Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
United Kingdom/France/Belgium/USA/China/Australia/Japan/Finland/Germany/Ireland, 2019. Aardman Animations, Amazon Prime Video, Anton, Bona Film Group, MEDIA Programme of the European Union, StudioCanal International, StudioCanal. Screenplay by Mark Burton, Jon Brown, based on an idea by Richard Starzak and characters created by Nick Park. Cinematography by Charles Copping. Produced by Paul Kewley. Music by Tom Howe. Production Design by Matt Perry. Film Editing by Sim Evan-Jones.
Hard to believe but, after six seasons of the adorable animated series and an Oscar-nominated 2015 film, there’s still enough gas in the tank to make yet another hilarious and satisfying adventure involving the mischievous sheep who just can’t help getting himself into trouble. The folks at Aardman dazzle us with a stop-motion experience that features some action-packed thrills, witty laughs and even a few moments that touch the heart as Shaun tries to order a pizza and ends up having a close encounter of the third kind.
The ovine residents of Mossy Bottom Farm drive the overseeing sheepdog to no end of exasperation, prompted by Shaun as ringleader, distracting him from the crop circles that form in the fields nearby when an otherworldly child named Lu-la lands there after stealing their parents spaceship and going on a joyride across the galaxy. The Farmer gets wind of this event and realizes the money he can make by building an amusement park that will draw the crowds, while Shaun teams up with the scared newcomer (who happens to love pizza as much as he does) and helps protect it from harm and some very nosy extra-terrestrial hunters.
There are more than a few laugh out loud moments, including Shaun’s attempt to recover Lu-la from a supermarket, and it builds up to a thrilling climax involving a daring climb to the top of a control tower. Endlessly creative and deeply funny, this is one you won’t just want to watch for the kids’ sake.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Animated Feature