Kids movies come in all shapes and sizes. This year there’s been the introspection and action adventure of “Inside Out,” “Minions” mayhem and “Paddington’s” cuddly cuteness. For something completely different there’s the “Shaun the Sheep Movie,” a stop-motion animated film with virtually no dialogue but lots of fun.
“Wallace and Gromit” fans may recognize Shaun the Sheep from the 1995 short film “A Close Shave” or his self-titled television series. He’s a resourceful, if mischievous sheep who lives with his flock at Mossy Bottom Farm. When he accidentally sets off a chain of events that sees his Farmer get amnesia and become a successful hairdresser in the big city, Shaun tries to bring him back home.
The simple story is embellished with marvellous stop motion animation and delirious set pieces. Shaun and his livestock clan disguise themselves as humans in an overcoat while Bitzer the dog passes as a surgeon—only to be distracted by the delicious looking bones of an operating room skeleton—all while trying to stay clear of animal control officer Trumper.
Those looking for subtext will find a deeper meaning in Shaun’s adventures in the big city as the flock leaves the country for the considerably more dangerous city, but the film primarily plays as a treat for your eyes not your brain.
With no dialogue to fall back on “Shaun the Sheep Movie” has sight gags galore. Aardman Animations, the studio behind this and “Chicken Run” and the Wallace and Gromit movies, know that the small details can lead to big laughs, so every frame is filled with lovingly crafted slapstick. It’s aimed at kids but should tickle funny bones young and old.