Ever heard of that macho brawny superstar Mel Gibson? Yeah, yeah, the one with the great tush?
Well, in my opinion, he's nothing but a chicken.
Not only is he a chicken, he's also a darned good one.
Don't believe me? Watch Chicken Run.
An ingenious clay animation adventure, Chicken Run is an immensely entertaining egg farm version of John Sturges' The Great Escape. It unfolds amidst a star spangled sky in a concentration camp-like poultry farm, run by the evil plan-hatching Mrs Tweedy (voice of Miranda Richardson).
A plucky hen, Ginger (voice of Julia Sawalha), tries night after night to dig her way out of the farm with a rusty spoon. And almost every time, she's caught by the dimwitted and henpecked Mr Tweedy (voice of Tony Haygarth) and punished with solitary confinement.
But our lady protagonist is not merely content to escape by herself; she wants to lead her entire brood to freedom to greener pastures. She valiantly organises the group's ill-fated but amusing attempts at liberty.
Ginger's dreams are given a fresh lease of life when Rocky (voice of Mel Gibson) literally drops from the sky and crashes into the farm's landscape. Ginger wants Rocky to teach all the hens how to fly to escape. He promises to get Ginger's bottom heavy mates off the ground in exchange for his safe stay at the poultry house, as he is fleeing the capture by the American Circus.
Meanwhile, Mrs Tweedy installs an automated chicken-pie assembly plant in her barn. With death now looming, the hens, with considerable aid from two pilfering rodents, take matters under their own wings.
It all builds up to a fabulously thrilling, hilarious, action-packed, edge of the seat climax that you'll never tire of seeing! It's amazing how much life British partners-in-clay Nick Park and Peter Lord can breathe into a lump of plasticine.
Chicken Run is a delightful amalgamation of flawless clay animation effects, a witty and original script, a rousing score and innumerable one-liners. This chick flick is a must-see for all ages!
But a warning: After a viewing, you can forget about serving chicken dinners for a couple of weeks!
Director: Nick Park, Peter Lord
Cast: Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha, Miranda Richardson, Tony Haygarth, Phil Daniels
Writers: Karey Kirkpatrick, Jack Rosenthal
Official film website