Though originally founded in 1972, British filmmaking studio Aardman Animations didn't come into its own until the 1989 debut of scatterbrained inventor Wallace and his exasperated dog Gromit in A Grand Day Out. Since then, the studio has risen to international prominence with its signature claymation style in feature films such as Chicken Run and The Pirates! Band of Misfits.
One of Aardman's more popular latter-day creations is Shaun the Sheep, a gently silly television series spun off from the Wallace and Gromit shorts. This coming year, Shaun and his flock of adventurous compatriots will appear on the big screen – and a new, full-length trailer for Shaun's first foray into film has been released, and can be viewed at the top of this post.
If one can apply one blanket description to the majority of Aardman's work, it's "charming." Featuring big, expressive animation and an overwhelming sense of good cheer, the claymation films of Aardman tend to be enjoyable even when they're somewhat narratively lacking.
Shaun the Sheep looks like it will continue this tradition of breezy charm, centering on a whacky caper that begins when one of Shaun's many plans to get one over on his shepherd goes hilariously awry. Containing a bit more meat than its first teasers, Shaun the Sheep's latest preview edges close to showing too much of the movie. However, it also gives a much better look at the film's screwball comedy and the overall shape of its plot.
Along with this (presumably final) trailer, Aardman has also released Shaun the Sheep's newest official poster, which you can check out below:
One possible hitch in Shaun the Sheep's step may be its approach to dialogue. Specifically, it doesn't appear to have any – at least in the traditional spoken sense. While this may work in a shorter film, a feature-length movie without any (or very little) dialogue could end up being rather off-putting.
That said, a lack of dialogue could better suit the stop-motion shenanigans on display. Given that even Aardman's lesser projects have a lot going for them, we're eager to see how Shaun the Sheep stacks up beside them.
Shaun the Sheep is directed by Mark Burton (Madagascar) and Richard Starzack (Canimals). It opens in U.S. theaters on February 6th, 2015.
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