the Thinking Chicks Guide to Movies

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Chicken Run (2000)

Reviewed on 2011 February 4

Ingenious Aardman goodie for anyone snowed-in with the kids and in need of something the whole tribe can enjoy.

Tweedy (Tony Haygarth) is a thick-witted but fairly successful chicken farmer, largely because his shrewish wife (Miranda Richardson) turns the critters into pies. He suspects they may be trying to get free, but he doesn’t know the half of it. The chickens spend their days planning escapes with routes that would make an MIT grad proud, and thanks to the efforts of the brilliant Ginger (Julie Sawalha) and Mac (Lynn Ferguson), many times they come close. Some of the chickens argue that trying to escape is pointless, but Ginger reasons there’s not much to do during the day, so they might as well keep trying. The days wear on until Rocky (Mel Gibson before he went nuts), an escaped circus chicken, crashes into their farm. If Rocky made it in, surely he can lead them out.

The scene of fat claymation chickens doing calisthenics alone earns a morsel. The story is great, but I loved the little bits too: there’s a scene with Ginger that’s an homage to The Great Escape, and Mac was so cute and funny I almost went vegan. The chicken politics and the crooked rat salesmen were hilarious too. This is more of a win to me than the Wallace and Gromit films.

Four chocolate morsels. Hysterically funny and brilliantly made.


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