ByPaul Donovan, writer at
A jerk with an opinion. An explorer of transgressive cinema. See more things about movies at
Paul Donovan

This movie has been nominated for several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. I don't quite understand why.

1. This movie is cute. Like, super cute. But it has more fluff than the sheep that star in the movie.

2. It's the latest from Aardman Animations, which became famous for Wallace & Gromit. So of course, the stop-motion animation is brilliant.

3. It's based on the TV series about Shaun the Sheep. Shaun first appeared in the Wallace & Gromit short film, A Close Shave.

A Close Shave, 1995
A Close Shave, 1995

4. The story is very simple; a group of sheep on a farm wants a day off of working, so they conspire to make the farmer take a day off. But the farmer ends up lost in the Big City with no memory, so the sheep must go find him and bring him back home.

5. I'm the kind of guy that usually likes to watch movies with subtitles on, so I was annoyed to discover that this movie didn't have subtitles available. Then I discovered that I didn't need subtitles - there is no real dialogue in the movie. Characters just speak mumbly-gibberish.

6. There are some clever references to other movies (my favorite was Silence of the Lambs), and it spoofs a little bit of celebrity culture. But those are very small moments in what is a pretty uninspired story.

7. You can wander in and out of the room during the movie, and while you will miss the clever little moments I mentioned in #6, you won't fall behind in the story. It's not complicated.

8. I love Nick Park and Aardman Animation's work, but this doesn't have the extra sparkle that Chicken Run did, or Attack of the Were-Rabbit, or even the Wallace and Gromit short films.

9. The movie is an awesome example of traditional stop-motion animation, which is probably why it got nominated for awards. But the story is very thin. It's really a 30-minute short film stretched into 85 minutes.

What did you think? Was it funny, or empty? Or both? Let us know below!


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