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"Shaun the Sheep" Save the Tree (2007)

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Really good clean fun that will appeal to adults almost as much as it will to children

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
13 March 2010

Shaun the sheep, as the song goes, doesn't miss a trick or ever lose a beat and indeed he doesn't in his own television show that premiered on CBBC last year before coming to terrestrial recently. I was actually driving home from work when the first one aired on BBC1 and I found out about the series because the presenters on Radio Five were all talking about it as it was on in the studio. Obviously Aardman appeals to adults as much as to children and I was hoping that this series would do the same.

Of course it isn't as smart as the Wallace & Gromit films and is slightly more for children, but it does have plenty that I enjoyed as well as bits that made me laugh. The character of Shaun was always more for children when he appeared in A Close Shave and this was born out by a million Shaun backpacks on high streets everywhere. However in this series Shaun is much more like Gromit than like the Shaun that was originally introduced. This was a good move because it does allow him to do more and be more proactive within the stories, leading raids, outsmarting other characters and generally being a catalyst for action – quite the opposite of what he originally was.

Each episode is short but all include the trademark Aardman wit and the way of making references to other things without ramming them down our throats. The plots are mostly simple setups (playing football, getting apples from the pigs, exercising etc all came early in the series) but they are delivered with wit and intelligence and although the humour is best for child it is never dumb or crude. The animation is instantly recognisable as Aardman, which is true of the characters as well. The farmer is a necessary evil but is sparingly used in favour of the animals. The sheep are a good group and well created while other groups such as pigs, the cat, the dog and the ducks (my favourites) are all good fun.

Overall a really good clean show for children that will appeal to age groups right up to adult. I'm in my third decade and I thought it was great fun – understandably not up to the high standard of the recent W&G film, but still the strong, quality output one associates with Aardman.

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