So today instead of working on the Hitman claymation, I took a day and made a figurine for my friend that needs some love. So! I decided to make a mean lookin’ dude for her. Anything to make her laugh :)
Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) - dir. Mark Burton & Richard Starzak
A feature-length claymation film with no dialogue. It’s for kids… kind of. It’s really a great classic style of adventure story: we start with the humblest of beginnings (the daily grind of the farm), and fall in love with all of the characters. Soon the inkling of an adventure looms over our protagonist, and he begins to dream of taking a day off. Which, apparently, to a sheep, means a day of junk food and television. Naturally, something goes wrong with the initial plan, and we find Shaun and his ovine friends venturing out into the big city to bring Farmer back to the Farm and restore order to the chaos he has caused.
The humor is quick and comes from all angles. The foley artists have done terrific work. The heart of the film carries it along, but with the action as fast-paced as it is, it doesn’t even need to be as endearing as it is. Around each corner, we find an imaginative twist on a familiar story (i.e. using a surgeon’s scrubs and mask as a disguise only to find yourself performing a complicated surgery, only this time when the mask is lowered they find that not only is this the doctor, it’s actually Bitzer, a dog). Shaun the Sheep lives up to the classics of Nick Park’s brain, and any fan of Wallace & Gromit should put this high on their to-do list.
That being said, there are two glaring flaws, both in the form of an out-of-place pop song with lyrics* that are far too on-the-nose. Both play over comical montages, but the insertion of so many lyrics in what is essentially a silent film was just too jarring. It plays like a fabulous meal that’s just got too much salt in a few bites.
* - to note: I am not speaking of the “Every Day Is Like Summer with You” jingle, which is built in beautifully.
Hitman is going to be the next RFS Claymation. Today, I designed the heads, baked them, and painted them. Talk about a lot of detail-work. Every second of the time lapse equals 1.2 minutes. A little over 2 ½ hours of work was put in today.