DOWSE guide to the movies                                                                                         

___ dowse.com ___
the net guide for creative minds


  Book Review


DOWSE Guide to the Movies
by Tony Lee editor of Pigasus Press

Chicken Run: Hatching The Movie

Brian Sibley
Boxtree, 191 pages hardcover 20.00
review by Ian Shutter

This is certainly one of the slicker 'making-of' books I have seen. The film itself was created, produced (with David Sproxton) and directed by Nick Park and Peter Lord, yet the screenplay is credited to Karey Kirkpatrick. Brian Sibley assembles a wealth of visual material here, his text providing much more than just captions to pictures, character sketches and production diary entries.
 It reveals the development of Aardman's capabilities and achievements from the acclaimed, Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit shorts, to this - their first feature-length project. We are guided from Park's early influences - Heath Robinson inventions, British eccentricity - to the inevitable decision to compete with mighty Disney in the arena of family cinema. Park reveals he actually worked in a slaughterhouse and packing plant for frozen chickens as a student, and it's clear the inspiration for this film's darker aspects stems from memory and the drawings he did at that time.
 American writer Kirkpatrick was Aardman's cleverest recruitment. This kept US mogul Jake Eberts happy, and at least Kirkpatrick had experience of Disney's working practices, even if joining a distinctly English company was an unusual step. Sibley's account of the pre-production stage closes with a lavish selection of storyboards.
 Voice casting of the chicken escapees was obviously crucial. Mel Gibson stars as Rocky the rooster, Julia Sawalha plays Ginger, and there's first class support from the likes of Jane Horrocks, Miranda Richardson, Tony Haygarth, Imelda Staunton, Phil Daniels and Timothy Spall. Visits to the Aardman workshops result in several pages of photos depicting progress on the various character puppets, and a backstage tour at Aztec West studios finds builders constructing the impressively detailed miniature sets, noting how the Tweedy's farmhouse is lit to resemble Norman Bates place in Psycho!
 The scaled down landscapes used for long shots of Tweedy's Poultry Products, and the mindboggling complexity of the beautifully designed-to-be-ugly chicken pie making machine, are sure to help readers appreciate the sheer hard work that goes into an enterprise such as this. But, whether you have seen Chicken Run yet, or not, this book remains a treasure of background information and a fine souvenir of a stylish, entertaining, and extremely funny adventure.

Ian Shutter

Back to Movies on Dowse index.


........................................................................
Back to    main page

Antiques
Archaeology
Architecture
Art
Autos
Books
Computing & Internet
Cryptozoology

Dowsing

Dreams
Education
Entertainment
Fantasy art
Fiction
Free Stuff

Games
Gardening
Geography
Geology
History
Landscapes
Movies
Music
Mysteries
Myths & Legends
Paranormal
People
Philosophy
Poetry
Religions/Beliefs
Science Fiction
Sciences
Security online
Shamans
Theatre
Travel
TV
Urban Legends
Webmasters tools
Writing & Publishing
................................
dowse your start page

Search the web
Get your free email


Copyright © 2000 dowse.com
all rights reserved

*