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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Great. one of the best animated kid films in years
Quinoa198418 June 2000
Chicken Run is a film that has come from Aardman studios, which has made some classic (Oscar winning) shorts, including Wallace and Gromit. Now, after a 5 year absence, they return with a actual full length feature. What's so amazing: It's entirely claymation, which means each shot had to take time to move each character and so on. The film itself is great. The plot tells the story of Tweedy's farm, which holds some very anxious chickens, who want to escape before Tweedy (voiced by Miranda Richardson) makes them all into pies. But, a lone rooster (voiced by Mel Gibson) comes to they're rescue in a hilarious tale of freedom and chickens. Great fun, mainly for the kids, but parents will also like the puns that come along. Amazing animation makes me wonder if their should be a Oscar category for best animated film (and if this is this years prize winner). A+
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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.

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"I'm the Wanderer"
UniqueParticle19 June 2019
Among one of the best kids movies ever! Rocky (Mel Gibson) really lightened everything up, so did Ginger (Julia Sawalha)! I've probably seen "Chicken Run" at least 30 times since I was little, although there is some animal cruelty involved which is unfortunate for a G rated kids movie, despite that it's a heartwarming experience and I barely spoiled anything by mentioning the cruelty; you literally find out in the first 10 minutes in. "Grass is always greener on the other side and prickly"!
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" 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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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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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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A delight
planktonrules14 August 2009
While this is not the best product Aardman Pictures has ever made, even a film that comes very close to the fun and creativity of the Wallace & Gromit films is a delight.

The film stars all new characters and is quite a departure for the animators, as this is a full-length film, not a short. But, you'd never know that these film makers hadn't made such a picture before, as the product is exceptional from start to finish.

It all takes place on a bizarre chicken farm. That's because the sets and action in the film more approximates the film THE GREAT ESCAPE than anything else--and this is deliberate. On this odd chicken farm, there are some determined chickens--determined to escape because some of them realize what their fate will be if they stay. All doubts about this are removed when Mr. & Mrs. Tweety invest in a horrid chicken pie producing machine. You just drop in a chicken, and out drops pies!! Unfortunately, the chickens have no idea how to escape. Aside from a slightly loony old male chicken who acts like a WWII vet, the rest of the chickens are all layers and have no idea what the real world outside is like. Then, out of the blue, a performing chicken (more precisely, one who is shot out of a cannon) arrives in the farm and the ladies all know that he will lead them to safety. If only they knew that he hasn't the foggiest idea how to help.

The film features the usual plastic figures that are pose-able, along with very detailed and realistic miniature sets. It's actually quite amazing how far these characters are from the original clay Wallace & Gromit figures. They don't look quite as crude and they seem to have tons of personality--so much so that you soon forget that you are rooting on a whole bunch of dolls! The effect is further enhanced by excellent writing throughout--with a healthy dose of humor for the parents.

Overall, a wonderful picture...though my favorite was their next feature, WALLACE & GROMIT AND THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT. Great stuff.
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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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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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Good fun
grantss14 April 2020
The chickens on the Tweedys' farm are getting restless. Led by Ginger, they are trying to find a way to escape but every plan they have hatched is thwarted. Help comes unexpectedly in the form of Rocky, the flying rooster.

Fun animated movie, produced, written and directed by Nick Park and Peter Lord, who also gave us the Wallace and Gromit films. A rollicking plot with good action sequences, some very funny moments, and a touch of sentimentality make it difficult to dislike. The nods to classic WW2 prisoner of war movies, especially The Great Escape, add to the charm.

Will mostly appeal to kids but adults will enjoy it too.
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Just hilarious!
TheLittleSongbird3 May 2009
Chicken Run is a hilarious movie, and I will apologise profusely, because there was a long time when I didn't appreciate it as much as I do now. The animation is spot on, and I advice anybody who likes this see anything else from Nick Park like Wallace and Gromit. There are some great British humour like "I don't want to be in a pie- I don't like gravy!" The characters like the two mice are genuinely memorable, and Mrs Tweedy is really evil, especially when voiced by the talented Miranda Richardson. (who they wasted in the animated version of King and I)The voice talents are wonderful- I know people had problems with Mel Gibson as Rocky, but he was not that bad at all. Julia Sawalha, Jane Horrocks, Phil Daniels, Tony Haygarth et al, enthusiastically bring their characters to life, with an irreverent and touching story, that cleverly sends up classics such as The Great Escape. The incidental music was lovely to hear, very dynamic. There are some truly priceless scenes, like Rocky teaching the chickens to fly, the scene with Ginger and Rocky in the pie-making machine and the scene where the chickens are dancing to the song that you hear in the end-credits. I don't have a favourite character as such, but I loved Fowler. All in all, a funny movie, and yet another triumph from Nick Park, that I have started to appreciate a lot more. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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Great Film!
g-bodyl1 October 2011
I remember see this in theaters when I was nine years old and I loved it very much. Eleven years later, I got another chance to see it and I loved it about the same because it brought back some fresh childhood memories.

The plot is about a group of chickens who plan to escape the chicken compound they live in before their human owners turn them into chicken pot pies.

Surprisingly, I never really knew which actors voiced each character until I saw the credits. I was kind of surprised to see Mel Gibson was here. But now that I think about it, I do recognize his voice in the movie.

Overall, this was plenty of fun to watch. I don't know if this deserves a G rating though. It may be scary for young kids. I rate this film a 9/10.
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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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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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Fun, Suspenseful Kids Claymation Flick
thespeos8 June 2021
From the same guys that gave us the "Wallace and Gromit" series of shorts, this is a fun kid's film.

Normally, I would not watch claymation other than "Gumby and Pokey", but the creators here do an excellent job of making the characters and set look real.

While this isn't a deep film, it does present mature issues: incarceration (prison camp), death, hope vs despair, friendship, perseverance, etc. So while having fun it provides some exercise in considering values, greed, justice, freedom (assuming that chickens think about these things).

STORY: While simple, it's a very well done story which makes sense the whole length (except that we're talking about human-intelligent chickens).

ACTING: For claymation it is very well acted, with voices and characters nicely expressed.

(It would have been nice to use someone besides Mel Gibson.)

TEMPO: There's an excellent play between suspense, surprise, tension and hope the whole way.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Again, for being made from clay ... beautiful set design and action.

DIRECTING: These guys do a very nice job combining simple stories with funny, normal, and wacko characters.

Overall, a nice kid's film. If you like it then check out "Wallace and Gromit: the Curse of the Were-Rabbit."
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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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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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