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Chicken Run

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Chicken Run

Starring: Mel Gibson, Miranda Richardson
Director: Nick Park
Rated: G
RunTime: 85 Minutes
Release Date: June 2000
Genres: Animation, Family, Kids

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Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

What a clever concept! Do you remember "The Great Escape" with Steve McQueen? It's a W.W.II adventure in which Allied POW's devise a way out of a Nazi prison camp. Now a similar idea has become an imaginative claymation comedy, the first full-length feature from British-based Aardman animation, the Oscar-winning team behind the popular Wallace & Gromit shorts.

"Chicken Run" follows a group of rebellious chickens imprisoned at Tweedy's Egg Farm who are determined to break out before they meet "fowl" play and end up as pot pies. Trapped behind barbed wire and yearning for freedom, the feisty hen Ginger and her cohorts are terrorized by menacing, hard-boiled Mrs. Tweedy, who firmly believes, "Chickens are the most stupid creatures on the planet. They don't plot; they don't scheme; they don't organize." Until - one day - Rocky the Rooster, a brash, American "lone free ranger," lands in the Yorkshire chicken coop. He's on the lam from a circus and, if they agree to hide him, he promises to teach the entire flock to fly, despite the obvious aerodynamic deficiencies inherent in the plump chicken anatomy. "That Yank's not to be trusted" warns the old R.A.F. rooster named Fowler. Eventually, the scrambling hens hatch an exciting, if desperate, alternative scheme - with a little help from two profiteering rats. Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha, Miranda Richardson and Jane Horrocks head the voice cast and, instead of computer-generated images, the visual effects are created by stop-motion animation using clay and silicon models, set in a stylized universe. Aardman calls it "live action in miniature." On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Chicken Run" is a bright, sunny-side up 9. Good gravy! It's a double-yolk'd chicken delight for the whole family!

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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