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Movie Reviews

Chicken Run  

Cast (voice of)
Rocky (Mel Gibson)
Mrs. Tweedy (Miranda Richardson)
Mr. Tweedy (Tony Haygarth)
Ginger (Julia Sawalha)
Babs (Jane Horrocks)

Directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park Written by Karey Kirkpatrick

Rated G
Running Time: 85 minutes Distributed by DreamWorks
Chicken Run
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Chicken Run is a very amusing and funny movie. The film is set at a Yorkshire chicken farm in 1950s England, and the story follows the turbulent courage of a group of chickens many attempts to escape from Mrs. Tweedy's (Richardson) chicken farm. Ginger (Sawalha) is sort of the leader of the chickens that yearns for freedom the most. After many failed attempts of leading an escape, Ginger's prayers are answered when Rocky the Rooster (Gibson) arrives. Rocky is a cocky American rooster that has escaped from the circus. Rocky falls into the situation of helping the chickens escape by teaching them how to fly. Ginger doubts his leadership, but begins to unrevealingly like his character. As far as for the rest of the chickens, they are all wooed by his charm and manliness. Now, the chickens have to trust and rely on one another in order to escape the wrath of Mrs. Tweedy's moneymaking plan of making them chicken pies.

Chicken Run is really hysterical; I laughed a tremendous amount. It is like watching A Bug's Life or Toy Story blended with the TV series "Macgyver." The chickens really cracked me up.

Chicken Run is a claymation film from Peter Lord and Nick Park, who are the directors of the award winning shorts of Wallace and Gromit. Claymation is a rare art that is created by minute-to-minute changes of clay to give each shot life and movement. To create a claymation feature takes a lot of time, detail and most of all patience. The California Raisins and Gumby are probably the two most recognizable claymation characters in history. However, the chickens in this film eclipse them. Lord and Park touch on every detail from the expressions on the characters faces, to their walk, to even the evil symbolism of Mrs. Tweedy (Example--Lightning almost always strikes behind her in the close shots of her face). Real chickens don't have teeth, but the ones in Chicken Run do. It complements more expression in their voices and faces. I tip my hat with a lot of admiration towards the two outstanding directors of Chicken Run.

Karey Kirkpatrick inked the script for Chicken Run. Kirkpatrick definitely made Chicken Run a social satire. It has a clash of cultures between Rocky, the American rooster, and the British chickens. The script is filled with laughter and heart. Most of the characters are memorable and very original. An example is Fowler, who is the old, grumpy rooster of the chicken farm. Fowler's dialogue is hilarious; he is always replying to being in the British Air Force and flying this mission and that mission. He is a real good character. Some scenes in the film are corny, but you will still laugh. An example is when Mrs. Tweedy becomes Rambo (I don't want to tell you too much, but trust me you will know the scene). Like I said before it is like watching "Macgyver" because the chickens crank out invention after invention for their many close escape attempts. I learned that Kirkpatrick is working on another animated script, anxious to see it get made.

Chicken Run is a really enjoyable movie for everybody. The satire works, Fowler is awesome, and the claymation is state of the art.

Report Card Grade: B+

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