Chicken Run
Director: Peter Lord & Nick Park
Year: 2000
TRT: 1:24

If chickens actually had opposable thumbs, they would be our masters. At least in the mind of Nick Park, creator of the Wallace & Gromit series of claymation shorts. In this feature-length story, he takes his english humor (humour?) and talent and applies it to chickens.

Life is meaningless for the chickens entrapped at Mrs. Tweedy's chicken farm. Between its drab, stockade-like life and fear of the hatchet for not producing enough eggs, it makes for a dreary existence, particularly for one particular chicken, Ginger. She could easily escape by herself, but knows it's no use without busting out all her friends as well. After multiple failed attempts, redemption seems to come in the form of the American rooster Rocky, whose ability to "fly" may just be the ticket out they're all looking for before Mrs. Tweedy does in the lot of them.

What we get again from Nick Park and crew is some great characters and wacky contraptions that could only be believable in the world he's fashioned together. While not quite as endearing as the characters of Wallace & Gromit, it's still loads of fun for kids and parents alike, without resorting to juvenile pranks and lightly masked sexual innuendoes that seem to pop up in a lot of the CG animations as of late.

Great Scene: This whole movie is filled with some great scenes and nicely done parodies (from The Great Escape to Indiana Jones to Star Trek), but there is a point where all the chickens get in a big fight that is just hilarious to the final moment.

DVD Notes: Nicely done "Special Edition" disc put out by Dreamworks includes commentary with Parks and Lord, some behind-the-scenes featurettes, a "read-along" thingy that I really don't get, your standard trailers/TV spots, production notes, extensive cast & crew bios, DVD-ROM features for yous PC pukes, and apparently some easter eggs are hidden within the movie to reveal some factoids about the film itself. Save yourself some time and hit to find out where/what they are.