The Wallace and Gromit spin-off delivers a fun comedy film.
In the town of Mossingham, a UFO lands and a single creature emerges: the adorable Lu-La (Amalia Vitale). Lu-La ends up at nearby Mossy Bottom Farm, home of the mischievous Shaun the Sheep (Justin Fletcher), his overprotective sheepdog Bitzer (John Sparkes), and the Farmer who runs it. Shaun and Lu-La quickly become friends and work together to get Lu-La home while avoiding the Ministry of Alien Defense and their leader Agent Red (Kate Harbour). Also, the Farmer decides to build a theme park using sheep labor.
I love Wallace And Gromit, but I admit that I’d only seen a handful of episodes of this spin-off show. I thought it was more kid-focused than Wallace and Gromit, and it is, but I should have known that being kid-friendly doesn’t mean that something cannot be extremely enjoyable. This film is basically just 80 minutes of fun slapstick and sight gags combined with the occasional fun reference for adults and it’s absolutely amazing. The stop-motion animation is top-notch, with incredibly detailed settings and character designs that still look cartoonish.
While the plot for this movie is pretty basic (again, this is viable for small children), that’s actually part of the fun. Since you know what’s going to happen, you can focus on the jokes and the small details (my favorites include “Logan’s Running Club” and the fact that the X-Files theme is the password to the secret base). All of the characters have a lot of personality, including the sheep, despite the fact that there’s literally no dialogue in this movie. I didn’t realize that Shaun the Sheep episodes are apparently always nonverbal, because that took a minute to get used to. Once you’re used to it, it becomes something that naturally forces the audience to pay closer attention and empathize more with the characters.
Possibly the most surprising thing about this film is that towards the end, it starts to hit a lot of strong emotional triggers that, while built up appropriately, still feel like they come out of nowhere. Part of it is that all of the characters are naturally kind of adorable, particularly Lu-La, so you get more hurt when they suffer than you might normally.
Overall, it’s just a really well-done movie. It keeps you laughing and it’s actually rated G, so you could watch it with any kid. If you’re a parent, give it a try.
If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time, Collection of TV Episodes, Collection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.
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