A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019)
When an alien with unique (and often hilarious) powers lands close to Mossy Bottom Farm, it's up to Shaun to help her find a way home before the sinister organisation that is seeking her comes to take her away. Aardman have done another great job in creating a family friendly film with enough jokes to keep the parents entertained. Will Becher and Richard Phelan do well with their feature debut.
The animation always amazes me with Aardman. The work and dedication that goes into these films is mesmerising and they have crafted another winner with Farmageddon. Although there are zero words spoken on screen, the other vocal quirks used are hilarious and clever. Lu-La (the alien we meet) is adorable and as a 33-year-old man, I will admit that she did make me laugh mimicking Shaun, his friends and trains. This could (if not done right) make the story hard to understand, but the directors have crafted a story which is easy to follow. The vocal quirks add to the story and characters rather than hinder them.
This is a children’s film at the end of the day, and the gags come thick and fast. During the screening kids were laughing uncontrollably, which added to the experience. The gags are standard for a kid’s film (burps, bum jokes etc.) but they are truly effective. This never slows the story down, in fact the pace of the film is surprisingly better than the first. I thought the film was over a lot sooner than I imagined, which must have meant that I was enjoying it. There is so much attention to detail, referencing films such as Jaws, Doctor Who and Independence Day (but like I said, these are for adults to spot throughout).
The story isn’t just about Shaun and Lu-La, it is also about Bitzer. Regimental and a by-the-book character that provides as many laughs as Shaun himself, maybe more so! This character is an absolute joy to watch, from trying to please the farmer, keeping the flock in order and being mistaken as an alien (with hilarious results). He goes through the film not being understood but ultimately having his moment in the spotlight. The villain herself is misunderstood too at first but her story comes full circle. She is the leader of the organisation who is determined to catch the alien. Her backstory is sad (and shows us what bullying can do to a person) however her redemption is moving and feels natural.
You could argue that the film doesn’t cater much for adults, but I disagree and will fight in its corner. This is a lovely little film for families who want to laugh and create memories together. Well done to Aardman for another little gem. I am signing up for a spin off with Lu-La for more adventures. Shaun may have gone to space and back, but it was well worth the journey.