Shaun the Sheep is a children’s television show from Britain, created by Aardman Animations, the studio behind the massively popular Wallace and Gromit shorts. Like most Aardman productions the show is stop motion animated, as is the upcoming film based on it.
Shaun is a sheep who doesn’t follow the flock – in fact, he leads them into all sorts of scrapes and scraps, turning peace in the valley into mayhem in the meadow.
That’s as much of a plot summary we’re getting right now for Shaun the Sheep the Movie, though it is a pretty accurate description of the show. Shaun the Sheep actually shares a lot with classic cartoons like Tom and Jerry. There’s no dialogue whatsoever (unless you count animal noises) so the show’s humor relies on physical gags rather than funny one liners or wordplay.
Aardman’s prior forays into feature films have had varied results. It’s first two films: Chicken Run, and a film version of Wallace and Gromit were hugely successful (Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit made back more than six times its budget). While those films were stop-motion animated, Aardman’s next two projects: Flushed Away and Arthur Christmas were computer animated, much like Pixar and Dreamworks features, and didn’t do nearly as well. The studio’s most recent film The Pirates! Band of Misfits was a return to stop motion form and managed to make back twice its budget.
Shaun the Sheep the Movie, being an established brand (much like the Wallace and Gromit movie) has the potential to replicate Aardman’s earlier successes.