A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon Review- A sweet animated film that pays tribute to the greats
A thoroughly watchable film about an alien child who accidentally lands on earth and befriends a group of earthlingsw
This stand-alone stop-motion animated sequel to 2015’s Shaun the Sheep Movie wins thanks to its sheer simplicity. An enthusiastic alien kid gets lost and ends up on earth. To locate her spaceship, she must team up with an inquisitive sheep by the name of Shaun. And along the way, they have many adventures. Straightforward and uncomplicated, Farmageddon owes its endearing bits to the writing of Mark Burton and Jon Brown. Another aspect that works for this sweet film is the complete absence of dialogue. Sighs, grunts, bleats, and snarls along with a variety of gesticulations are enough for the audience to get a clear understanding of the story. During the course of its 90-minute run, Farmageddon pays tribute to sci-fi mainstays such as ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Signs. And it must be said that all these nudges to the stalwarts are done in hilarious fashion. The circles in the cornfield due to a mishap with the tractor (Shaun and his blue space companion are at the helm, of course) are especially entertaining to watch. It is fair to assume that the model of the alien child, Lu-La, was heavily inspired by the friendly cycle-riding extra-terrestrial from ET. Agent Red humming the theme of the X-Files as a passcode to enter a classified zone is yet another touch that remains with you.
Director – Will Becher, Richard Phelan
Cast – Justin Fletcher, Amalia Vitale, John Sparkes
The film starts off with an alien visitation scene: a jazzy spaceship (much like Close Encounters) with glittering lights and whatnot, lands in a town at the back of beyond. The only two people to witness its entry are a farmer and his dog. They make a run for it as soon as the being inside attempts to come out. Soon, the town’s press is abuzz with sightings of a UFO. On Mossy Bottom farm, Shaun and the flock are kept in line by a surly dog named Blitzer. The sheep and their shenanigans are put to rest rather quickly by the snarling mutt. Any untoward activity is banned by the dog, and the sheep are left wondering how to entertain themselves. Shaun spots a trail of several half-eaten slices of pizza leading to the shed. A tiny blue being emerges from it momentarily only for Shaun to freeze in fear. Who is this creature and what business does it have on the farm?
The music plays a perfect foil to all the endearing, funny and adventurous moments involving, Lu-La, Shaun, Blitzer and the flock. The scene in which Lu-La raids the convenient store and attempts to rid the place of its candy and sweet soda is especially fun to watch. Shaun’s warnings come to no avail as his alien companion darts through the shop on a sugar rush and ends up letting out a massive belch that reverberates through the town. Blitzer behaving in a manner similar to a grumpy warden while banning activities on the ranch just to keep the sheep in check, is not only hilarious but terribly cute too. If you’re not breaking into a smile while the dog does his menacing growl and scary eyes, then you have to rekindle that childlike spirit within. What makes Farmageddon so watchable is that it refrains from complicating things too much. It dwells in the timeless story of a lost child retracing her steps home and the adventures she has along the way. And to add to it is the covert task force assigned to investigate an alleged alien appearance. ‘Keep it simple, straightforward, and light, and there’s a whole lot you can accomplish’, seems to be the mantra for this stop-motion sequel. And it works!