A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

 

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The indomitable ovine hero’s new adventure is a close encounter with an alien.

 

A Shaun the Sheep Movie - Farmageddon

  

We left Shaun the Sheep in his first movie (2015) back from the Big City where they retrieved Farmer John from the hospital and returned him to Mossy Bottom Farm. In Farmageddon, Shaun gets a visit from a passing spacecraft landing near the farm. Out pops a cute little (girl?) alien called Lu-La. When Shaun meets Lu-La they appear to bond and Lu-La also charms Shaun’s sheepish flock of pals. Although the intergalactic visitor seems to like it here, chomping on sweets and pizza, what she really wants to do, E.T. like, is go home. However, the local Mr Farmer sees an opportunity to raise money for a new combine harvester by opening a UFO theme park. In an effort to send Lu-La back into space, Shaun and his flock then go in search of the alien spaceship now grounded in Mossingham Forest. However, they are pursued by Agent Red from a government alien-hunting agency who is out to prove the existence of beings from other worlds. Can our ovine friends beat the system? You bet your little woolly socks they can!

As usual with Aardman productions the film is full of jokes and references to other movies and at times it channels the likes of Close Encounters..., 2001, WALL-E, Alien, Doctor Who, War of the Worlds and, of course, E.T. itself and the jokes come so thick and fast it’s hard to keep up with them. The Claymation figures are animated as cleverly as ever but it’s hard to credit how much work has gone into creating another full-length feature. As before there is no dialogue as such (whoever heard of a sheep talking?) but there are lots of bleats and baas and at one point a huge burp from Lu-La after she consumes too much pizza.

Farmageddon will give much pleasure to viewers of all ages and, if it is not quite as brilliant as the first Shaun the Sheep feature, it comes pretty damn close to being another classic. So, where can Shaun, after seeing the Big City and having a close encounter with an alien, go now? I think the chap deserves a good holiday in Cornwall, perhaps at Woolacombe Bay or in Kent at Sheerness or maybe a trip to London for a stay in Lamb’s Conduit Street.

By the way, do sit through all the amazingly imaginative credit titles following the film because, as usual, there is a good final joke.

 

MICHAEL DARVELL

 

Voices of  Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Amalia Vitale, Chris Morrell, Kate Harbour, David Holt, Simon Greenall, Andy Nyman, Joe Sugg and Emma Tate.

                                                                                                                

Dir Will Becher and Richard Phelan, Pro Paul Kewley and Richard Beek, Screenplay Jon Brown, from a story by Mark Burton and Nick Park, based on characters created by Nick Park, Ph Charles Copping, Pro Des Matt Perry, Ed Sim Evan-Jones, Music Tom Howe, Animation Director Merlin Crossingham.

 

Aardman Animation/StudioCanal/Amazon Prime Video/Anton-StudioCanal.
87 mins. UK. 2019. Rel: 18 October 2019. Cert. U.