Nick Park and Aardman Animations – the brains behind Wallace and Gromit and TV’s Creature Comforts – delivered Chicken Run, a divinely silly yet also sharply witty tale for their first full-length animated movie.
Packed with smart jokes and a nod to classic wartime POW movies like The Great Escape for adults, and slapstick humour and brilliant ‘claymation’ for the kids, it’s the story of a group of hens, led by the feisty Ginger (Sawalha), who plan their escape from captivity before the evil Mrs Tweedy (voiced by Miranda Richardson) can fatten them up and put them in her soon-to-be-marketed chicken pies.
The hens’ attempts at escape have always been hampered by their lack of flying ability, so when a cocky rooster named Rocky (Gibson) literally lands in their midst, Ginger is convinced he can help them finally fly the coop.
Packed with terrific set pieces – check out Rocky and Ginger’s adventure in the pie-making machine, and then watch Star Wars: Attack of the Clones for what looks like a homage to it featuring Anakin and Padmé! – and an all-star voice cast (including Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall and Jane Horrocks), this is sheer perfection for everyone.
Is Chicken Run suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Young children may be upset by Mrs Tweedy and her dogs.