When a cockerel apparently flies into a chicken farm, the chickens see him as an opportunity to escape their evil owners.When a cockerel apparently flies into a chicken farm, the chickens see him as an opportunity to escape their evil owners.When a cockerel apparently flies into a chicken farm, the chickens see him as an opportunity to escape their evil owners.
All of the elements are there, treated with a tongue-in-cheek reverence that makes the film a memorable experience. Ginger (voiced by Julia Sawalha) is the lead chicken, desperately trying to devise escape plans from the farm policed by Mr. Tweedy (Tony Haygarth) and his shrewish spouse (Miranda Richardson). The need to escape is paramount; all the chickens have to hope for instead is a life dedicated to laying eggs and a violent death by strangulation, as the Tweedies cook yet another tasty Sunday dinner. The only problem is that Ginger's task is hampered by the well-meaning yet rather clueless inmates, led by Babs (Jane Horrocks) and Mac (Lynn Ferguson). The entire group are 'supervised' (?) by the Brigadier Fowler (Benjamin Whitrow), using the kind of Fifties Received Pronunciation accent that immediately recalls the war films of that period.
Enter Rocky the Rooster (Mel Gibson), a self-assured refugee from the circus, with a cockiness (pun intended) recalling Steve McQueen in THE GREAT ESCAPE. Although eventually helping to create a successful escape, Rocky has to learn how to co-exist with a group of Brits, that requires both races to become more accommodating, and less xenophobic. The script allows for some jokes familiar to viewers acquainted with World War II history (all Americans are "overpaid, oversexed, and over here."
Although only just over eighty minutes long, the film is packed with incident as well as some really funny jokes. CHICKEN RUN is a joyous experience, a tribute both to the talents of animators and script-writers alike.
- Dec 30, 2014