Shaun the Sheep Movie
Rating: 15/20 (Jen: 13/20; Dylan: 11/20; Buster: 20/20)
Plot: After their amnesiac farmer gets lost in the big city, Shaun and friends have to find a way to get them back.
This, from the folks at Aardman Animations who brought us the wonderful Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit, is just a delight from start to finish. Like those other movies, the climax is nearly too wacky and jarring, but the characters are lovable and the sight gags rival the brilliance of Buster Keaton. Most of my favorite storytelling, as well as my favorite humor, is wordless anyway, and in Aardman's world, the animals are anthropomorphized but unable to talk. The people also become animals here (animalmorphized), depending on grunts and raised eyebrows to communicate. They're all in the background anyway with the farmer a McGuffin and the others just background or there only to respond to the animal shenanigans.
I'm a sucker for stop-animation anyway, and Aardman stop-motion stuff always has this playfulness that puts a smile on my face. There's an ingenuity, but nothing ever gets in the way of the storytelling. In other words, you're always less interested in "How are they doing that?" and more interested in where the characters will end up. Part of that is because the characters are really likable. You just want to be a little kid again so that you can cuddle with a little stuffed Shaun the Sheep. There's nothing revolutionary about the plot, its stranger-in-a-strange-land situational comedy, or the thematic elements, but it's still somehow fresh.
If you like those aforementioned Aardman movies or silent comedy, check out this delightful movie for your next family movie night.
It did make me wonder if I actually enjoy fart gags though. And it made me want to do some research, something I'm too lazy to do. But what movie do you think contained the first cinematic fart joke? And when was the first case of audible movie flatulence? If I was a better movie blogger, I'd probably have that information for you.
And if I was a better movie blogger, I probably wouldn't end a review of a delightful movie experience writing about fart jokes.