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With all the feathers, clucking and pecking you might have thought Chicken Run was about chickens. But replace Rocky the Rooster, who is (for lack of a better word) a chicken, with Moses (another coward), and swap the chickens for the enslaved Israelites in Eygpt and you basically have the story of Exodus in the Bible.
-Review by Annette Wierstra

C
HICKEN RUN
(2000)

This page was created on June 21, 2000
and was updated on May 23, 2005

Directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park
Writing credits: Mark Burton (additional dialogue), Karey Kirkpatrick, Peter Lord (story) John O'Farrell (additional dialogue), Nick Park (story)

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Mel Gibson .... Rocky the Rooster (voice)
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Julia Sawalha .... Ginger (voice)
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Miranda Richardson .... Mrs. Tweedy (voice)

Lynn Ferguson (voice) ... Mac
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Imelda Staunton .... Bunty (voice)
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Benjamin Whitrow .... Fowler (voice)
Phil Daniels (voice)
Tony Haygarth .... Mr.Tweedy (voice)
Jane Horrocks .... Baba (voice)
Timothy Spall (voice)

Produced by Jake Eberts (executive), Jeffrey Katzenberg (executive), Peter Lord, Nick Park, Michael Rose (executive), Carla Shelley (line), David Sproxton, Lenny Young (associate)
Original music by Harry Gregson-Williams, John Powell
Film Editing by Mark Solomon

SYNOPSIS:
Escape or Die Frying!

Mel Gibson is the voice of the American rooster who leads the rest of the roost in a dash for freedom. Based on an original story by Nick Park and Peter Lord, Julia Sawahla co-stars in this claymation film -by the animators of Wallace and Gromit.


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With all the feathers, clucking and pecking you might have thought Chicken Run was about chickens. But
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-Review by Annette Wierstra Email Me

Rocky and Ginger escape. Click for larger pictureReady to escape. Click for bigger picture.With all the feathers, clucking and pecking you might have thought Chicken Run was about chickens. But replace Rocky the Rooster, who is (for lack of a better word) a chicken, with Moses (another coward), and swap the chickens for the enslaved Israelites in Egypt and you basically have the story of Exodus in the Bible.
Chicken Jacuzzi. Click for larger picture.Chicken dance. Click for larger picture.Peter Lord and Nick Park, the makers of the Oscar winning® British claymation shorts Wallace and Gromit, and Creature Comforts have worked with Dreamwork films to create the full length feature Chicken Run.
Escape plan. Click for larger pictureGinger underground escape. Click for larger pictureGinger the chicken (who is less of a chicken than Rocky) is the not-so-reluctant leader who entices the other chickens and the old roster Fowler with promises of paradise (insert God's promise to the Israelites of the Promise Land here).
Tweedys do a roll call.  Click for larger pictureMrs. Tweedy doing inspection. Click for larger pictureNight after night the chickens try to escape only have plan foiled by the hapless Mr. Tweedy who has a sneaking suspicion that the chickens are organized.
Rock flies in.  Click for larger picture.Rocky becomes center of attention. Click for larger picture.In comes Rocky the Lone Free Ranger and flying chicken with a terrible secret and a broken wing. Ginger believes he is the answer to all the barnyard problems. He is not so sure.
The tweedys. Click for Larger picture.Stuck in pie machine. Click for larger picture.And who can forget the mean ol' Mrs. Tweedy who, unlike the Egyptian Pharaoh, never considers letting the chickens free. She only schemes up a better (or more fowl) way to make money off the chickens.
Ginger being punished. Click for larger picture.Ginger with picture of Rocky. Click for larger picture.Ginger is a hen of great faith. Her longing for freedom can be compared, not only to the story of Exodus but also to our longing for heaven. No matter what happens, she believes that there is freedom and a paradise, even though she's never seen it.

Daring escape. Click for larger picture.She is the driving force behind the other chickens even when Rocky deserts them and chicken pies seem inevitable.

If only we all had the faith of a chicken.

COMMENTS FROM DAVID BRUCE

Well, we had fun. My son Cris came in this weekend (he is a school teacher) and so, the whole family went together to see the opening of Chicken Run: Kathleen (17), Matthew (16), Cara (14), Megan (13), and Jonathan (9) and myself. It was great fun.

Afterward, we went out and bought some chicken pot pies (!) and went home to enjoy them while we watched the original 'Mighty Joe Young' (both films are stop frame animation). It was a great day.

The discussion about Chicken Run centered on issues of freedom, and of course, we noted the parallels to Billy Wilder's 'Stalag 17', Steve McQueen's 'Great Escape', and the famous rolling stone scene from 'Indiana Jones'. Mrs. Tweedy is very Nazi like and there are many preferences to WW2.

The goal in the film, believe it or not, is paradise! And, I think it is the first film ever to have a chicken pray to God for direction.

 
 

Bulletin Board:

GREAT, YET LACKING
Subject: Chicken Run
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001
From: Jeremy Braacx

Being an avid fan of Wallace and Gromitt, and having a fascination in claymation, I had to see Chicken Run. Although the claymation was excellently done as expected, overall, I have mixed feelings on this appraised film. One element deserving praise is all of the clever puns and jokes that are above the heads of children but make this kids film a hit even amoung adults. Another part of the film deserving credit is at the climax where everything starts to fall apart at once and just when disaster seems inevitable, everything turns out fine (this is also classic of Wallace and Gromitt). Unfortunately, these elements of the film do not make up for a lacking plot. The story line is very simple and becomes almost monotonous as the chickens make contstant failing attempts to achieve one simple goal, freedom. Although a simple plot like this may still be fascinating for children, it hardly kept my attention. The ending of this film also disappointed me. It seemed too good to be true. On the other hand, keeping the children in mind, a delightfully happy ending is practically required. I also think the simbolism in this film is a bunch of hoopla. Some say it's all about WWII, others say it's all about the Exodus, and yet others say it's about women, so what was the screen writer really trying to say in this film? Maybe she wasn't trying to say anything at all? All in all I think that this was still a good film, but it could have been a great film with a more involving plot. In any case I look forward to future claymation films and I'm confident that they'll surpase Chicken Run in greatness.
Jeremy Braacx

HOLLYWOOD JESUS IS OPEN MINED
Subject: Enjoy your site!
Date: Sun, 27 Aug 2000
From: Erica

I've visted "Hollywood Jesus" off and on for the past year. I really enjoy it - it's interesting to see your analysis of popular culture from a spiritual Christian standpoint. Also, I enjoy the intellectual content. I was raised in a particular Christian tradition where we were taught to consider things and weigh them and try to see what good was in them and how they might be related to Jesus' teachings. So many "Christian perspectives" these days focus only on what is bad and wrong in popular culture, or else they are very prescriptive...as in "Believe exactly as I do or you are lost." I don't see things that way, and as far as I can tell, you don't, either. Your analyses are more open-ended, more designed to encourage thinking than to tell people what to believe. Bravo! I watch few movies (I get embarrassed and disgusted by the "R" and "PG-13" sexual escapades) but I did see Chicken Run this summer - I loved it (but didn't get the Moses connection). I did say to myself at one point, "Hey, Ginger is praying! That's cool!" Anyway, I just wanted to say I enjoyed the site. Keep up the good and thought-provoking work.
Erica

EVALUATIONS OF SYMBOLISM
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000
From: Jen Rincon

Many compliments on this site. Your "reviews" are more akin to "evaluations," since you are so adept at picking apart the symbolism. It makes the price of the ticket worth that much more. Thanks, also, for not giving away the ending of Chicken Run. I agree with Paul and Tammy Hunter's comments that quality does not need to scrape the barrel for a good time. When "Toy Story 2" came out, it was the first film on the Rotten Tomatoes website(rottentomatoes.com) to receive positive ratings from 100% of the nation's most prominent reviewers. Chicken Run did the same. (Wait, "scratch" that(no pun intended)--Roger Ebert's new partner hated this movie.) And, even if this film wasn't your cup of tea, at least it falls back on well-thought out gags borrowed from other films, rather than a string of cheap and dirty cliches. So, in Mike Furches' words, it is still a "safe movie." 2. Well, I enjoyed YOUR symbolic explanations. However, some viewers' interpretations seem a bit "party-pooper"-ish. I have heard several Christian viewers (not re-viewers) complain that the film was pushing animal-rights and a pro-vegetarian agenda. They must know something I don't, because Chicken Run had a merchandising contract with Burger King! Fun movie. I was a fan of Wallace and Gromit, and I look forward to future Nick Parks films.Thanks for the insight on this and other movies.
-Jen Rincon

WAKE UP FOLKS
Subject: If you want family films made, you'd better support this one.
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000
From: Paul & Tammy Hunter

Aardman Films, who brought us Wallace and Gromit among other great short animated films, now has a multi-film contract with Dreamworks due to the rave reviews and success of Chicken Run. Thank goodness the secular reviewers found favor in this amazing film. I can't believe the reviews I'm reading from viewers on the religious review web-sites like this one. "OK"? "Falling asleep"? If you came to this film looking for escapist entertainment, violence, sex, and language, then, ya, ok, fall asleep. For those not numbed down by the non-stop pointless action in most movies today, if you still have a craving for storylines, characterization, creativity, and sheer art and workmanship in film, then don't hesitate to see Chicken Run. To simply witness the final outcome of such a grueling undertaking of this type of animation was a joy.

There was so much humor - not in your face sexual inuendo we've come to expect from Hollywood - but real humor that comes from real life, from real dreams. Granted we're talking chickens here, but obviously the writers behind the script knew something about life, about dreams, about poking fun at ourselves and bringing humor into the frame without spelling it out for us. So many "family" films are so dull, have no creativity, no workmanship. If we want top quality family friendly films made, we'd best get behind the likes of Chicken Run, Toy Story, My Dog Skip, and others that are trying to make films that kids and adults can enjoy together. This is the toughest job Hollywood has as far as I'm concerned. It's easy to entertain the kids. It's easy to entertain the adults. But it's tough to do both on the same screen. Please support this film. Aardman Films could become what Disney used to be - a family entertainment industry - if families get behind them in full support of their efforts to bring top quality family films to the theaters.

IT'S MORE ABOUT WOMEN
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2000
From: K W

David, I have seen only a few reviews of "Chicken Run", but everyone seems to think it's about Exodus, and I think it was more about women. After all, hens are female. And the characters refer to the fact that when they can't lay eggs any more, they get their heads lopped off! Of course the images were definite reminders of WWII concentration camps, but to me it suggests that women have been treated like the victims of the holocaust. Besides, the screenwriter was a woman.
Thanks for your website, it's cool! kw

ENJOYED CHICKEN
Subject: Different!
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000
From: Anderson

My kids (ages 8.5 & 10) and my husband enjoyed the movie. I fell asleep at the beginning but was revived midway thru when Ginger and Rocky almost met their destiny in the pie machine! Great effects and a lot of fun once the action got going. I read the reviews following the movie, so did not really grasp the Moses/Exodus link. Fun movie, but I'd wait till it comes out on video before spending money on it. Darlene/Granite Bay, CA

CHICKEN RUN BORING
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000
From: "Mike Furches"

I saw Chicken Run this weekend with my wife and son and thought the movie was O.K., but just that, O.K. I guess that for our family part of the problem was seeing this film less than a week after seeing Titan A.E., by the way a truly remarkable film and story that I would like to see reviewed on hollywoodjesus.com. While there has been quite a few marvelous reviews of Chicken Run I frankly got bored with the story as did my son who is 10. My wife actually fell asleep during the movie. While I can see some of the comparisons about escape, acceptability. finding paradise and all of the other things that many are talking about when reviewing this film I just think there are much better examples of this in other films receiving much less hype, again Titan A.E. for example. I will say that I did enjoy many of the references to great films like Stalag 17, The Great Escape, The Wizard of Oz and others in Chicken Run. I would personally recommend waiting for this film to hit the discount theaters or even video. See it for yourself though and decide on your own. It is a safe movie to take the children to and you will have a few laughs. On a scale of 1-10, 6.
Mike Furches Tulsa, OK mike@furches.orghttp://homepages.infoseek.com/~furches/index.html

THANKS
Subject: GREAT REVIEW
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2000
From: Talani

I HAVE A LINK TO YOU ON MY FRONT PAGE...A GREAT MOVIE AND A GREAT REVIEW. THANKS FOR GIVING MY READERS A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE ON AN ALREADY GREAT MOVIE. I HOPE MANY OF THEM CLICK TO YOUR SITE.
Talani Talani@JesusInLasVegas.com
Check out www.JesusInLasVegas.com !
We think you will fall in love with both of them!

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