Chicken Run (2000)

Rating: ****
Release Date: 6/23/00
Director: Nick Park, Peter Lord
Cast: Mel Gibson

At first I was afraid I wouldn't be able to sit through an hour and a half of Nick Park's dark and dry British humor, but I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly it went by. In this take-off of "The Great Escape" (1963), a chicken named Ginger is bound and determined to bust everyone out of their chicken farm prison. She is about to lose hope when a suave and charming American rooster named Rocky Rhoads falls out of the sky and into her life. She's convinced he knows how to fly and talks him into teaching the other chickens to fly so they can escape. This naturally leads to much craziness, but the chickens finally manage to devise an outrageous plan that works.

First and foremost, the animation is brilliant, as you would expect from Aardman Studios. The characters are a lot of fun, and although overly talky, some of the humor is genuinely funny and there's enough madcap action to maintain a good pace. Definitely worth checking out.