by KJ Proulx
I’ve always found the most terrible of animated movies to be slightly impressive because of the craft itself. So much work goes into an animated film and I find myself at least giving that kind of praise to the ones I don’t like. On the other side of that, it’s nearly impossible for me to dislike a film like A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, simply due to the fact that it’s all done in-camera for the most part. When the first theatrically released Shaun the Sheep Movie hit theatres back in 2015, it was one of my favourite movies of that year. The extremely clever visual gags had me busting a gut laughing on multiple occasions. While this sequel doesn’t quite reach the praise I gave to its processor, it’s undeniably still great.
If I were to base my thoughts on this film on the premise alone, I would probably give it a pretty negative score, because it’s a very tired plot. Shaun the Sheep’s Mossy Bottom Farm is invaded by an alien who has crash-landed on Earth. Doing his best to help this alien get home to her parents, they embark on a quest. Having to fend off an organization that also wants her to experiment on, the movie began to feel very familiar throughout the second and third acts. Luckily, the story is not where these films shine, even though it is effectively done.
Comedy is the sole reason to watch these movies. There isn’t a single line of dialogue spoken throughout the entire movie, yet it’s one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in the last couple of years. Shaun the Sheep is a series that relies on visual gags to hold the attention of its audience. From visual nods to sound effects in weird places, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon is littered with things that will make average moviegoers chuckle, but will absolutely have hardcore film lovers busting a gut. This movie is so self-aware of itself that the movie almost feels like a joke in itself.
Still, it’s not perfect, especially in comparison with the previously released feature film. A few pop songs throughout a film aimed at a younger audience is okay, but it seemed like this movie would cut to a montage using modern pop songs every 10–20 minutes. It didn’t ruin it for me, but the silent, subtle nature of the jokes was undercut by this in my opinion. This film is far more story-driven than the previous instalment, which also hurt it because the last movie only needed the very simple idea of trying to get the animals back to the farm they came from. It was the comedy that drove that movie, which was only about half of the time here.
In the end, as far as sequels go, this is a great one. I admittedly didn’t like a few of the creative choices taken and the plot felt way too familiar to latch onto, but the rest of the movie is far too clever to turn away from. I was laughing throughout the entire run time and would highly recommend this movie for kids, but also for adults who will find more humour in the subtle moments. This is a very solid sequel and I would gladly watch more of these movies. A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon is now streaming on Netflix.
Check out the trailer below: