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The Art of “Chicken Run”: A student explains his love for this stop-motion farm film.

I am only an amateur movie critic. Now that I think about it, movie critic and my name should not be allowed in the same sentence. All my strong opinions, critical thoughts, and even praise for movies come from my own untrained eyes. I honestly know nothing about movies except for my own presumptuous, and certainly uneducated opinions. Because of this, I don’t feel qualified to make any bold artistic claims. I can’t weigh in on whether “Vertigo” or “Citizen Kane” should be at the top of the next sight and sound greatest film poll. I can’t make an argument for or against method acting. I don’t have the credentials to talk about the massive impact the movie production code had on Hollywood’s studio system. And so, because of my lack of knowledge and expertise in the subject, I will only make a very humble claim. “Chicken Run” is the greatest movie ever made! 

I recently spoke to an unnamed individual who had never seen this movie. Having never seen
“Chicken Run” is like never reading Shakespeare. That is like not knowing what the Mona Lisa or the Eiffel Tower looked like. But sadly, this is not an uncommon occurrence for me. All too often I run into these individuals.

I think it might be appropriate to pause and say I am not entirely serious in the claim I am making. But; it is true that I am crazy about the movie. First of all, I would argue it is the most magnificent piece of stop motion I have watched. Actually, this movie is one of the animated movies that was responsible for the Oscars creating a Best Animated Feature award. Colors, textures, movements, all of it are so good I would almost call it beautiful. The attention to detail is wonderful. Every scene is filled with intricate miniature props.

The story is also very solid for it being an animated movie. In case you are one of the sad people who have never seen it, it’s a parody of the 1963 movie, “The Great Escape,” a film about a bunch of British prisoners of war trying to escape from a Nazi camp. Nick Park and Peter Lord, the directors of “Chicken Run,” took this story and changed it to be about British chickens trying to escape a farm. If you have seen both movies you will notice parallel shots and references throughout. Notably, the opening sequence with the tunnel, and Ginger bouncing the ball off the wall in the exact same way Steve McQueen does. Mel Gibson plays the lead chicken, which I have always found hilarious.  And of course, I would be neglecting my duty if I didn’t mention the infamous chicken kiss.

While it certainly is a stretch for me to say this is the greatest movie of all time, I would say it is an animated masterpiece. It was made at the height of stop motion animation, just before computer animation took over, and is in my mind the finest bit of claymation to ever appear on film. This movie is in its own small way an artistic masterpiece and worth every minute of your time.

Sources: Daily Hindi News, Screenrant

Photo: The Verge

A clip from the entertaining, animated escape film, “Chicken Run.”

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