HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Chicken Run Fowl Play
Year: 2000
Director: Peter Lord, Nick Park
Stars: Phil Daniels, Lynn Ferguson, Mel Gibson, Tony Haygarth, Jane Horrocks, Miranda Richardson, Julia Sawalha, Timothy Spall, Imelda Staunton, Benjamin Whitrow
Genre: Comedy, AnimatedBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: Ginger (voiced by Julia Sawalha) is a chicken with a plan. Quite a few plans, actually, as she wants to escape the prison of the chicken farm she lives on, but all her schemes go awry as tonight, when she digs under the fence enclosing her and her fellow poultry, but finds her friends cannot follow because Bunty (Imelda Staunton) is so fat she gets stuck. Farmer Tweedy (Tony Haygarth) and his guard dogs are there to catch her, and as he does often throws Ginger into solitary confinement in the coal bunker. But she will not be kept down, and her drive to get away becomes all the more pressing when Mrs Tweedy (Miranda Richardson) has a scheme of her own...

Chicken Run was the first feature length animation from Aardman studios, the people who had brought the world Morph and Wallace and Gromit, but although many expected them to dive straight in with the Wallace and Gromit film, their creator Nick Park, co-directing with Peter Lord, defied them and made what was essentially The Great Escape with chickens. It was very well recieved at the time as audiences concentrated on the gags, and there were plenty of them, yet some noted a grim quality to the story which after all features the most sympathetic characters under threat from death, as Mrs Tweedy is tired of egg production and is deciding to branch out into chicken pies.

It is this which makes the film resemble two other classic examples of British animation, the fifties adaptation of Animal Farm and Watership Down from the seventies, both of which anthropomorphise animals and have them struggle with their mortality. Both are even set in the countryside that Chicken Run is, and the period it takes place in - the late fifties - appears to hark back to a sense of nostalgia that might not be too valid, at least in this movie's view, as the era of post-war grey in Britain informs its appearance; this could have easily been in black and white and nobody would have noticed much difference in tone as while there are plenty of wacky moments the sense of austerity, never mind encroaching doom, is palpable.

So did Chicken Run aim to do for chicken what Babe did for ham? Maybe there was not any more to it than making those prisoner of war analogies, but after all life was no picnic for P.O.W.s any more than it is for Ginger and her pals. However, a ray of sunshine appears as she is out feeling that the worst is about to happen when a rooster flies overhead and salutes her. Understandably shocked, Ginger goes to investigate where he has landed, inside the enclosure as it turns out, but he has sprained his wing. He is Rocky (Mel Gibson) and is from the circus, but Ginger believes he can fly and can teach the chickens how to do the same, even though everyone knows chickens cannot take to the air and soar they way she saw Rocky doing.

We can tell Rocky is bluffing, but Ginger and her companions have faith in him however misplaced it may be, except as with many of these stories we know he will redeem himself by the end. Before that happens, there is an abundance of montages all the better to pack in the jokes, and there are a good many laugh out loud moments, yet that feeling of depressed circumstances means Chicken Run never, er, takes off as a jolly romp no matter how many references to Star Trek, The Italian Job or Indiana Jones the scriptwriters include. That's not to say the final sequence is not uplifting, because it is, and Lord and Park work up a decent amount of thrills that belie the painstaking and time-consuming nature of their chosen medium, but this never glitters and sparkles quite the way you might expect it to. Though for an example of British eccentricity given a Hollywood budget, it is admirable. Music by Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6368 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: