"Chicken Run" and my son's appreciation of same

My son requested we rent Chicken Run this weekend. He had probably last seen it a year or more ago (he’s five) so it was essentially new to him.

He laughed his head off. Three scenes in particular:

  1. The chickens attempt to get out by stacking themselves up on stilts and disguising themselves as Mrs. Tweedy (he laughed so hard he was gasping for breath).

  2. The farmer lifts up the roof of the coop to check on the chickens who have just rushed frantically to conceal the meeting they have been having. One of the chickens puts a (stolen) teapot in one of the nests. The farmer passes his flashlight beam over it then when he goes back quickly the pot has been covered up with a fake chicken head (knitted by Babs). We had to rewind and watch this part again.

  3. The rats Nick and Fetcher hide under garden gnome ornaments and walk off with Mr. Tweedy’s tools (this had him literally falling out of his chair).

It was great to see him enjoying it so much, and his reaction helped me to appreciate the film again. It is reallly a great little film. Nothing earth-shaking, almost an “extended short” but very enjoyable.

The only frustrating part was that I could tell he wasn’t getting a lot of the dialogue. Between his hearing loss (as usual he refused to wear his hearing aids) and the British accents I know he missed a lot.

Anyway we are really looking forward to Curse of the Wererabbit. We are probably going to see it the day it opens here.

yeah, Chicken Run is one of those rare films that appeals to all ages, i liked some of the more “British” inside jokes they snuck in…

the rats names, Nick and Felcher, are two britsh slang terms for theft/stealing, and that’s in fact what the rats do they nick stuff and felch stuff…

the actress who plays Babs (incidentally, all the knitting she does is real, done by knitters on the production crew) is also the same actress who plays the character “Bubble” in the Britcom “Absolutely Fabulous”, and has very similar “ditzy bubblehead” mannerisms, the actress that plays Ginger also plays the character of Saffron on Ab-Fab

when the old General Rooster yells “Chocks Away!” he’s referring both to the wheel chocks used to keep airplanes from rolling when parked, and to the fact that the wheel “chocks” they are using look remarkably similar to the Swiss chocolate bar (Chocky is a British slang for chocolate) Toblerone which is packaged in a long triangular box

err—fetch things, fetch

stupid Universal Translator thingy… last time i buy from an “Honest” Ferengi…

Surely you meant “filch”?

I love this movie. Maybe you should get The Red Balloon for your son or some Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton films.

Get him the Wallace & Gromit shorts. They were made by the same people that made Chicken Run.

Perhaps you should have turned on the closed captioning. Also, he may enjoy the Wallace and Gromit films if he liked Chicken Run.

Oh, there’s a TON of inside jokes!

—The music from The Great Escape playing during the escape-attempt montage, which, of course, ends with Ginger bouncing a ball against the wall of the coal bin.

—Mel Gibson’s first line in this movie is the same as his last line in Braveheart: “FREEDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!”

—Fetcher hesitating a long time before asking, “D’you wanna dance?” and Nick thinking it over before mumbling “Y’all right”, as in the Monty Python sketch: “…D’you wanna come back to my place?” “…Y’all right.”

Well, all right; that’s only three. But still, this movie is brilliant! (And FTR, the actress playing Ginger is Julia Sawalha. I’ve only seen her in AbFab and this, but she was terrific in both. Babs is Jane Horrocks, and she’s good in everything.)

The actress who voiced Babs is also the voice of Fenchurch in the new HHGttG radio series.

There are a LOT of movie references in Chicken Run: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120630/movieconnections (I can’t vouch for all of those, but there are quite a few)


I believe that was a Brussels sprout.

All right then, a Brussels sprout. And I remembered another reference: Ginger grabbing her hat just before the door closes, a la Indiana Jones.

Julia Sawalha is perfect as Lydia in the A&E film Pride and Prejudice. After the above two level-headed roles, it would surprise you to see how well she plays a ditzy bonehead.

Did you see Jane Horrocks in Little Voice? That was a good flick, too.

I only noticed the last time I watched Chicken Run that the voice of Mrs. Tweedy was Miranda Richardson, another fine Brit actress who has been brilliant in everything I’ve seen her in.

When so many animated features are made (with varying degrees of success) with computer animation, it’s great to see somebody going to the trouble to make something genuine and smart.

You won’t be disappointed with Wallace & Grommit. They have a lot of very clever physical humor in them.

Little Voice, Life Is Sweet, Getting It Right, Deadly Advice…anything that makes it to this side of the pond. And she’s going to be a voice in Corpse Bride!

A few years ago, Mr. Rilch got me a Babs doll. He said, as I was opening the package, that he figured that this would prove just how well he knows me: Ginger being the obvious choice for most people, but Babs being voiced by my really favorite actress. And he was right!

Computer animation isn’t the problem; it’s studios using computer animation to cover up a weak story, shallow characters, and an overabundance of flatulence jokes.

Related self-promotion: Why Pixar kicks digital ass. :wink:

I dunno…I remember seeing The Red Balloon when I was a little older than him, maybe six or seven, and being alternately bored and slightly creeped out.

Yes, we already have them on DVD. That’s why we are so eagerly anticipating The Curse of the Wererabbit

While he is smart as a whip he is only five…he doesn’t read quite that well yet.

I’ll chime in to say I love Chicken Run, and still haven’t grown tired of it. I can’t wait to see Curse of the WereRabbit. It’s great for kids, but it’s also good enough to keep adults enthralled. I also love Wallace and Gromit - the sheepnapping, the evil penguin etc.