Ginger and company are back for another riotous adventure and will certainly make you feel guilty about eating chicken nuggets.
Considered to be one of the most successful stop-motion animated films, Chicken Run felt like a wonderful spoof of The Great Escape when it was released in 2000 and now 23 years on it turns the plot of that film on it head by getting the chickens to break back into a chicken farm.
Dawn of the Nugget begins with Ginger, Rocky, Babs and the rest of the feathered gang blissfully living on the island they escaped to at the end of the last film. Ginger and Rocky now parents to teenager Molly, who is feeling restless and looking for adventure beyond the island and eventually runs away -much to Rocky and Ginger’s horror, particularly when it becomes clear what Molly has become fascinated by: inviting-looking company which is running something to do with chickens – but of course it isn’t what it seems. What follows is a mission impossible styled adventure (enhanced further by Harry Gregson-Williams’s thriller infused music) with plenty of laughs and nostalgia along the way.
Written by Karey Kirkpatick, John O’Farrell and Rachel Tunnard, Dawn of the Nugget retains the spirit of the original film but manages to keep it feeling fresh to appeal to a new generation of audiences (although at the screening I was at there were plenty of belly laughs from the adults). There are the occasional lines that don’t quite fit in and can make the sentiment feel slightly forced but for the most part it is lively and entertaining script (of course filled with plenty of puns that you can both laugh and groan at).
Sam Fell’s easy going and fluid film is filled with delightful nods to action films including the way in which the chicken farm the chickens have to break back into a farm looking like a Bond villain home. The attention to detail visually is completely clever and detailed (only to be expected from Aardman Animations), enhanced further by Charles Copping’s cinematography that delights in every moment of the storytelling. Yes there are no real surprises to be found story wise but it is a fun ride nevertheless from start to finish.
While there are a few changes to the voice cast, there is still plenty of spirit and personality on display. Leading the way as Ginger is Thandie Newton who gives the character plenty of pluckiness while showing a slightly softer side to the character, Zachary Levi as the cocky Rocky gives plenty of swagger and it is a real delight to hear Jane Horrocks as Babs (who gets many of the film’s best lines) again. Meanwhile, David Bradley makes a nice addition to the cast as the gruff and easily distracted Fowler and Josie Sedgwick-Davies as the spunky new character Frizzle has plenty of charm.
It is very difficult to get a sequel right, particularly when the original film is as beloved as Chicken Run was, but everyone working on this film has done well to deliver a film that is sure to delight audiences of those who are familiar with the original and those who are discovering this bunch of chickens for the first time.
By Emma Clarendon
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is set to be released on Netflix on the 15th December.