From Aardman, the creators of Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run, comes the highly anticipated big screen debut of Shaun the Sheep. When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he baa-rgained for! Shaun’s mischief accidentally causes the Farmer to be taken away from the farm, so it’s up to Shaun and the flock to travel to the Big City to rescue him. Will Shaun find the Farmer in the strange and unfamiliar world of the City before he’s lost forever? Join Shaun and the flock on their hilarious, action-packed adventure in Shaun the Sheep the Movie – only in cinemas Spring 2015. (synopsis via heyuguys.co.uk)
Way back in the dim, dark ways of 1989, Aardman Productions, which had been producing stop-motion animated wonders since 1972 when it was founded by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, debuted a 22 minute animated short called A Grand Day Out.
It featured an endearingly oblivious to things around him, cheese and tea-loving inventor by the name of Wallace, and his faithful, canny, more capable than his master dog with the most humourously expressive face in animation, Gromit, a much-loved pair who went on to feature in three more short films The Wrong Trousers (1993), A Close Shave (1995) and A Matter of Loaf and Death (2008), along with a feature film The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005).
While Wallace and Gromit were always, quite deservedly, the main attraction, one of their co-stars in A Close Shave couldn’t help but emerge from the secondary players’ shadows by dint of his quirky, mischievous persona and sharp intellect – Shaun the Sheep.
Realising they had a breakout star on their hands, Aardman Productions, went on to give Shaun the Sheep star billing of his own, featuring him in his own eponymously-named series (2007 – present), a theatre show Shaun’s Big Show (2007) and even a promotional campaign for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
And now, as befitting a sheep of his profile, he has his own movie!
And it comes with a trailer than perfectly captures the charm, whimsy and hilarious left-of-centre visual humour that has made Aardman Productions one of the most creative animation studios at work in the world today.
Purporting to show production already under way on the movie, it features sheepdog Bitzer as the director (of course) and a group of Shaun’s fellow hard working sheep working hard to get the movie made in time for its early 2015 release date.
Interrupted by the farmer walking past, an occupational on most movie sets, hilarity ensues along with my anticipation for what will likely be another inspired piece of gentle British storytelling lunacy.
A joint production between Aardman Productions and Studiocanal, Shaun the Sheep is going to be one of the must-see films in 2015 with director Richard Starzak, quoted on Coming Soon, understandably enthused about bringing Shaun to the big screen:
“We’re really excited to have started shooting although we may have to start Bitzer’s shots later once he’s out of A&E having had his nose fixed!”
In an epic adventure this big and almost certainly madcap, you can pretty much guarantee that Bitzer, along with the rest of the cast, and yes the hero of our story Shaun the Sheep will have more than a wonky nose to worry about as they set about rescuing the farmer from the bright lights and undoubtedly hilarious chaos of the big city.
I can baaaa-rely wait for the premiere!