When I was a kid, I vividly remember waking up and watching cartoons on the weekends. I usually gravitated towards shows like Tom and Jerry, Felix the Cat and Adventures of the Road Runner. I chose these types of cartoon because they were stripped down to the most basic level, focusing in on the action and animated images of its characters. These types of shows and films are making a comeback. The reason is simple: people want to be entertained, and everyone is a kid at heart. Shaun the Sheep: The Movie brings that simplicity back with a story on lessons of cause and effect.
This film is based on the TV show of the same name and might be the best animated film of the year, even better than Inside Out"¦yeah I said it. The story follows a very curious and adventurous sheep named Shaun (Justin Fletcher) who lives on a farm with the rest of his heard, his Farmer ( John Sparkes) and trusted dog. Shaun is the creative minded sheep of the herd and becomes bored of the mundane farm duties, when eventually he seeks a "day off" from the farm and devices a plan to keep the Farmer and dog distracted from completing their tasks for the day. Shaun gets way more than he could ever imagine when the Farmer and his trailer go off the rails and stumble into the The Big City.
Shaun the Sheep is a triumph of a film and is a strong comeback from the animation team at Aardman studios, the creators behind hits such as Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run. The major difference for Shaun the Sheep is that it has no real dialogue. It is comprised of mostly random mumbles and general noises like crying, laughing and kissing. Think about it this way: If you were allowed to enter the mind of Mr. Bean and see what he was dreaming or thinking about, this film would be pretty spot on. One thing to not overlook is the Claymation. That alone is something to behold at. More films go for CGI and 3D in recent years. I prefer the 2D and Claymation route; it's an ode to my childhood.
More people go to the movies to unwind and get their mind off other things going on in their lives. In the digital-age, people's attention spans are becoming smaller than ever, so much so that the dialogue isn't as important as the actions on the screen. Films like Minions, The Boxtrolls, and now Shaun the Sheep have invested into making entertaining films with the animation and plot as priority. Dialogue for animation is sometimes counterproductive because you can get the same emotional response from a fart or a mumbled noise that you could with a full page of dialogue that ends up losing your audience's attention. Shaun the Sheep is a must see this summer, so take the whole herd with you!