation

4. Shaun the Sheep


Shaun the Sheep started out as a supporting character in Wallace and Gromit’s A Close Shave. Now he’s better known as the star of his own children’s TV show. Shaun the Sheep’s big screen debut follows the adventures of Shaun and the rest of the flock on Mossy Farm. Shaun and the gang decide they need a bit of a break from the day-to-day slog of sheep-life. Things don’t go according to plan, and Shaun (and the rest of the flock) have to venture into the big city to find the farmer after a caravan related mishap.

I’ve always thought that the Shaun the Sheep movie was quite a bold step for Aardman Animation. Their other films have usually been aimed at children, but with more enough jokes for the adults in the audience. On TV, Shaun the Sheep was ostensibly a children’s show with absolutely no dialogue. It’s impressive, then, that the producers of the film decided to stick to their guns and make Shaun the Sheep pretty much a silent movie.

There’s no doubting that Shaun the Sheep is aimed at a younger audience than some of Aardman’s other films, but it’s certainly no less enjoyable. It’s a real testament to the skill of the animators that they have managed to convey the story and so much emotion with only facial expressions and the occasional “baa”. There aren’t many animators that can convey so much meaning with the tiniest changes to a face.

Normally an episode of Shaun the Sheep will run at around 7 minutes, so the film was a real step up at 85 minutes, but things never feel stretched. The film also ramped things up in terms of action, but it never really felt forced or out of place. The scope of the film was increased from what you’d normally get in the TV series but somehow everything still managed to retain a small, charming quality.

The animation in Shaun the Sheep is everything you’d expect from Aardman. They’ve really raised the baa. There might not be as much in here as their other films but it is still much more than a simple children’s film. It’s a nice, relaxing, charming film and a really refreshing change that makes you feel like everything is alright with the world.

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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