A story of memory loss, alienation, and urban squalor ...
American audiences like cynical, condescending, manipulative, bland, relentlessly age-appropriate fare for their "children's" movies and television, soundtracked with crappy upbeat pop music, or so moviemakers and marketers seem to think. Animation suffers by being lumped in with all that.
The coming attractions before Sean the Sheep at my "local" theater included a prequel to Peter Pan called, if you can believe it, Pan; an Alvin and the Chipmunks movie; a dopey-looking animated feature about a polar bear (because, you know, Arctic and Antarctic setting are hot); and something with Will Ferrell in it. And that is what the movie industry thinks will appeal to people who also like Aardman's intelligent and entertaining productions. Has the industry's brains been so rotted by the Disney Channel and Saturday morning cartoons that it thinks animation is for kids?
Back to Shaun the Sheep. The story includes everything I mentioned in this post's title, and the movie's one crappy upbeat pop song is put to clever narrative use twice, once in a barbershop-quartet version much superior to the original. Oh, and did I mention that Shaun the Sheep is, like M. Hulot's Holiday, wordless, though by no means silent, and that its one fart joke is pretty clever?
© Peter Rozovsky 2015