The ever-reliable Aardman Animations are back at it, delivering another wonderfully creative stop-motion gem in the much-anticipated sequel to Shaun the Sheep the Movie. Released in 2015, the first film was a flawless delight, not only being the best-animated film of that year, but also one of 2015’s very best films. That winning streak is found again in the sequel, Farmageddon, which involves the titular Shaun the Sheep teaming up with a little alien toddler named Lu-La in an attempt to get her back home to her home planet, as well as trying to evade a government agency tasked with hunting the alien down. As for the familiar residents of Mossy Bottom Farm, the Farmer wants to save enough money to buy a grand-spanking new combine harvester, so with UFO sightings being the new craze, he decides to open a new attraction called “Farmageddon”.
The plot is very basic and straightforward, much like the plot in the first film, but underneath all of that dwells the underlying heart and charm of Shaun the Sheep and why it’s lasted so long. The simplicity of the story allows for Aardman the breathing space to just go for it and do whatever they feel like; whether it’s the well-timed slapstick, the laugh-out-loud comedy, the brilliant visual gags, as well as the subtle references to sci-fi TV shows and films. This is all in service of the stop-motion animation on display, which, just like with all their previous works, is just simply gorgeous to behold, showing off the impressive attention-to-detail that Aardman is famous for. It’s also quintessentially British, having that very British charm about it, which is what makes all of Aardman’s works so wonderfully unique and distinct.
In the end, Aardman Animations has once again struck gold in a continuous winning streak. A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon is a perfect sequel that has everything you could want in an Aardman film: iconic charming characters, great visual storytelling, funny humour, gorgeous stop-motion animation, and a pure innocence about it that makes a brilliant family that will resonate well with both children and adults. Sweat, blood, and tears are all what Aardman pours into every one of their films, and you can tell that they are really passionate about the projects they make, and since they care, we care.
Dir: Will Becher, Richard Phelan
Scr: Mark Burton, Jon Brown, Richard Starzak
Cast: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes
Prd: Paul Kewley
DOP: Dave Alex Riddett
Music: Tom Howe
Run time: 87 mins
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on February 10th.