Shaun The Sheep Movie
Cert: U / 85 mins / Dir. Richard Starzack & Mark Burton / Trailer
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:
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.
THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH, AND I EXPECT IT TO BE SORTED OUT IN TIME FOR THE SEQUEL.
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.
If it's your sort of thing (and you should know from the trailer whether that's the case), then yes.
If you're not going to the cinema then you're clearly not fussed, so probably rent/telly.
In terms of Aardman animation, it's up to their usual excellent standard, yes.
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.
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
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