SHAUN THE SHEEP – Review by Susan Granger

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After making his debut 20 years ago in Nick Park’s Oscar-winning “Wallace and Gromit” outing “A Close Shave,” Shaun the Sheep has become a British TV favorite. Now, he has his own full-length feature film. For a rebellious ram, like Shaun (vocalized by Justin Fletcher), life at Mossy Bottom Farm can get a bit tiresome. Every day, the Farmer (vocalized by John Sparkes) and his loyal sheepdog Blitzer (also Sparkes) take Shaun and the rest of the flock to graze in the fields. Read more>>

Determined to take a break from the daily drudgery, mischievous Shaun decides to take off for the Big City (think London). But then a series of accidents land the Farmer in the hospital, where a quirk of amnesia turns him into a celebrity hair stylist, employing his sheep-shearing skills to start new trends.

Back at the farm, amid other livestock, like opportunistic, hard-partying pigs and a conniving duck who accepts bread-bribes, Shaun and his bleating flock-mates realize they cannot reach their feed, which is stored high in the barn, so they join with their arch nemesis, Blitzer, to embark on a search to find the Farmer and bring him home.

Problem is: disguised as humans in the urban environment, they’re captured and incarcerated by Trumper, the Animal Control Officer (grunted by Omid Djalili).

Utilizing stop-motion Claymation, Britain’s Aardman Animators (“Chicken Run,” “The Pirates!”) devise an easy-to-understand, yet dialogue-free narrative, filled with sight gags, shop-sign puns, goofy sound effects and indecipherable gibberish that was cleverly created by writers/directors Mark Burton and Richard Starzak, following a plot that’s curiously similar to “Babe: Pig in the City” (1998).

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Shaun the Sheep” is an amusingly sweet 7, a wild and wooly adventure that’s shear fun for very young children.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.