Chicken Run

Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring (voices of): Mel Gibson, Jane Horrocks
Directors: Peter Lord, Nick Park

Made by the creators of WALLACE and GROMIT, CHICKEN RUN is a feature length animated film with characters made of Plasticine, apparently 3500 tons of it. It’s a clever little film with a fairly simple storyline based on second world war movies like THE GREAT ESCAPE.

Set on a chicken farm in rural England the characters of the prisoners from the classic POW camps in those second world war movies are transposed to the chickens, and the ruthless commandant is the egg farmer ‘Mrs Tuesday’. Her hen-pecked husband, excuse the pun, is the camp second-in-command, carrying out her orders and his two dogs are the guards. One of the hens, Ginger, is the leader and escape co-ordinator, who believes a place exists outside the fence where chickens can be free and they won’t be killed and eaten if they don’t lay enough eggs.

One day after trying every means to escape, a young American rooster called Rocky (Mel Gibson’s voice) ‘flies’ into the camp from the outside, injuring his wing, and is hidden by Ginger and the hens while his wing heals. Seeing Rocky apparently ‘fly’ gives Ginger the idea that teaching all the chickens to fly would enable their escape and enlists Rocky’s help. Time however if not on their side as Mrs Tweedy the egg farmer has decided to go into the business of making chicken pies and is installing a huge chicken pie making machine in which all the chickens will meet their fate.

I’m not too sure who CHICKEN RUN is aimed at, children or adults, possibly children and parents or adults who are still children at heart, and most of us probably qualify in that category. The Plasticine characters will no doubt appeal to younger children, and they will certainly be able to follow the storyline. However they will totally miss the parallels between this film and the classic war movies of old which is a shame. Adults on the other hand will enjoy the characters and humour although the storyline although not irrelevant, is light to say the least.

So ideally this is one to take the kids to, or if you just want to see a humorous, different, and not too demanding but very well made movie, take the child in yourself.

3 out of 6 stars

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