|CHICKEN RUN 2000|
Directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park
Ms. Hen had seen this film when it came out in theaters in 2000. She loved the animation and the chickens, and the story of the desire for freedom. She watched it again the other night, and was still amazed at how the chickens were portrayed, with humanity and depth like no other movie about chickens.
There are few feature films that are solely about chickens. The story was based on the film THE GREAT ESCAPE, which came out in 1963 starring Steve McQueen and James Garner, which is about American POWs who attempt to escape a German prison camp during World War II. Ms. Hen has never seen this film, and she would like to, simply to compare it to CHICKEN RUN, but she is not that interested in watching films about men during war; she would much rather watch chickens.
Ginger is the leader of the chickens’ gang, fueling their desire to escape the farm. Ginger knows that the hens that do not lay enough eggs are destined to become dinner for the Tweed family. The chickens do their best to lay eggs every day, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, as all hens know.
Ginger leads the way in many escape attempts, but the chickens always fail. One day, a rooster named Rocky appears on the farm, and a poster with a picture of him flying lands near him. Ginger sees this and forces Rocky (Rocky is played by Mel Gibson. It’s difficult to imagine him as a rooster, but Ms. Hen tried her best.) to teach the hens how to fly in exchange for hiding him from the people at the circus. Rocky agrees to teach the chickens how to fly. Everyone, including Ms. Hen, knows that chickens cannot fly.
The stop-motion animation in the film is excellent. Very few films are made like this, and Ms. Hen enjoys watching these because they seem more organic than when they are made from a computer. Ms. Hen does watch computer-animated films sometimes, but they don’t seem genuine to her.
Ms. Hen doesn’t like to be entertained by a computer; she would rather be entertained by animation that is made by people. She realizes that somebody has to create the computer animation, but she feels that it doesn’t seem to have a soul. She is a hen with a desire for tangible art.
Ms. Hen enjoyed the story of the chickens trying to escape from the farm. It’s a film about the desire for freedom. Anyone who’s ever been in any type of place that’s like being trapped in a chicken coop or a prison has dreamed of escape. Ms. Hen knows that it’s not realistic that chickens could survive in the wilderness, but it’s a beautiful idea. If chickens can be free, why can’t anyone?
Ms. Hen thinks there should be more films about chickens. The plight of chickens in CHICKEN RUN could be interpreted as the plight of all humanity. All anyone really wants is to be free. Ms. Hen recommends this film to anyone who cares about chickens or humanity. She gives this film an enthusiastic five feathers up.