Chicken Run (2000) Poster

(2000)

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9/10
Eggselant
Gordon McVey12 December 2000
Hailing from the animation house that brought us such jems as Morph, the Wallace and Gromit series and Rex the Runt, Chicken Run is the first ever feature length claymation ever attempted.

Set on a chicken farm in Yorkshire some time in the middle of the century, our plucky (sorry) heroines face a lifetime of hard labor laying for the farmers, and if their performance is not up to par they quite literally face the chop. Ginger, making her way to the top of the pecking order (sorry again) attempts jailbreak after farcical jailbreak, but success is less than forthcoming.

Enter Rocky The Rhode Island Red, (Rocky Rhodes for short, and you can't blame me for that one, the writers came up with it) apparently able to fly, the chickens look to him to help them bust this chicken coup, but Rocky is not what he may appear to be.

That's the plot in a nut (egg?) shell, and as you can imagine the subject matter made for perfect "salutes" to the classic world war 2 escape movies, references to which abound throughout. From Ginger tossing a baseball (actually a sprout) in the "cooler" (coal bunker), to Fowler's incessant ramblings about his old RAF days.

The lead characters are deep and endearing enough for you to care about what happens to them, if a little stereotypical at times. The interaction between them is fluid and believable, all the more amazing considering that Mel Gibson never even set foot in the same recording studio as the other actors, reading his lines in a studio in America instead. The supporting cast provide plenty of humour and Mrs. Tweedy substitutes quite nicely for the Nazi camp commandant.

The animation is lively and colourful the characters wonderfully expressive in that unmistakable style developed in the Wallace and Gromit shorts, and thanks to the fact the sets are real models there is plenty of scope for dramatic lighting effects.

The only real fault I could find in the film was that it just seemed a little too... American at times. Hollywood's involvement showed through the English setting to some degree, especially as you get to the movie's climax which seems to go a bit overboard, especially compared to the utterly hysterical ending to The Wrong Trousers. But all in all I have to say I really enjoyed this movie. Now all we need is a Wallace and Gromit movie.
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10/10
Son of a gun, "Chicken Run" is pure fun!
SwingBatta22 August 2000
After watching "Chicken Run," you will become a believer of many things.

You will believe that a bunch of talking hens wearing beads and bandanas can speak with British and Scottish accents, practice martial arts, escape from inside a pie machine and secretly plot their getaway from an egg farm in 1955 England. You will believe that chickens can knit, dance, wear glasses and play the harmonica. You will believe that rats can wear bad suits and have an obsession for eggs. You will believe that roosters can fly airplanes, ride a tricycle and sing "The Wanderer."

Most importantly, you will believe that the otherwise Disney-choked world of animated films has life again, and that a tiny British studio can top the big boys from Japan and the U.S. and turn out the smartest, possibly best work of this genre ever. The one point of light in an otherwise lousy summer movie season, "Chicken Run" is something you'll want to watch over and over again. You could sit through it 31 times (like yours truly) and it never gets boring. The audienced applauded at the end during my first 13 viewings.

Aardman Studios has concocted a recipe consisting of a wonderful (albeit portly and feathered) cast, a funny, intelligent script, a gripping score, excellent cinematography and production design, plus great voice work, all mixed with years of labor and love, and the result is what is easily the best film of 2000. When was the last time you saw a movie with a cast – nearly all-female, no less – so determined and believable in their mission for freedom, and whom you cared so strongly about that you were actually cheering for them to be successful?

"Chicken Run" may be the first animated film that is an absolute joy for both children and adults. Children will be tickled by the jocularity of these hens, while adults will find pleasure in discovering homages to classic prison films – "The Great Escape," "Stalag 17" and even "The Shawshank Redemption," among others.

Screenwriter Karey Kirkpatrick has come up with a sharp script, which has all but become a lost art in the movie world these days. The dialogue is loaded with puns that work so well. The British slang is a delight, and makes the chickens' personalities more endearing and – dare I say it – human.

One of the best lines comes from Mrs. Tweedy talking lovingly about her soon-to-be chicken pie enterprise. When Mr. Tweedy asks why she only will be included in the brand name, her reply is: "Woman's touch. Makes the public feel more comfortable." The other is Fowler's immortal "Pushy Americans, always showing up late for every war." That's simply brilliant writing.

The flawless (yes, flawless) voice cast is the heart of this movie. This is one of those rare films in which both the heroes and the villains are fun to watch. You'll find yourself thinking during the end credits, "I liked this character the best…no, wait a minute, I think I like this one more…no, no, I like that one."

Leading the way is Julia Sawalha, playing another character with a spicy name (from "AbFab's" Saffy to CR's Ginger), and providing the ideal heroine we moviegoers have yearned for so long. She's so convincing in this role; you're deeply immensed in Ginger's quest for free range living that you forget she's a Plasticine chicken.

It's safe to say that 2000 has been the summer of one Melvin Gibson. He doesn't disappoint with "The Patriot" or with his role as Rocky, the vagabond flying rooster (listen to his hysterical rendition of Dion's "The Wanderer"), who easily bested his squirrel namesake at the box office. The film pokes fun at him in a good-natured way, from his opening "Braveheart" gag to his nationality.

Rounding out the supporting cast is Lynn Ferguson as the genius Mac, she of the wild hen's comb and odd spectacles. Jane Horrocks is a show-stopper as the innocent yet…well, bubbleheaded, knitter Babs. She doesn't have much dialogue, but definitely does the most with the least as she delivers the funniest lines in the movie with aplomb. Perhaps the film's most famous line is when she bawls "I don't want to be a pie!" Why? "I don't like gravy."

Ben Whitrow's Fowler, the old military rooster, had me in stitches with his constant rambling about his glory days in the Royal Air Force. Seriously, wouldn't we all want to be awakened by a rooster who hollers, "Cock-a-doodle-doo, what what"?

Timothy Spall and Phil Daniels are a hoot as Nick and Fetcher, the Laurel & Hardy-style farm rats. Tony Haygarth and Miranda Richardson (not straying very far from her "evil wife" role in "Sleepy Hollow") are perfect as Willard and Melisha Tweedy, the cruel owners of the prison camp…er, egg farm. The loving couple is an evil version of American Gothic rendered in clay. Mrs. Tweedy is the best animated villain since Maleficent from "Sleeping Beauty."

But my favorite (and this was a tough choice) was Imelda Staunton as the brusque, oversized and argumentative, yet lovable, Bunty. She was the character I related to most because my personality is sometimes like hers…I think I may have finally found my role model! My favorite part in the film was watching Bunty getting down to "Flip Flop and Fly."

The ending contains the most thrilling action sequence I've seen all year. I won't dare describe it here…go and experience the magic for yourself. What I will say is that I haven't had this much side-splitting fun with an ending since "Mrs. Doubtfire."

I haven't enjoyed a film like this since "Sleepy Hollow" was released 7 months earlier…needless to say, this has been a period of movie ecstasy that is as rare as hens' teeth, so to speak. I'm sure nobody will care, but what I found interesting about "Chicken Run" was that it bore a striking resemblance to SH in terms of the plot: a small citizenry, kept prisoner by a villain who has a fetish for decapitation, pins their hopes of freedom on an outsider who is brash and sure of himself on the outside, yet soft and bewildered on the inside. Both movies are in my personal top 10 of all time.

After watching this, I dare anyone to find another movie that is as heartwarming, witty, suspenseful and funny as "Chicken Run." To those who feel the need to criticize this film for any reason…I deeply sympathize with your lack of soul. 10/10
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10/10
Something for everyone
AdRager20 June 2000
Chicken Run is a wonderfully entertaining movie for EVERYONE! Kids will love the eye-candy of chickens doing absurd things and tossing off silly one-liners. Adults will enjoy the brilliantly funny dialogue and the sweet, engaging story. Parents will enjoy taking their kids to a movie that does not have the Disneyesque product tie-ins and must-buy soundtrack. Movie buffs can try to count the references to The Great Escape, Stalg 17, Star Trek and Braveheart and may be pleasantly surprised at the quality of the camera work.

Nick Park, Peter Lord & Co. succeeded (where so many other have failed recently) in making an animated movie whose story, plot and dialogue are equal to the brilliant animation. In the wordless opening minutes we are engaged and in invited to care about these silly chickens. By the time the snappy dialogue gets rolling we've already identified with the chickens' plight. It may be a bit slow through the middle for the younger moviegoers. But the sound of laughter, cheers and applause from the whole audience as the chickens make their final bid for freedom is well worth the wait. The only sad part is we may have to wait another five years for another Aardman Animations to produce another picture of the quality.
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Chicken Fun
Chrysanthepop28 February 2008
'Chicken Run' is a delighted little film about...well, chickens. I've always loved the claymation of Aardman. 'Creature Comforts' and 'Wallace and Gromit' are among many of my favorites. Aardman Studios have come up with a brilliant cast, a funny and smart script, fine cinematography and production design. The inspiration of films like 'The Great Escape' shows. The female characters are so strong and yet they have their own sense of humour and Brit-wit. Aardman's claymation is splendid. The large eyes, body size and shape and movements create this a unique class of comedy. The writing is very sharp and crisp but I disliked the obvious symbolism (of British and America joining hands to save the world and fight evil) which looked a little forced. I don't see the need to make the Rocky character an American rooster (as if it's an ingredient to have an American on board). Yet, that does not take away the sheer pleasure and entertainment one derives from the film. The voice cast is suitably chosen. Gibson plays the typical hero with charisma but it's the Brit cast, which includes names like Imelda Staunton, Lynn Ferguson, Jane Horrocks and Julia Sawalha that did it for me. Their sharp witty humour and strong will just put them on a league of their own. 'Chicken Run' is a cute, heartwarming, uplifting and hilarious little film. To quote another user, it is eggcellent!
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10/10
Engaging and delightful!
cal-3317 June 2000
This movie is all you could hope for in summer film fare. It had action, suspense, romance and a large helping of comedy. I was predisposed to love the movie, being a great fan of Wallace and Gromit, and the movie lived up to those other award-winning works. The movie works on every level, and was fun for all ages viewing it. Even my husband, who disdains children's movies, was truly enjoying himself. Needless to say, the children loved it, despite one rather gruesome off-screen moment, but that seemed not to matter too much. All in all, I can't recommend this movie too highly, it was incredibly entertaining and well-done.
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Simply delightful viewing
Bigspend22 July 2000
As an older gentleman with a rather refined taste in flim viewing, I was surprised by how absorbed I got in this elaborate cartoon-like feature. It's no mean trick to create rubber characters that you can really care about. My favorites were Mr & Mrs Tweedy -- especially the latter. Mrs Tweedy was the personification of evil (within the confines of a cartoon of course) and just a thoroughly interesting character. The sets were well done, especially the Stalag 17 camp image (notice the 17 on the meeting hut). Lots of British stereotype stuff which worked pretty well and kept my attention. Fast paced without becoming just another Roger Rabbit.

Recommended!
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8/10
Animation at its best, with outstanding characters and a clever story. ***1/2 (out of four)
Movie-123 August 2000
CHICKEN RUN / (2000) ***1/2 (out of four)

"Chicken Run," DreamWorks Picture's newest animation festival, is an old-fashioned fairy tale with more heart and truth than most movies can even imagine about containing. The film's animated style contains state-of-the-art clay-animation techniques, which make it worth the trip to the multiplex just for feasting your eyes on such brilliant special effects. Directors Peter Lord and Nick Park, with co-writer Karey Kirkpatrick, give the characters depth, reason, and dimension-even if the main star is a feathered farm animal that converges with his companions about political matters.

"Chicken Run" details the miserable lives of a clan of chickens being withheld within a sinister dairy farm in 1950's England. Ginger (voiced by Miranda Richardson) is the central character, who, along with her acquaintances, deeply lust for the sweet smell of freedom that lies beyond the constricting boundaries of their pens. The unhappy farm owners, the smart and devious Mrs. Tweedy and the dumb and precarious Mr. Tweedy, brutally dispose of chickens who fail to produce the amount of eggs they require.

When a overzealous circus Rooster named Rocky (voiced by Mel Gibson) stumbles onto the farm one evening, the other chickens blackmail him into teaching them how to escape. This is also when the Tweetys lurch up a devilish new plan to strike it rich by purchasing a machine that will turn innocent chickens into merchandising pot pies.

The film's plot is steady, solid, and knowing; it portrays a series of events that gradually build tension eventually inducing an exciting climax that is both conclusive and satisfying. "Chicken Run" is a precise piece of filmmaking, an inoffensive family adventure that will entertain audiences of all ages.

Regardless of how well crafted it is or how artful the material, the movie is about chickens escaping out of their pen in order to find genuine independence. No, the stakes are not nearly high enough, and with a plot like this, it is only natural for some audiences to expect a shallow, cheap cartoon publicity stunt. However, the filmmakers make this movie feel original, fresh, suspenseful, and involving, regardless if the main characters are chickens with patriotic instincts.
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7/10
Escape or Die Frying.
Lady_Targaryen17 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I wasn't very excited about watching ''Chicken Run'' in the beginning. A friend of mine, Aluísio, told me the story was good and worthwhile, so, since I have the movie in my house I decided to watch it to see if it was really nice.It is not my favorite animation, but the movie is quite good actually!Until I saw the credits running, I would never say that Mel Gibson was Rocky's voice. And I found the characters very, very expressive,specially in their facial expressions.

It was funny to see a reference to Braveheart in this movie, since I watched Mel Gibson's performance as William Wallace yesterday. (When Rocky says he's from "The land of the free, the home of the brave", Mac immediately says, "Scotland!" This is a reference to the Mel Gibson-directed film Braveheart)

The plot of the story is simple: The chicken from Tweedy's farm are horrified with the idea of becoming the next meal of the day. Ginger, the leader of all chickens,with the help of Mac, is always trying to scape from the farm with her ideas and plans. One day, she met Rocky, a rooster that apparently can fly and is escaping from his circus ' owner. They make a deal and she agrees to hide him if he helps all of the chickens to escape. Their relationship starts to progress, but the art of flying doesn't. And Mrs Twwedy starts to have more and more strange ideas of what to do with the chickens and make her profits higher...

aka "A Fuga das Galinhas" - Brazil
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7/10
One radical cartoon
RobT-210 July 2000
The great animation director Chuck Jones has often stated that his cartoons "weren't made for children. Neither were they made for adults. They were made for me." Jones's seven-minute shorts were made on a far lower budget than the animated features of today. With features, much more money is at stake, as well as the livelihoods of more people. Because of the pressure to make back the investment, animated features can give an impression of being created by committee, as though tailored to fit some committee's idea of a prefabricated audience segment. It's remarkable, then, that Aardman Animation's "Chicken Run" shows off so much personality, the mark of a film made not for an imagined mass audience, but because it satisfied some need for the filmmakers-besides the need to put food on the table, that is.

The story revolves around an English egg farm designed a lot like a WWII-era prison camp, with overtones of the Nazi concentration camps as well, in that chickens that don't produce end up as dinner. While most of the chickens are resigned to their fate, one plucky hen named Ginger keeps leading escape attempts and keeps getting locked in "solitary" for her pains. Her task takes on new urgency when the Tweedys (the couple who run the farm) prepare to convert their operation into a chicken-pie factory. Hope arrives in the form of an American known (amusingly, in view of the recent "Rocky & Bullwinkle" film) as "Rocky the Flying Rooster", whom Ginger thinks can teach the chickens how to fly. Naturally, Rocky isn't really what he seems to be, and the revelation of his secret threatens to dash all hope of escape, because everyone knows chickens can't fly-or can they?

Unlike most cartoon films, "Chicken Run" is animated using clay figures in stop-motion. While this process involves much more labor than drawn animation, it also makes easier the use of many of the tools of live-action filmmaking, such as dramatic lighting and moving camera work. Directors Peter Lord and Nick Park both have considerable experience in this field, Park with "Creature Comforts" and the "Wallace & Gromit" series (perhaps the most popular animated shorts of the 1990's) and Lord as a co-founder (with David Sproxton) of Aardman and director of such shorts as "Adam", "Wat's Pig", and "Early Bird".

The look of "Chicken Run" displays a harmonious blending of Park's and Lord's strengths; the character designs have the cartoony look of Park's work, while the more realistic settings and backdrops (which appear subject to grime and weathering) are typical of those in Lord's films. All the major characters are distinctive and believable on their own terms; even the numerous chickens have their own distinct looks and voices. The only times the illusion of believability fails are when a clay chicken collides with a metal fence; I half expect to see the clay figure sliced up on the way through. (This may be a personal reaction, conditioned by years of exposure to "Tom & Jerry" and "Roadrunner/Coyote" cartoons.) The story moves efficiently and contains much humor and detail that reward close attention, as well as bravura set-pieces such as Rocky and Ginger's dramatic encounter with the Tweedys' pie machine.

While it has justifiably been compared with military prison-camp escape movies such as "Stalag 17" and "The Great Escape", as well as with the revisionist farm-animal melodrama "Babe", the movie "Chicken Run" resembles most is Pixar's computer-animated "A Bug's Life". The resemblence lies partly in certain details of plot (such as the hero[es] who isn't/aren't what he/they seem to be) but mostly in the nature of the story itself. While human prisoners have a life before prison upon which to look back upon, the chickens in this movie have never known such freedom. Thus, when Ginger talks of escape, she not only urges them to change their location but their entire way of thinking. In chicken terms, this is a radical message, the same one put forth by all the great human radical organizers: that those who are exploited have a right to expect a better life. Though the species and the methods of exploitation are different, "A Bug's Life" shares this revolutionary message (with Flik playing the radical visionary part). Both movies also stress the importance of banding together against oppressors whose power turns out to be more apparent than real.

While one could quibble about such commonalities, I'm impressed that two such films exist at all, that they were funded by major Hollywood studios (Disney for "A Bug's Life", Dreamworks for "Chicken Run"), and that kids love them and parents don't mind watching them more than once. One wonders if the parents know exactly what it is they're watching, and letting their kids watch. Then again, maybe they, too, believe they and their children deserve better lives, and enjoy seeing fellow victims of exploitation get such a life in the end.
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10/10
The best movie of the summer!
hurstlacey27 June 2000
Now, knowing what's in store for us this summer, I am probably not out on a limb saying this, but this should be the best film this summer, if not this year.

Full of wit, sight gags, homage to prison escape movies, yet completely adorable and exciting to even very young children, this movie has everything you would want in a movie. I was lucky enough to catch it at a sneak preview while on vacation with my 19-year-old son while in San Francisco, and even at the price of NINE BUCKS, it was worth it.

All this and voices from two Ab Fab actresses!
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8/10
Wonderful Animation Packed with Intertexts
l_rawjalaurence30 December 2014
Watching Peter Lord and Nick Park's glorious animation story of a group of chickens escaping from a repressive farm in 1950s Britain, one comes to understand how the script draws on a whole raft of classic war films of the period, including THE COLDITZ STORY (1955), STALAG 17 (1953), and most obviously THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963).

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.
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8/10
One of the best animations I've seen
TuomoH29 December 2003
Chicken Run comes from the creators of Wallace and Gromit, that should say it all already. The animation is set at a chicken farm (yeah, or a "concentration camp", I got it). Most of the chickens seem pleased with their lives - although you get your head chopped if you don't give enough eggs - but Ginger is determined to get away. When Rocky, a flying yankie rooster falls from the sky and gets his wing hurt, flight plans seem to get more realistic. In exchange of getting a hideaway from the circus Rocky comes from, he promises to teach the chicken to fly.

Visually, the movie is top notch. The fact that you know you're watching a wax animation in the days of CGI graphics makes things more interesting. The characters look familiar from the first moment if you've seen any Wallace and Gromit before (and if you haven't, you should). There are lots of little details everywhere and you can say that lots of hard work was put into this flick. And those little details (like the use of "human" objects such as spoons) make you chuckle. There's probably a lot more to see than catches the eye on the first viewing.

I laughed many times during the movie and on overall, the jokes suit the movie. Of course there are some cliched jokes and characters but that can (mostly) be forgiven because these are stupid chickens (or rats) after all! You get to laugh at the expense of yanks and britons alike, since Rocky is a big-mouthed boy from the States and the rooster of the farm is an old British officer. However, at the end you'll see that to accomplish something great you need the help of everyone involved.

The movie connections are probably multiple. I'm just not good at catching these things but that Indiana Jones action scene was hilarious. The humans are not seen much and they just seem a big threat to chickens but their actions don't make enough sense. When you think of the concentration camp theme, the analogy makes their actions more sensible. Or maybe I just shouldn't think of things like this when watching an animation about talking chickens. And, when you try to look at human actions from the view point of an animal, barely anything makes any sense anyway.

Anyway, Chicken Run is an entertaining movie to watch and since it's an animation, you don't have to care about the plot holes or other shortcomings. I gave this one an 8. One of the best animations I've seen. Recommended!
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6/10
Not As Good As Expected
ccthemovieman-127 April 2006
The makers of the British "Wallace & Gromit" animated films put together this full-length movie, a takeoff on the early '60s war blockbuster, "The Great Escape."

In this tale, the hens try to escape the coop while the owner tries to make chicken pot pies out of them! Meanwhile, an American, voiced by Australian Mel Gibson, enters the picture and gives the hens hope that he can teach them how to fly and escape their predicament.

I was disappointed with the humor, frankly. It just wasn't there, and there were not many references to "The Great Escape" as I was led to believe there were. The previews to this film turned out to be a lot better than the film. Maybe I expected too much.

The claymation artwork is good and the colors are vivid. The sound was a disappointment and the film as a whole was, too. Sorry.
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6/10
A fowl love story.
michaelRokeefe15 June 2004
This is a funny and touching comedic drama set on Mrs. Tweedy's(Miranda Richardson)chicken farm in 1950s England. Ginger(Julia Sawalha)the chicken and the other residents of the Yorkshire farm are tired of laying egg after egg with no reward or real future in sight. Mrs. Tweedy fed up with smaller and smaller profits decides to get rich with a mail order machine to put her and Mr. Tweedy(Tony Haygarth)in the chicken pot pie business.

Ginger has plan after plan of escape to fail. Then dropping in to the rescue is an American Rhode Island Red, Rocky the Rooster(Mel Gibson), to help build up confidence of getting off the farm. Rocky has everyone thinking he can fly, while actually he is an escapee of the circus where he is shot out of a cannon. You will find homage to two great escape movies "Stalag 17" and "The Great Escape" in this creation of directing writers Peter Lord and Nick Park.

Other featured voices are provided by: Benjamin Withrow, Lynn Ferguson, Phil Daniels and Jane Horrocks. If you have not yet seen CHICKEN RUN, shake a tail feather. Take the whole family for there is nothing foul about this fowl flick.
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10/10
Hysterically Funny!
noralee21 December 2005
What other movie could I take 10 relatives ranging in age from 10 to 55 in the midst of an extended family gathering weekend? So we piled into a discount matinée of "Chicken Run" and we all laughed hysterically.

By coincidence my son had recently seen "The Great Escape" on cable so got that this was a satire, including of the theme song. And he had taken a course in swing music at college so got the satire of "Jump, Jive and Wail" too.

Mel Gibson did a surprisingly good voice-over, but the star voice is Julia Sawalha, the daughter "Saffron" from "Ab Fab."

This is not just for kids only, being hugely satisfying fun.

And stay through the amusing credits (hey, I want to be a puppet wrangler! Or where else would you see a credit for a beak replacement coordinator?) for the continuing debate on which came first, the chicken or the egg.

(originally written 7/4/2000)
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7/10
Predictable, but good fun for children and adults
Jeffrey-Pugh20 February 2013
I was searching around for something to watch on a vacation afternoon with my pre-teen and this was one of the few movies that we thought wouldn't bore us both (the last time we watched Madagascar 3, which was a laugh riot).

Disney animation this is not - it's "Wallace and Grommit" style stop- motion throughout, which can lead to some hilarious effects with splattered eggs, turnips, and gravy. If you've ever watched any World War II POW movies, you'll appreciate all the references here: the POW huts, the British accents, the over-bearing ex-RAF rooster, the solitary confinement, and even the Great Escape references. All good fun for the adult watching.

It's not a "split your sides laughing" movie, but if you like Wallace and Grommit you'll enjoy this as change of pace from standard animation.
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8/10
" Your dad wouldn't happen to have been a Vulture, was he? "
thinker16914 August 2009
In 1963 the late Steve McQueen starred in the immortal film, The Great Escape." Anyone who has seen it, will recall with great admiration the steadfast courage it took for the allied prisoners to continue to keep trying to escape, despite so many failed attempts. This movie " Chicken Run " is a Comedic reminder that courage is often the basis for other characters to be seen in that heroic light. Mel Gibson is the easily recognized voice behind 'Rocky' the flying rooster who believed he had escaped from the rigors of a performing circus. Unfortunately, his escape brings him to a chicken farm where he discovers Ginger, a egg laying hen who's trying to find freedom for all of her friends. The problem is Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy (Tony Haygarth and Miranda Richardson) are planning to convert their egg farm into a Chicken Pot Pie producing industry. Since they plan on modernizing their place, Ginger demands that Rocky teach the chicken how to fly before the transition. A delightful film for young and old alike. Easilly recommended for anyone seeking family entertainment. ****
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9/10
I prefer stop motion than CGI .
This movie was great .Directed by Nick Park ,the creator of "Wallace and Gromit " and "Creature Comforts " made a funny ,clever and wonderfully animated . The technique used in this movie it's just fantastic, full of details and a rich visual style in the scenery and the characters . . But that would be nothing if the story wasn't so dynamic and entertaining , something that made this movie very enjoyable for children and adults . The story it's simplistic but the characters are very likable and interesting .The cast of voices it's pretty good ,and that helps very much to the movie . I would wish that all the movies for kids were so good as this . Sure , there are some good ,but are just a few . Meanwhile ,I liked a lot this movie as much as the movie of Wallace and Gromit , that have more heart and life than the recent 3D animated movies .
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10/10
Even for someone who doesn't like Mel Gibson.
lee_eisenberg3 March 2006
As I have a very low opinion of Mel Gibson, it is especially noteworthy that I liked "Chicken Run". Made by the same people who make the "Wallace and Gromit" cartoons, it portrays a gaggle of hens trying to break out of a British farm - some scenes even spoof "Stalag 17" and "The Great Escape" - with the help of American rooster Rocky (Gibson). With the perfect blend of humor and suspense (and in a cartoon no less!), this is one movie that's sure to please everyone. I really liked the constant "holiday" comments, and that end sequence was a hoot. Also starring Julia Sawalha, Miranda Richardson, Jane Horrocks, Imelda Staunton, and Timothy Spall.
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9/10
Have you ever seen a bad Nick Park movie? I didn't think so.
vertigo_1427 January 2005
'Chicken Run' probably gave Nick Park his long overdue credit as an extremely talented writer and director. And, with its extreme blockbuster success, we Yanks were finally able to find Nick Park's other films, such as the Wallace and Gromit short animated features, in regular release on the store and rental shelves.

This movie puts us right in the middle of a rural English chicken coup where Ginger, the unofficial leader of the hens, has been trying rather unsuccessfully to break she and her fellow chickens out of their prison, always rebuffed by either failed techniques or babbling Mr. Tweedy and his vicious watchdogs. But, fate seems to work in their favor when, at Ginger's near breaking point, Rocky the "flying" rooster, a circus fugitive, lands in their chicken coup. In order to avoid his cover being blown (no one here but us chickens!), he convinces the hens that he really is a flying rooster. Of course, his little white lie has serious repercussion as, for their last resort, Ginger wants Rocky to teach the hens to fly, as they would finally be able to escape their incarceration in the coup.

Of course, the hens must come up with a successful plan fast because, meanwhile, evil chicken farmer, Mrs. Tweedy, sick and tired of making minuscule profits, decides to turn her farm into a goldmine. Rather than worrying about egg production, she intends to fatten up her poultry darlings and turn them into chicken pies. Chickens go in, pies come out! I adore this movie most of all for its simplistic, but creative fashion of establishing its setting. The chicken coup is made to seem like a prison with the initial goal for the hens being a successful breakout. The Tweedys act as their wardens. And, as punishment for fugitive escapees--solitary confinement (or, to absent minded hens, "holiday). Every little detail is worked into the story. Second, like all Nick Park, is the pleasure of a strange, but hilarious assortment of heroes and villains such as bubbly Babs (my favorite), braniac Mac ("I swear she ain't speaking English"), and the old-timer, Fowler. Nick Park has certainly nearly perfected the arrangement of all things to make such perfectly creative, absolutely hilarious feature film and short comedies in ways I have usually seen with Tim Burton's early movies (especially Edward Scissorhands and Nightmare Before Christmas). I have yet to see him make a poor film.

And, after this movie, you may never again want to eat chicken. (Or, at least until you've forgotten about the movie).
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9/10
A great movie for all ages
MovieAddict201630 July 2001
At first I had thought this would be another disney-like only kids movie. But I was very surprised, it entertained me! The plot is a group of chickens are planning an escape from Tweedy's farm, where it is like a prison for chickens(scenes taken from old movies, like the great escape,etc.)but after many attempts,(all untriumphant) all but one chicken is ready to give up, Ginger. Then one day "Rocky the flying Chicken", drops in from the sky, with a broken wing after making a landing on the chickens water barrel. Rocky then agrees he'll teach them to fly if they hide him from the circus(who come looking for him). And they have to get out of there fast, because as they are practicing flying(at many failed attempts), Mrs. Tweedy is making a pie machine, for a bigger profit off the farm. So the chickens have to be out fast, or they're pie!

I thought this movie was funny because it wasn't all kiddy jokes the whole way through. It's kind of like the Toy Story movies,great for all ages. Don't be turned down by the story, plot, or goofy looking characters, it's great movies like these, that get into my list of great family films, and that's hard to find nowadays. Toy Story did a good job, and Shrek was pretty good(it had a couple things that were adult,esp.-swearing, and the princes "equipment" reference(hint hint) without that shrek would of been a perfect FAMILY movie, but it's still great as a regular movie, don't worry i'm not putting it down on being a bad movie..anyway I think if you're looking for a great family night rent out the toy story movies, chicken run, and when it comes out maybe shrek(as a family night) but if you're looking for a non-family night, just a fun night, rent out all of those! 4 out of 5 stars
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6/10
Entertaining, but disappointing
AKS-624 April 2001
I've done it again! Read too many reviews, too many articles. Basically, I've expected too much from Chicken Run. Don't get me wrong, it's an impressive film and it's thoroughly entertaining (most of the time), but the film should have been at least half an hour shorter, it seemed to move too slowly and repeat itself too many times. The pie machine set piece was brilliant though! (6/10)
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10/10
You forget they're chickens and think of them as living, passionate people
Ginger Chicken14 July 2000
Warning: Spoilers
very minor spoilers - I talk about it passionately and in depth but trying to tease and delight, not spoil it for anyone. But if you don't want to know anything about it before seeing, SEE IT FIRST, then come back, read and add your comments.

CR has very intelligent dialogue, the BEST music in my 100+ film score collection, and the best special effects are the ones that contribute to the story instead of standing out by themselves. For all those who delight in the amazing 24 frames per second, sometimes 10 seconds per day filming (NOT to slight the filmmakers in any way!), I completely forgot about that a minute in to the film. The guy with a flashlight looked a little jerky in the first scene (intentional to remind the viewer?), but after that, Ginger especially showed powerful desperation, triumph, annoyance, anger and wistfulness. She became a real person, far more than this real world and I greatly wish I could join with her soul for a while. She's cute, she's determined, she never gave up even though numerous setbacks forced this team leader to cry, throw a fit at the fence, and hang her head.

She had a dream, imagined something that didn't exist yet, and overcoming impossible odds. Luck helped, and Rocky helped for her to see she and the other chickens could have FUN and we could laugh with them while not losing sight of...the dream. -But she has a good and strong heart, to not turn mean and angry in that place.- Babs survived by not knowing and not realizing, Bunty survived because she was pessimistic and accepting of her life most of the time, Fowler lived on past glories and keeping everyone in line even though no one really accepted him.

"Thank you Fowler."

Mac..Mac thought his way through. 'Scuse me, her way through. He survived by thinking about everything objectively, as a scientific problem rather than bucking against numerous variables and overbearing tyrants.

But Ginger is the leader, the dreamer. You can see her, rolling her eyes, laying down plans, using her hands a lot..staring death in the face with a indignant "Oh....great!"...looking adorable when she nods her head...and then shakes it back and forth, smiling slightly.

CR is a lot more for me than just a fun movie, and I didn't prove the point I set out to, that CR's also for kids. The few scoffers I see are convinced it's a Disney sing-along. "The effects are great, man, but Dinosaur's story sucked, so will Chicken Run." (I like Dinosaur for what it was, loving more the score and scenery than the dialogue, so you don't have to defend it.)

It seems to me that kids would get it, and all my adult friends save one who hasn't seen it, felt comfortable and awed.

CR is an excellent movie. Even if you hate its guts after seeing it, it's still worth the cinema ticket price and talking with a few friends. Go see it.

The chances of us getting out of here are a million to one. Then there's still a chance. Ginger

(I saw 0 negative reviews and 55 positive at RottenTomatoes)
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10/10
Run (TO the theater)!
mercury-2615 July 2000
Remember those old Christmas movies that used stop-motion animation, like "The Year Without a Santa Claus" (you know, the one with Heat Miser and Snow Miser). In a way, that kind of animation was more fun because it has such a personal touch. Each frame requires a human hand to make a change. Digital animators are brilliant, true, but let's face it: isn't digital all about making animation easier? There is a programmer and then a computer that does the actual work. Companies like Pixar and Industrial Light and Magic have made great strides, but a film like "Chicken Run" shows you that the Old School still has a few tricks up its sleeve. Just consider that they've made a big, spectacular, blockbuster film--in the year 2000--with Claymation!

This film was made for kids, so they keep the story simple. It opens with the chickens of Mrs. Tweedy's chicken farm trying in vain to escape. At first it looks to be a remake of Wilder's "Stalag 17," only with poultry. With the fence and the rows and rows of shacks, it's really just like a POW camp. After the opening sequence, though, there are many references to other classic films, many of them Speilberg (coincidence?), but the story carves (pun?) out a life of its own. There is an outsider who has a secret, kind of like "Stalag 17," but here it's an American (the film's set in England) rooster named Rocky that crash-lands inside the camp. He's one of only a few men in the camp (it's an egg farm) and becomes an instant celebrity. The organizer of the escape plans, Ginger, suggests he teach them all to fly just as soon as his wounded wing heals. Problem is, Mrs. Tweedy is building a pie-making machine designed to mass-produce chicken pot-pies and time is running out.

The film is genuinely funny. I never had to laugh at anything in it out of courtesy. Not every joke flies, but you will howl more than a few times.

Every once in a while, there needs to be a stop-motion or Claymation feature to remind us that you don't need a computer necessarily to bring the imagination to life. "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "James and the Giant Peach" come to mind as other recent examples. Both stop-motion and Claymation have one important characteristic in common: the need to be photographed. In my opinion, there will never be a time when the human eye can truly be fooled by the ultra-real images created by a computer. One method digital animators use to make their characters more real-looking is the use of light and shadow. If you look close enough at, say, the dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park" (Spielberg again), you know it's not real shadows you're seeing across the back of that T-Rex. Like everything else on its body, a computer paints those shadows. With stop-motion, the animators can really light their images, using the full spectrum of colors, light, and dark that film stock offers, not to mention panning and trucking, split focus images, and other conventional film techniques. It just looks more, well, welcoming.

In closing, before I spoil the fun, be in a hurry to see "Chicken Run."

Grade: A
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Should have made a Wallace & Gromit movie instead
davideo-223 December 2000
STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs

Nick Park's major hollywood movie debut proves to be nowhere near as endearing as his television counterparts.At around this time of year,we should be seeing selected episodes of the clay animated duo Wallace & Gromit appearing on our TV screens,and a contrieved feature length tale of their's would seem more enjoyable than this strangely mellow story.It seems to be aimed more at the kiddy market,and lacks the subtle, cheerable edge that made one man and his dog such a willing success.Despite this though,it's just as clear here as on TV that in each of his animated projects,Park let's his Yorkshire English roots shine through,with scenes featuring those unmistakable jammie dodgers/cream biscuits that are renowned for coming from that part of England,plus you also see one of those distinctive '50's billboards that alerts Rocky to his old friend's impending demise.It's just strangely not as fun to watch as the aforementioned Park project.***
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