Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget


It all started with a ball of clay in the early seventies; from it was created a character known as Morph by Aardman, who featured in the British children’s TV show Vision On, who would later star in his own show. The rest, as they say, is clay history.

Certainly the film side of Aardman has gone from strength to strength, since their first film venture, 2000’s Chicken Run. It has taken 23 years for a sequel, but it’s feathery successor is finally here.

boom reviews Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget
So we've called her Mercedes.

Having survived the turmoil that was caused by the evil Mrs Tweedy (Miranda Richardson), Ginger (Thandiwe Newton) and Rocky (Zachary Levi) have created a safe haven for all the chickens on their own private island.

It’s safe enough for them to have a hatchling, Molly (Bella Ramsey), who they realise from an early age has an adventurous spirit, and despite all the warnings about how dangerous it is off the island, her curiosity gets the better of her; she manages to get off the island and is immediately attracted by a van going to Fun-land Farms, which she gets a ride on with a new friend Frizzle (Josie Sedgwick-Davis).

Unbeknownst to them both however, the farm isn’t as much fun as it looks, and has a far more sinister side. It’s down to her parents, who broke out of such a facility, now finding themselves having to break in to save Molly.

boom reviews Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget
Whose idea was it to sign us up for the Chick Games anyway...

Twenty three years is a long time between films, even taking into consideration how incredibly long the process of stop-motion animation is. And although the original was fun, and allowed the studio to flex their considerable talent with a feature film, it’s fair to say it’s not a film that audiences were necessarily crying out for a sequel. And this film proves that point.

First off, the animation is a joy to watch. Of course its old school, a technique that has been superseded in many ways by CGI, and its visual presentation in no way indicates the painstaking, laborious lengths that go into producing it. But that shouldn’t take away from it being nothing short of a work of art. Of course the young audiences it’s aimed at will neither notice nor care, but with stop-motion being such a rarely used technique, it’s great to see Aardman still supporting it.

That said, the story isn’t exactly original, as it’s just a rehash of the first with a minor twist. But considering the array of characters, it can’t be easy to create that many scenarios for a bunch of chickens – which re-iterates our point for its existence in the first place, but still.

Not a classic then, although the story, as basic as it is, is likely to entertain young family members, whilst the art form of stop motion is likely to dazzle the rest. But if there’s likely to be anymore, even if it is on another twenty years time, a little more meat on the story bones would be much appreciated.

we give this three out of five