Shaun and his pals befriend an alien visitor in the teaser trailer and poster for Farmageddon: A Shaun the Sheep Movie. The Shaun the Sheep character was introduced as a supporting player in Aardman Animations' Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit short, "A Close Shave". He went on to anchor his own stop-motion series in the 2000s and even starred in a movie in 2015 (titled, fittingly, Shaun the Sheep Movie). The film grossed $106 million worldwide on a $25 million budget, turning a tidy profit for Aardman in the process.
A sequel was announced in fall 2016, though the film was simply referred to as Shaun the Sheep Movie 2 at the time. The movie was later retitled Farmageddon as a pun-y nod to its story, which pits Shaun and the animals of Mossy Bottom Farm against an extraterrestrial-hunting organization. Relative newcomer Jon Brown and Mark Burton (Shaun the Sheep Movie) wrote the script for the sequel, with Richard Phelan (a storyboard artist on Shaun the Sheep Movie) and Shaun the Sheep TV show director/animator Will Bechler (in his feature debut) calling the shots. With a May 2019 release date in place, the film's marketing is now getting underway.
The Farmageddon teaser trailer has made its way online, ahead of its premiere in theaters this weekend with the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Take a look in the space below, then check out the film's synopsis and poster.
It’s close encounters of the herd kind in Shaun’s new out of this world movie. Strange lights over the quiet town of Mossingham herald the arrival of a mystery visitor from far across the galaxy… but at nearby Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun has other things on his mind, as his mischievous schemes are continually thwarted by an exasperated Bitzer. When an impish and adorable alien with amazing powers crash-lands near Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun soon sees an opportunity for alien-powered fun and adventure, setting off on a mission to shepherd the intergalactic visitor home before a sinister organisation can capture her…can Shaun and the flock avert Farmageddon on Mossy Bottom Farm before it’s too late? Hold on to your seats as we blast off on an exciting and heart-warming sci-fi comedy adventure that takes us from Mossy Bottom all the way into deep space, via a car wash!
While the Farmageddon teaser (naturally) isn't big on plot details, it lays some groundwork for the film's alien "invasion" storyline. Perhaps more importantly, the trailer includes the same kind of near-silent comedy and visual gags that made the original Shaun the Sheep movie and TV show big hits with general audiences and critics in the first place. The Shaun the Sheep brand has always been driven more by jokes than story, so it only makes sense for the Farmageddon teaser to focus on those aspects of the sequel. At the same time, aliens visiting Mossy Bottom sounds like an appropriately zany premise for the property to take on next.
Aardman itself is coming off something of a misstep with this year's Early Man. While the film still earned respectable reviews on the whole, the critical reception was noticeably muted by the studio's standards. Early Man was also a box office bomb that only took in $54 million worldwide on a $50 million budget. Fortunately, between Farmageddon: A Shaun the Sheep Movie and the Chicken Run sequel (which was announced earlier this year), Aardman is in a good position to rebound commercially with its next two features.
Farmageddon: A Shaun the Sheep Movie does not have a U.S. release date at the moment. We will let you know when that changes.
Source: Aardman Animations