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A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon - Review

A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

IRRESISTIBLY sweet for kids, yet sci-fi savvy enough to appeal to grown-ups, Aardman have delivered another family gem in A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.

The second big screen outing for its titular character, Farmageddon offers one giant leap for sheep-kind in terms of scope and ambition with this amiably goofy adventure. But it’s an odyssey worth taking, given how seamlessly the film pays both neat homage to genre classics while maintaining the charm and quintessential British-ness expected from this particular studio.

Co-directed by Will Becher and Richard Phelan, making their feature debuts behind the camera, Farmageddon picks up as a rogue spaceship accidentally lands near Mossy Bottom farm, prompting widespread chaos in the surrounding neighbourhood.

It’s the unflappable Shaun who discovers the spaceship’s occupant, however… a baby ET named Lu-La, who just wants to ‘go home’ to her family. Enlisting the help of the hapless Bitzer, Shaun bids to make this happen, while The Farmer, obsessed with the idea of buying a new combine harvester, tries to cash in on the alien arrival by opening a theme park called Farmageddon.

Standing in everyone’s way, however, is Agent Red and her team of Hazmat-suited goons, who want Lu-La for their own despicable ends.

It’s fair to say that Farmageddon does little to shake up the genre, opting instead to wallow in its conventions. But it does so in such an affectionate way that it’s impossible not to be smitten.

There’s slapstick elements designed to have you laughing out loud, spot-on sci-fi references geared towards impressing the sci-fi buffs, heart-warming messages about inclusion and helping one another, as well as the trademark eccentricity that’s now synonymous with Aardman (the team behind Wallace & Gromit, no less).

A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

But there is the odd moment of subversion, too, with neat ‘twists’ on classic sci-fi scenes from ET and Alien, in particular, as well as more obvious homages to everything from The X-Files and Doctor Who to Close Encounters via 2001: A Space Odyssey and Wall-E.

There’s also plenty of ingenuity to keep the film moving in spite of a near wordless script.

At a time when there is so much to worry about in the wider world, it’s reassuring to find a film that exists so honestly to entertain and put a smile on your face. It’s a skill that shouldn’t be under-estimated, especially when the results are so out of this world.

Certificate: U
Running time: 87mins
UK Release Date: October 18, 2019