It’s been more than 20 years since a brave group of chickens made a break from Tweedy Farm in Yorkshire. Released in 2000, Chicken Run has endured as a classic animated tale. It’s told through stop-motion animation, produced by the same studio that gave us Wallace and Gromit.
Now, 23 years later, we get a return to these feisty birds in a sequel—Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget—which debuted at the London Film Festival in October and streams on Netflix beginning Friday. We have new voices inhabiting these characters and a brand new story, but the same sense of fun and adventure.
What’s it about:
The new film finds Ginger (Thandiwe Newton) and Rocky (Zachary Levi) living a happy and safe life in a new sanctuary they’ve created for all those they led to freedom. Mrs. Tweedy (Miranda Richardson) is a memory, but the chickens remain cautious. They have isolated themselves on an island, cut off from the dangers of the real world.
Ginger and Rocky, now married, have become parents. Their daughter, Molly (Bella Ramsey), was born in safety and isolation. Unlike her parents and the rest of the community she has no frame for the dangers of the real world. Instead, she has a curiosity that leads her to want to break free from her isolated community, despite the protests of her over-protective mother.
Eventually, Molly finds a way to sneak out. But the big world she’s so eager to explore turns out to be more dangerous than she realized. Soon, she finds herself a prisoner in a modern chicken plant run by Dr. Fry (Nick Mohammed). Realizing Molly is gone, Ginger springs into action. She gets the band back together and leads a rescue mission. Can she complete another jail break?
Is the New Chicken Run any good?
I remember seeing the original film, which had a voice cast led by Mel Gibson and Julie Sawalha. It was a fun and inventive film, but I wasn’t sure I needed a sequel. Then I saw this new Chicken Run. It’s fun and a worthy follow up film.
I appreciated the narrative and the laughs along the way. Newton and Levi do a nice job taking over the lead roles, and I enjoyed Ramsey as their daughter, Molly. Mohammed is a lot of fun as one of the antagonists, too, while other character voices—like Richardson and Imelda Staunton—remain the same.
As we come to the end of the year and people begin to break for the holidays it’s nice to have some family-friendly viewing options. Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is the kind of film that works for audiences of all ages. There’s humor and a story that adults will appreciate, and a great animated style that should appeal to younger viewers.
It’s been a good year for animated features as we’ve seen a variety of stories and styles. I appreciated the work done on this new Chicken Run story. It’s worth checking out when it streams Friday on Netflix.