Chicken Run (2000)

The Great Chicken Escape

Ginger has been in Mr. and Mrs Tweedy's chicken farm long enough to know that the future isn't bright for any of them as when they can't lay eggs anymore the axe will drop, the feathers will be plucked and they will end up on the dinner table. That is why Ginger has been in and out of the coal bunker with her various escape attempts and is determined to get her and all her feathered colleagues out in one great escape. When Rocky the rooster crash lands inside the chicken run Ginger convinces him through some wing bending to help her pull of the audacious great escape by teaching them to fly over the wire, trouble is Rocky can't really fly and he doesn't want Ginger or any of the hens to know.

If there is one movie I can quote probably above all others it is "The Great Escape", from a childhood where it would be shown a couple of times a year on TV to now as a grown up actually putting the DVD on to watch it a couple of times a year I know it pretty much inside out and love it. It may explain why I also enjoy "Chicken Run" which if you haven't watched it yet is highly influenced by the entertaining POW movie. But even if you are not a fan of "The Great Escape" the Aardman animated magic which goes in to "Chicken Run" means it is still a wonderful movie.

Chicken Run (2000)

So what do I mean? Well for fans of "The Great Escape" there are numerous references from Ginger being put in the coal bunker where she tosses a tennis ball against the side in a Steve McQueen way to a camera shot as it pulls out to show the hen houses in a fenced off area which looks just like a POW camp. It is wonderfully imaginative with one reference after another tossed in to the mix but never failing to make the reference entertaining for those like me who have watched "The Great Escape" probably more than any other movie.

But for those who are not a fan you have the humour be it the comical voice work with Jane Horrocks frequently making you smile to the look of these chickens trying to learn how to fly. There is also a great sense of adventure with a comical scene where Ginger and Rocky run the gauntlet of an automated pie making machine. But there is also the artistry and I am not just on about the animating of these clay models but the whole look of the movie with plenty of detail when it comes to set design just grabs your eyes time and again.

What this all boils down to is that "Chicken Run" whilst now over a decade old still remains one of the best claymation movies I have ever watched with something quite literally for everyone from the escapade comedy and funny characters for children to the numerous scenes which pay homage to "The Great Escape" for grown ups.