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Peter Lord, Nick Park
Julia Sawalha, Mel Gibson, Phil Daniels
Writing Credits:
Karey Kirkpatrick

When a cockerel apparently flies into a chicken farm, the chickens see him as an opportunity to escape their evil owners.

Box Office:
$45 Million.
Opening Weekend:
$17,506,162 on 2491 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Japanese DTS 5.1
Dutch DTS 5.1
Portuguese DTS 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 85 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 1/22/2019

• Audio Commentary with Directors Peter Lord and Nick Park
• “Poultry in Motion” Featurette
• “The Hatching of Chicken Run” Featurette
• “Focus on Technical Effects” Featurette


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Chicken Run [Blu-Ray] (2000)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 23, 2019)

Based in the UK, the Aardman studio first enjoyed success via their Wallace and Gromit animated shorts. Aardman leapt to feature films in 2000 with Chicken Run.

Set on the Tweedy farm, a hen named Ginger (voiced by Julia Sawalha) continually tries to formulate a way for all of the chickens to escape their fates. However, she can’t quite develop a credible plan.

Literally out of the sky drops Rocky (Mel Gibson), a rooster who escaped from a circus. If the chickens will hide him, Rocky agrees to teach them how to fly so they can flee the farm.

A new element of danger – and urgency – occurs when Mrs. Tweedy (Miranda Richardson) invests in a chicken pie machine. Before that, the chickens experienced fatal threats only if their egg production ceased.

If that occurred, they went to the chopping block. However, the pie device means certain death for the whole coop, so this development requires the bunch to accelerate their departure.

Run gleefully grabs from a variety of different films for its myriad of reference. Mainly it lifts from prison flicks like The Great Escape and about 100 other Steve McQueen pictures.

However, it also borrows from action movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Aliens. Frankly, much of the fun in the film comes from the ability to see these references and identify them.

That said, don’t view the allusions as gratuitous. The plot functions well on its own and would work nicely even without the extra elements.

Of course, the story offers absolutely nothing new other than the setting and the characters. It delivers fairly standard family-film fare, with folks who have to team together to overcome harsh odds.

We also get the standard roguish, selfish character who ultimately redeems himself. I could name at least half a dozen similar stories without much effort - think up your own list for fun and prizes!

But the derivative nature of the plot seems irrelevant because the execution is a lot of fun. The goofy claymation works much better than I’d think.

I thought the style would seem less fluid and lively than it does. The format appears evocative and vivid and it serves the story well.

Run also benefits from some solid voice acting. Gibson’s nimble turn as cocky cock Rocky becomes a pleasant surprise.

I’m not a big fan of Mel, but he does a wonderful job as the obnoxious American rooster. He makes the character heroic, pathetic and comic all at once, and he creates a level of depth that I didn’t expect. No one else in the cast really stands out to me, but all of the actors provide able work.

Overall, Chicken Run remains on a similar level. It becomes a solidly well-executed piece that feels consistently entertaining, but it doesn’t quite make it to the level of greatness. Nonetheless, Chicken Run offerss a very enjoyable movie that stands as a fine example of the genre.

Footnote: a fun tag scene appears after the finish of the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture C+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Chicken Run appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not a terrible presentation, the image seemed surprisingly bland.

Sharpness felt decent but not exceptional. While the movie mustered adequate to good delineation, it never boasted the kind of definition I expected and seemed vaguely mushy much of the time.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws remained absent.

Like sharpness, colors came across as lackluster. The tones failed to deliver much vivacity, so they seemed oddly bland much of the time.

Blacks were on the inky side, and shadows seemed a bit dense. Nothing here made this a poor image, but it felt flat and without much spark.

At least the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack fared better, even if it featured a fairly forward-oriented soundfield. The front speakers presented a nicely-integrated sonic image that provided a broad impression. Sounds moved neatly across the channels and seemed well-placed within the environment.

Surround usage appeared somewhat limited at times, though the movie included a few scenes in which they came to life powerfully. The first “pie machine” sequence and the climactic escape scene both worked best in this regard. All five channels offered solid audio during those segments and made the soundtrack much more engaging.

Audio quality appeared strong, as dialogue always seemed distinct and natural. The speech integrated nicely with the action and showed no signs of edginess or concerns related to intelligibility above and beyond some fairly-thick accents.

Music sounded bright and brassy and offered fine dynamic range. Effects were clear and without distortion, and they also displayed very nice bass response. While the track could have been somewhat more active, the mix seemed to be fairly appropriate for the movie and it complemented the story neatly. <

As we shift to extras, we open with an audio commentary from directors Peter Lord and Nick Park. They provide a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, character and set design, animation, editing, music, references/influences, and connected domains.

Expect a satisfying chat here, as Lord and Park cover a nice array of topics. They do so with wit and make this both a fun and informative discussion.

Perplexing moment: at one point, we’re told that Michael Keaton’s performance in After Hours influenced this movie. However, Keaton didn’t appear in that film.

My guess? They meant the Keaton character from 1982’s Night Shift. That’s the only Keaton role of this era that seems relevant in this discussion.

Two featurettes follow, and Poultry in Motion runs 20 minutes, 50 seconds. It offers notes from Lord, Park, executive producers Jake Eberts and Jeffrey Katzenberg, writer Karey Kirkpatrick, paint design supervisor Polly Holland, foley artist Diane Greaves, foley effects editor James Mather, composers Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell, and actors Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha, Lynn Ferguson, Miranda Richardson, Jane Horrocks, and Tony Haygarth.

“Motion” covers story/characters, cast and performances, animation, audio and music. Fluffy in nature, we get a mix of happy talk and useful material in this decent but unexceptional promo reel.

The Hatching of Chicken Run spans 15 minutes, three seconds. It involves Park, Lord, Gibson, Sawalha, Eberts, Katzenberg, Richardson, Ferguson, supervising animator Lloyd Price, and key animator Merlin Crossingham.

The featurette looks at the history of Aardman Studios, story/characters, cast and performances, and animation. “Hatching” echoes “Motion” and repeats some information, though it comes with a few new notes.

As a whole, Chicken Run falls short of true greatness. However, it brings a fun and delightful experience that rarely sputters. The Blu-ray offers very good audio as well as a decent set of supplements and disappointing picture. I like the movie but visual quality doesn’t live up to expectations.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
1 3:
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