Chicken Run Parent Guide
This hilarious clay animation movie will have you chuckling and clucking like a chicken.
Parent Movie Review
Egg production is going down on Tweedy’s farm. While the greedy Mrs. Tweedy (Miranda Richardson) searches for ways to increase revenue, Mr. Tweedy (Tony Haygarth) is suspicious insurrection is brewing in the hen house. But his claims that the chickens are doing morning exercises and holding midnight meetings only convince his wife that Mr.Tweedy is a few eggs short of a dozen.
As crazy as it seems, there are mutinous plans, headed by Ginger (Julia Sawalha), a fiery hen who’s determined there is a better life beyond the chicken wire. Despite elaborate tactics, she is unable to organize the other hens to attempt an escape without bungling it. Believing she will never free the flock, her hope is renewed late one night when a circus performing rooster named Rocky (Mel Gibson) drops in from the sky.
Rocky’s airborne arrival convinces Ginger that with a little work, chickens can fly and that could be their ticket off the farm. Persuading Rocky to provide flying lessons in exchange for hiding him from his former owner, Ginger is pressured to have the hens learn this skill before the Tweedys finish assembling an automated chicken pie machine they have purchased in hopes of making more profits from their poultry farm.
This hilarious clay animation movie enhanced with computer graphics contains little that would concern parents. Except for the beheading of one unlucky chicken (quietly taking place off-screen), violence consists of slapstick antics and the Tweedys dealing with an exploding pie machine. Not one profanity was detected and only a tiny moment of sexual innuendo exists when the hens enthusiastically offer Rocky any bunk in the coop.
Chicken Run is Nick Park’s first feature film. For families who have enjoyed the animator’s earlier short films featuring the lovable team of Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run will be a delight to watch. And for those of you who enjoy this movie and haven’t seen Park’s other works, run like a chicken to your nearest video retailer and look for The Incredible Adventures of Wallace and Gromit, which includes A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave.Directed by Peter Lord, Nick Park. Starring Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha. Running time: 84 minutes. Theatrical release June 20, 2000. Updated May 8, 2020
Chicken Run Parents' Guide
Ginger is concerned for the flock as a whole rather than just trying to save herself. How does that make her a better leader? What do we learn about her moral character in the face of problems or when she discovers Rocky is lying to the rats?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
"The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame features a whole community of animals, from the stern and hard-working Badger to the irresponsible and silly Mr. Toad. E.B. White's "Stewart Little" follows an adventuresome mouse as he finds his way in the big wild world. Roald Dahl's "The Witches" sees a bright young boy turned into a mouse, and the difficulties he faces in trying to stop the evil sorceresses. Dahl is also responsible for "Fantastic Mr. Fox", which revolves around the titular fox as he escapes the cruel and stupid farmers from whom he steals livestock.
The most recent home video release of Chicken Run movie is November 20, 2000. Here are some details…
DVD Release Date: 21 November 2000
Like other Dreamworks’ DVD releases (including the award winning Prince of Egypt DVD), this disk is chock full of information about the movie and the people who created it. Two extensive documentaries illustrate the painstaking process required to create the over one-hundred-thousand individual pictures that form Chicken Run. You also learn about the history of Aardman Productions and creators Peter Lord and Nick Park.
Another section of the disk provides a host of detailed biographies on every cast member and many of the crew while pushing a couple more buttons generates a wealth of written production notes.
Finally the disk includes a running commentary with directors Lord and Park talking you through every step of the movie.
Needless to say, the images are superb, the sound amazing, and the movie is even more enjoyable when you can stop and take a good look at those chickens. Not meaning to egg you on, but this is a DVD worth cracking open.
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If talking animals and intelligent life in the barnyard wags your tail, then check out our review of Babe. Chicken Run also pays homage to the classic film, The Great Escape. Aardman Animations has produced other family-friendly fun flicks, including Flushed Away, Shaun the Sheep, and Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.