A Shaun the Sheep Movie – Farmageddon: Charming farmyard fun
Review: Woolly hero’s latest adventure is his most satisfying one yet
Farmageddon never gets too big for Mossy Bottom Farm nor strays from the sense of being trapped with an unrepentant and woolly anarcho-primitivist
Film Title: A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Director: Will Becher and Richard Phelan
Starring: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Amalia Vitale, Kate Harbour, Simon Greenall, Emma Tate, Andy Nyman, Chris Morrell, Joe Sugg
Running Time: 87 min
Popular anarcho-primitivism icon Shaun the Sheep is, as ever, attempting to bring Mossy Bottom Farm back to Year Zero with a series of antics designed to undermine the central authority.
It falls to the long-suffering canine apparatchik Blitzer to impose order on the sheep’s gleeful mayhem, while the farmer, corrupted by capitalist hegemony and dreams of a new tractor, fritters his time and labour on opportunistic schemes, designed to capitalise on recent extraterrestrial activity in the oblast. A chilling reminder, if any were needed, that landowners are an inherently corrupt class.
This teetering social structure is further undermined by the appearance of Lu-La, an adorable alien – and future Aardman backpack – who shares Shaun’s appetite for chaos. Lu-La’s arrival on Earth brings Men in Black style investigators, led by the stern Agent Red, to Mossy Bottom. Will Blitzer get Lu-La to safety before the sinister agency catch up with them? Or will Shaun do something anarchic to undermine the dog’s best efforts?
Following on from his 2015 big screen debut, this is the second film outing for the Aardman ovis. It arrives on the back of the popular Shaun the Sheep television series, another TV spin-off in Timmy Time, and the character’s debut turn in Nick Park’s A Close Shave. Happily, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon is his most satisfying adventure yet.
Much of the charm is derived from the muffled and bleated vocalisations, sounds that are amusing and communicative, without approaching anything as prescriptive as dialogue. Many British sitcoms have foundered against cinematic ambitions: that crucial sense of claustrophobia is too often undermined by a larger canvas. But Farmageddon, despite an excursion to outer space, never gets too big for Mossy Bottom Farm nor strays from the sense of being trapped with an unrepentant and woolly anarcho-primitivist.