"Chicken Run" is such an interesting film, such a leap of imagination and thought and spirit, that one can not help but be amazed by just looking at it. I want to see it again. And again. This is a fully clay-animated film from director Nick Park (of "Wallace and Gromit" fame, which are some of my favorite animated shorts, along with co-director Peter Lord) that tells a simple, human story and quite well. Never would I think that looking at a flock of chickens in Tweedy's farm was so funny.But these aren't your everday chickens. They talk, they think, they have emotions. They act like pure British citizens with the exact same lingo and humour. And they want out of Tweedy's farm! But how? Chickens can't fly, they think. That all changes when a runaway chicken comes to the farm, who supposedly can fly, and he helps them try to escape. And in return, they will keep him in hiding from the circus that is looking for him.
There's just so much fun with how Park and Lord tell the story here, especially how the use of the animation brings us right down into the character's perspectives. One thrilling scene involves our two hero chickens, runaway Rocky (voice of Mel Gibson) and Ginger (Julia Sawalha), desperately trying to get out of a press machine that turns chickens into pies! The fact we are seeing this from inside the machine and from the eye-level of the leads is purely amazing.
I like the look of the film, it shows that Nick Park and Aardman animation have come a long way from their "Wallace and Gromit" heyday. The animation flows beautifully and very fluid, and the colors and the lighting are just a sight to behold. And the use of the claymation, which is more based on clay based on animatronics rather than individual frame-by-frame shaping, has a unique look.
The only wrong thing about "Chicken Run"? I never wanted it to end! I wanted more! The film runs a brisk 85 minutes and is over faster than you want it to be.Footnote: If you loved "Chicken Run," I recommend the DVD of "Wallace And Gromit: The First Three Adventures," which features three amazing Nick Park shorts about the crazy inventor Wallace and his very smart dog Gromit. Just as imaginative as "Chicken Run," if not more.