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  Chicken Run  
  Nick Park  
  Mel Gibson  
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Well, it's a good old P.O.W. escape film. Except the prisoners are chickens. And all the actors are made out of plasticene.

There's not an uninteresting character in the whole movie. Even Mr. Tweedy, who just wants to keep a lid on his egg farm, and Mrs. Tweedy, who wants to turn chickens into poultry gold by starting a chicken pie business, are fun and complete enough that you want to see how they'll react to the next situation.

Of course, for me, the best part was the character of Ginger. She's the idealistic chicken whose goal is to get everyone out of the farm and over that hill. By this time, the animators have had enough experience working with the material that they're able to turn the pieces of plasticene into pretty much beleivable characters. At times, the animation is so good, you can see not only the outer emotion that Ginger is trying to convey, but also a little of the inner turmoil that accompanies someone who is asking the other chickens to beleive in something that she has trouble keeping faith in herself. And all this was expressed through the animation! I was quite impressed.

A hallmark of Nick Park's work is that the visual gags are fast, outrageous, and frequent enough that any little kid is continually amused, but the little one-off sight jokes and the lines are designed to keep the older audience members entertained, and this works extremely well here. I didn't find myself literally laughing out loud all that often, but that may be a function of the fact that I was one of seven people in the theater.

You're going to enjoy this film. It's funny, it's silly, it's extremely well made, and there's enough meat to hang all the jokes off of to make it last through its 85 minutes. I don't think I'd change anything about this film.

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