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Toonhound presents...






British Movie Toons

  Rocky & Ginger in "Chicken Run" (Aardman Animations / Dreamworks Animation / Pathe)

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Chicken Run    (2000)
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   producers: Aardman / DreamWorks / Pathe
   animation: stop-motion animation
      run time: 84 mins


"Poultry in motion!"

     In this claymation parody of "The Great Escape", a repressed clutch of chickens
     lead by the feisty Ginger, attempt to break out of their prison camp farm, but
     their efforts are consistently thwarted by the farm owners - a beanpole witch
     called Mrs Tweedy and her lummock of a husband, Mr Tweedy. The arrival of a
     cocky American rooster, Rocky, spurs the hens to even greater heights of
     ingenuity. With his help they might just learn how to use their own feather
     power and fly the coop. But they'll need to get a move on, because the
     Tweedys have cooked up a deadly scheme to get rich quick, and they've
     taken delivery of a monstrous pie machine...

     The first feature-length production from Aardman, and the first in what was then
     a five-picture  deal with DreamWorks, "Chicken Run" scooped over $100m at the
     US Box Office.

     "Chicken Run" is based in the same nonspecific North-England realm as
     "Wallace & Gromit". Whereas the former creation harks back to an earlier era,
     "Chicken Run" is actually based within that end-of-war period and it plays upon
     the clichés of that time and in particular, the movies created in that timeframe
     with a hearty spoonful of modern references for today's filmgoers too. Beyond
     the obvious references to "The Great Escape", one should be able to spy nods
     to "Stalag 17", "Whistle Down the Wind", "Star Trek", "Indiana Jones", "The Blues
     Brothers" and many more.

     The attention to detail is almost microscopic. Nick and Fetcher, the scavenging
     rats on the farm nibble Jammy Dodgers and Custard Creams. Bunty wears a
     pair of knitted woolen flying goggles - evidently a gift from wool-mad Babs - when
     she makes her big attempt to fly. Fowler the ballyhoo rooster has RAF
     memorabilia and Boy's Own material pasted round his coop. There are too
     many favourites to list, really. These qualities are echoed in many of the tie-in
     goodies and licensed products produced by licensees who
bought into the
     movie. Toonhound's mini site Bunty's Booty profiles the best of these to
     get collectors salivating....

Chicken Run film poster

     "Chicken Run" opened in the USA, on June 23rd 2000, and had a first
     weekend take of $17.5m. The film eventually took a shade under $225m
     around the globe.

» The crew totaled 180, with up to 28 units filming at once. Even then,
         shooting was completed just a few short weeks prior to the film's release.

» 300 full-size chicken models were made for the shoot, and 140 smaller
         ones for the crowd scenes.

» Those chickens cost £1000 each to produce, and they were exquisitely
         detailed. The Bunty figure  featured 3,077 feathers!


     Chicken Run on DVD

     UK DVD
Chicken Run
                Region 2 / Pathe / December 2000

     USA DVD Chicken Run
                Region 1 / DreamWorks / November 2000


directors:        Peter Lord, Nick Park
     producers:     Peter Lord, David Sproxton
     exec prod:     Jake Eberts, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Rose
     story:            Peter Lord and Nick Park
     screenplay:    Karey Kirkpatrick
     music:           John Powell
     voices:          Mel Gibson (Rocky)
                         Julia Sawalha (Ginger)
                         Miranda Richardson (Mrs Tweedy)
                         Tony Haygarth (Mr Tweedy)
                         Jane Horrocks (Babs)
                         Imelda Staunton (Bunty)
                         Lynn Ferguson (Mac)
                         Benjamin Whitrow (Fowler)
                         Timothy Spall (Nick)
                         Phil Daniels (Fetcher)


      On the web

Chicken Run
       The excellent, fun official site is still online...

       Aardman Animations
       And the equally-excellent parent site for Chicken Run's producers ..

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© Aardman / DreamWorks / Pathe / F2006