Monday, 9 February 2015

Review: Shaun The Sheep Movie

World of Blackout Film Review

Shaun The Sheep Movie Poster

Shaun The Sheep Movie
Cert: U / 85 mins / Dir. Richard Starzack & Mark Burton / Trailer
WoB Rating: 6/7

You see, I've headed this review "Shaun The Sheep Movie" because that's what's on the poster, and indeed the film's in-movie title card. It's also what the IMDB, Cineworld and Picturehouse are calling it. But "Shaun The Sheep Movie" doesn't make much grammatical sense as a title, does it?

However, Rotten Tomatoes, Odeon and Vue are all just going with "Shaun The Sheep", which seems more coherent. Although it doesn't clearly delineate that this is an actual standalone film, and could leave potential viewers wondering whether this is a new feature-length presentation, or just re-constituted TV episodes (case in point, Peppa Pig: The Golden Boots, which only has 25% new material).

Normally in cases like this, I bow to the British Board of Film Classification, since the title appearing on their register is the one submitted by the film-makers for a rating. But the BBFC page for the film throws another title into the mix with "Shaun The Sheep The Movie". On the face of things, this covers all the bases, until you realise than it's in a grammatical mire no less than the poster title. What's really needed is a colon or hyphen to break things up (to wit, "Shaun The Sheep: The Movie" or "Shaun The Sheep - The Movie". But the BBFC don't seem to think punctuation is as important as I do, so we're stuck with a title which makes me want to write on the film's posters with a red marker.

Then I came across something which seems to suggest that the situation has been a source of some discussion at Aardman Animation, too:
Shaun The Sheep: Mind The THE…

If Aardman don't bloody well know where the THE is supposed to go, WHAT CHANCE DO THE REST OF US HAVE? Keep in mind that although this isn't an "educational" film, a high proportion of the audience WILL be of school-age, and they don't need their suggestible minds clouded with examples of shoddy grammar and punctuation! I DIDN'T GET WHERE I AM TODAY BY GROWING UP WITH INADEQUATE FILM-TITLING.


Oh, the film is absolutely outstanding, by the way. Visual-storytelling in its purest form with all the wit and warmth we've come to expect from Bristol's finest. Although it's clearly not going to be for everyone, you'd have to be some sort of psychopath to get nothing out of this film, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't wiping away a tear of joy on at least two occasions. And it's proof once again that a great film can take a fidgeting, chattering, shrieking audience of miniature humans, and leave them enraptured for the entire runtime, the only sound emanating from them being laughter.

Go and see Shaun The Sheep, you heathens.

Is this film worth paying £10+ to see?
If it's your sort of thing (and you should know from the trailer whether that's the case), then yes.

Well, I don't like the cinema. Buy it, rent it, or wait for it to be on telly?
If you're not going to the cinema then you're clearly not fussed, so probably rent/telly.

Does this film represent the best work of the leading performer(s)?
In terms of Aardman animation, it's up to their usual excellent standard, yes.

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
It does.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Not really.

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There isn't.

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
Well, comedian and actor Omid Djalili provides the grunts and grumbles for 'A. Trumper', the film's villainous animal warden. Djalili starred in the 2001 film Mean Machine alongside Ralph Brown, aka Ric Olié from The Phantom Menace.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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