Speechless Sheep Leads A Cheeky Menagerie In 'Wallace And Gromit' Spinoff Shaun the Sheep, a character from the stop-motion animation films, now has his own movie — an absurd and unstoppably amusing feature.
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Speechless Sheep Leads A Cheeky Menagerie In 'Wallace And Gromit' Spinoff

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Speechless Sheep Leads A Cheeky Menagerie In 'Wallace And Gromit' Spinoff

Review

Movie Reviews

Speechless Sheep Leads A Cheeky Menagerie In 'Wallace And Gromit' Spinoff

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Fans of animation may know about the folks at Aardman. They are specialists in the painstaking technique known as stop motion. And their "Wallace and Gromit" films have won several Oscars. LA Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan says their new film, "Shaun The Sheep," is one of their best.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: "Shaun The Sheep" is the kind of movie where lobsters exchange fist bumps, and a goldfish plays death-row jailhouse harmonica in an animal shelter, kind of like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SHAUN THE SHEEP")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character, playing harmonica).

TURAN: This is an absurd and unstoppably amusing feature that's been years in the making and worth every minute. Shaun is a sheep with human tendencies. And though he's already had a TV series, this is his first feature. In it, he leaves his farm home and takes part in a search and rescue mission in the big city. This may sound like a story for small children. But the truth is adults may end up its biggest fans. Shaun is an animal of few words. Not to put too fine a point on it, he doesn't speak at all. And neither does anyone else. Yet to describe "Shaun" as a silent film is not quite accurate. The film's human as well as animal characters grunt and mumble in the most articulate way. Here, Shaun and his sheep buddies, dressed up in thrift store clothes, mimic human behavior in a fancy restaurant.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SHAUN THE SHEEP")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, mumbling).

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character, burping).

TURAN: Given that no one says so much as a word, it's remarkable that "Shaun The Sheep" can sustain its inventiveness, both in terms of plot development and small moments of comedy. But it does. When all else fails, these sheep start to harmonize.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SHAUN THE SHEEP")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing).

TURAN: Life's a treat with "Shaun The Sheep," someone sings over the final credits. And you won't want to argue the point.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SHAUN THE SHEEP")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing).

GREENE: Kind of makes you want to sing along. Kenneth Turan reviews movies for MORNING EDITION and for the Los Angeles Times.

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