Shaun the Sheep poses with the Farmer’s dog

Shaun the Sheep poses with the Farmer’s dog

Reel Reviews: Youngsters herd for this flock

Shaun the Sheep: "Life isn’t easy for a sheep in the city.”

  • Aug. 14, 2015 12:00 p.m.

Shaun is a clever young sheep that the herd looks up to for advice and leadership. When the day-to-day routine of farm life gets to him, he makes plans to shake things up, in order to have a day off from the monotony of sheep life.

When Shaun and his flock trick the Farmer into falling asleep by jumping continuously over the fence, they put him to bed in his mobile home, which promptly rolls away, down the hill and into the big city.

Realizing they need him to help care for them, Shaun the Sheep and his mob invade the strange big city to rescue the Farmer. As a result of the amnesia he suffered by way of a bump on the head, the Farmer has forgotten who he is and has to rediscover his love for his animals.

On top of all this, animal control is always on their tail.

We say, “Life isn’t easy for a sheep in the city.”

TAYLOR: I really enjoyed this film. It’s cute, fun, funny and universally understandable. I love that nobody speaks. Anyone, anywhere can watch and enjoy this movie, probably at any age, even a toddler.

The animals, including the people, vocalize, express and communicate effectively without language. Although Shaun the Sheep is exclusively designed for kids, its story, style and lively pace will surely entertain any warm blooded human.

HOWE: Although the animation is amazing, I feel that this shouldn’t be on the big screen. It feels more like a Netflix or Saturday morning TV movie.

I agree with you about the non-talking. Anyone can understand what is going on at anytime and it did make me smile a couple of times in the first 10-to-15 minutes.

That’s my point, when I have seen Shaun the Sheep on TV, it has made me smile because it’s only five minutes long. Shorter works and works very well. The movie, on the other hand, feels way too long and they have just filled it up with junk to stretch it out.

TAYLOR: I don’t think it’s junk, it’s just simple. It’s for really young kids. They seemed to enjoy it. I had a four-year-old girl on my left and a five-year-old boy on my right and both kids had the occasional question for their parent, “Why are they sad now?” Other than that, the kids just laughed or watched intently. There was also an older couple in attendance, who I’m sure came to see the animation. That’s the thing about this film, it’s a film-lovers film, a work of art.

HOWE: Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of producer Nick Park’s work. I think he does an amazing job with the plasticine creations just like his other films, Wallace and Grommit and Chicken Run, but that’s as far as I would go in saying that. The stories just don’t seem as strong as the animation.

– Taylor gives Shaun the Sheep 4.5 Garf Garf out of 5.

– Howe gives it 2.5 reoccurring Blue Peter badges out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.