Aardman Animations’ lovable rogue Shaun the Sheep returns with another family-friendly caper straight from the pages of a sci-fi fantasy. With a change in directors from the 2015 Shaun the Sheep movie, directors Rich Phelan and Will Becher make sure the franchise’s most lovable sheep is in the most capable hands to rocket the fun into intergalactic dimensions.
When a spaceship crash lands on the outskirts of Mossy Bottom Farm, the runaway multi-coloured baby Alien Lu-La emerges bewildered and scared. As she explores her surroundings and swipes a few chips along the way she stumbles upon the farm and Shaun who proceeds to gently introduce her into his sheep family whilst keeping her hidden from his nemesis Bitzer.
Once again, dialogue-free, Lu-La gives Shaun a run for his mischievous money. The tables are turned as Shaun finds himself, for once, embarking down the road of responsibility as he takes Lu-La under his wings. Faced with a mirror image of his younger, irresponsible self he realises with age, and someone to look after, it’s his time to do some growing up. He vows to get his newfound friend back to her home planet, with Bitzer in hot pursuit to stop him. Lu-La can’t keep herself out of trouble as she discovers all kinds of new and wonderful things especially sugar-filled treats resulting in the local supermarket looking like a bomb has just gone off.
Aside from the brilliance in silent storytelling, the attention to detail is incredible, from the super-market sweep full of fizzy pop burps and sugar highs to the flying trip to space; each frame shows the immense patience and dedication put into the painstakingly long hours it takes just to film five minutes of film. It’s this amount of pride in its product that, no doubt, outclasses many of the throw-away animations that come and go without a lunar impact.
It’s not all Lu-La and Shaun shenanigans; the Farmer gets his own screen time too. With his sights set on a brand new tractor, the farmer cashes in on the town’s newfound Spaceship discovery. Hit with the money-making idea of setting up Farmageddon, a space-themed them park, he finds not everything runs to plan as Agent Red and the minion-inspired Hazmat’s run amok trying to get their hands on the run-away alien.
The pure wide-eyed innocence of this sequel is clearly aimed at a pre-school audience but there is something just so enduring about its purity that will appeal to every un-cynical age. There are a few throwback songs for the adults to revel in its nostalgia and it’s filled with smile-a-minute humour that rains down the feel-good factor. Once again it proves Aardman, and its filmmakers can essentially do no wrong, that stop-motion crown is staying for the long-haul.
Shaun The Sheep: Farmageddon is out in cinemas October 18th