Cert U 87mins Stars 4
This barnstorming animated adventure sees Shaun the Sheep boldly go where no lamb has gone before, and is sure to harvest up the laughs from fans of his long running TV series,
His second big screen outing is typically charming, giddy and silly, and the only thing interrupting the farmyard fun at my packed family screening were the constant giggles, mostly mine.
The greedy farmer of Mossy Bottom decides to start a cottage industry to cash in on a UFO craze by building an amusement park he names Farmageddon.
Meanwhile a young lonely alien is stuck on Earth, having lost the control stick for her spaceship, and though like Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-terrestrial she wants to phone home for help she lacks a sufficiently strong signal, which I totally sympathise with.
However the film’s gentle message of making friends with strangers comes through loud and clear, which is all the more impressive as no-one speaks but communicate in grunts, squeals and chuckles.
This could almost qualify as a silent movie, yet the brilliant storytelling means even the youngest kids will understand and enjoy the goofy mix of slapstick, comic misunderstanding and the intoxicating effects of pick ‘n’ mix and a gallon of fizzy pop.
There’s fun with frisbees and flying saucers, and chaos with a combine harvester and crop circles, plus fun to be had with the huge number of sci-fi references affectionately crowbarred in, including a lovely cameo by a plasticine version of Tom Baker’s Dr Who.
And if you stay to the very end there’s a very affectionate joke involving TV astrophysicist, Brian Cox.
The fun is boosted by production values far superior to the TV series, with the characters and sets all possessing a wonderful texture and weight, with impressive craftsmanship, care and attention in every frame.
Plus Shaun moves into the space age with CGI in the scenes where the action goes interstellar.
Flock to the cinema and you won’t be left feeling fleeced by this terrific homegrown British yarn. It’s shear lunar-cy.