Mark Burton and Richard Starzak

FILM SYNOPSIS: Shaun and his fellow sheep are disgruntled with the Farmer’s adherence to his rigid schedule, which leaves no room for spontaneous fun, but when he goes missing in the Big City, the flock and sheepdog Bitzer leave their rural home to hunt for their pal, all the while eluding a power-mad animal containment officer.

Based on the British television series, “Shaun The Sheep Movie” is a feature length stop-animation film without an spoken dialogue. Using the claymation that has gotten Nick Park and his crew six Academy Award nominations and four wins for their “Wallace and Gromit” series, “Shaun The Sheep” may be a different crew, but it’s the same style, same humor, and same attention to detail. In the film, the sheep are sick of their humdrum schedules and decide it’s time for a break. But when they accidentally send their Farmer into town and he hits his head, losing his memory, they must all venture into the city to help bring him back. Unfortunately, there’s a crazed animal containment officer that makes it his personal mission to bring them all in. With many of the gags taken from silent films of previous years, including many nods to the Charlie Chaplin era of comedy, the film has an antiquity to it that is lacking in many films these days, especially animated features. How kids get through the almost silent film (only music and incoherent words are used through most of the feature) is beyond me.

What’s its competition? Even though the Nick Park crew is known for winning Oscars, like previously mentioned, there’s seems to be no beating the juggernaut that is Pixar’s “Inside Out,” which has won every award along the way. Charlie Kaufman is also probably a little ahead of “Shaun The Sheep Movie” with his feature “Anomalisa” with just sheer word of mouth surrounding the film. That leaves this clay-mation creation facing fellow Academy players Studio Ghibli, whose crew is somewhat new to the Oscars, but the establishments that they come from have quite the Oscar history.

Previous nominations? These are the first Academy Award nominations for Mark Burton and Richard Starzak.

“Shaun The Sheep Movie” (2015) Trailer:

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// Produced by Paul Kewley and Julie Lockhart // Directed by Mark Burton and Richard Starzak //
// Dated Viewed: Monday, February 1st, 2016 // DVD //  19 films – 28 days //

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