Dir. Mark Burton & Richard Starzak
Special Screening: Kids in Action
The Richter Scale says: Shaun the Sheep made his first appearance in the Wallace & Gromit short “A Close Shave” (Academy-Award winner for Best Animated Short Film 1995) and in 2007 they spun this beloved character off into his own television show in which he leads the flock he lives with into several naughty adventures and their poor sheep-dog Bitzer has to make sure everything is back to normal before the Farmer finds out. Now, Shaun and his friends star in their first feature-length film which is entirely dialogue-free, something most people will tell you is difficult to sell to kids, but that’s always been one of the strengths of Aardman Animation Studios. Gromit, their most popular character, has no mouth and is probably the most expressive character and as such one of the most beloved characters in animation. Here, this applies to every character. Even though they all make some noise, they never say a word.
Shaun feels in a rut at the farm, so one day he decides to lock the Farmer in his trailer so he and the rest of the flock can have the farm to themselves and do whatever they want, but when an accident takes the Farmer into the city with a bout of amnesia, it’s up to Shaun and the flock to go into the city and bring him back before the pigs destroy the house. But, how are sheep going to be loose in the city? Shaun and his friends find ways to look somewhat like humans, which lead to some of the best gags in the film that children will love.
Aardman Animation specializes in stop-motion animation with moldable clay figures and in all these years they have perfected their technique so their characters can become more and more expressive. Their facial movements are so precise and when one remembers that this is achieved by people moving these characters’ facial features by hand and taking a picture of every single expression, it’s difficult not to admire these geniuses at Aardman who probably spend a whole day trying to get a minute of film (if they can even get to a minute) and still tell these clever and moving stories (the gaga in this film are flying in from unexpected places, which is always a pleasure in Aardman Animation films. This is the type of cinema kids deserve.
This film will screen again in Guanajuato City on Thursday, July 23 at 12:00 pm in the Juárez Theater.
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