Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy
Release Date: 15th December, 2023
Cast: Thandiwe Newton, Zachary Levi, Bella Ramsey
Director: Sam Fell
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget Movie Review Rating:
Star Cast: Zachari Levi, Thandiwe Newton, Bella Ramsey, Romesh Ranganathan, Daniel Mays, David Bradley, and Miranda Richardson
Director: Sam Fell
What’s Good: Aardman Animations continues to push their stop-motion art to a new level, and it is quite impressive what they have achieved 23 years after the original.
What’s Bad: The new voice cast does a great job, but they lack the raw energy of the original cast.
Loo Break: You can take a break during some of the musical sequences, they look great, but they are not that vital to the plot.
Watch or Not?: It feels like the right thing to watch the film, even if it is just to support Aardman Animations and their soon-to-be lost craft.
Available On: Netflix
Runtime: 97 Minutes.
The original Chicken Run was released 23 years and marked a transition for Aardman Animations, who by that point were only known for their short work. Chicken Run became its first full length feature, and it became a critical and box-office success. Dawn of the Nugget takes the characters we know and love and presents them in a situation where they won’t have to break out of a chicken farm, but to break in to save a loved one.
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget Movie Review: Script Analysis
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is a film that is very much about getting old, and that is in my opinion a perfect theme for a franchise the waited 23 years to come back. All the characters are back, but they are older, changed by time and life, which makes the change of voice cast makes sense within the context of the film. Seeing the characters have a different take on what freedom means in comparison with the first film feels right.
The script is very basic when it comes to dealing with its themes and its plot, which great, many modern films tried to do too much in a short amount of time but Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget keeps it simple. The plot is an inversion of the original movie, with our main characters now acting as worried parents of a teenage daughter, which makes things complicated from the get go. Believe it or not, the chickens are once again in danger to become delicious food, showing that some things don’t really change with time.
The story divides itself in two main points of view, the one belonging to Rocky and Ginger, the protagonists of the original film, and another one belonging to Molly, Rocky’s and Ginger’s daughter. The split in perspective does a great job at maintaining the movie dynamic by showing us what freedom means to these characters at different stages in their lives. The movie never takes a side when it comes to tell who is right and who is wrong during the movie’s incident, and that is an excellent way to show that we all, young and old, can learn from each other.
Miranda Richardson returns as Mrs. Tweedy, the film’s villain, and while it is fantastic to see a member of the original cast return in such a pivotal role, the presence of the character feels diminished and lowers the stakes quite a bit. Maybe the intention was to maintain some mystery surrounding the character and its return, but we would have loved to see her be more of a presence during this film.
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget Movie Review: Star Performance
The voice cast does a great job, but they lack the raw energy that make the original cast so fun to watch and listen to during the first film. We are not saying that this new voice cast does a bad job, it is in fact the opposite, but there is something missing in terms of energy and attitude. Nevertheless, all the new actors give life to their characters in a very appropriate way. Thandiwe Newton is specially good, and she has to be as she takes the role of Ginger, whose character arc is one of the most important during the movie.
Bella Ramsey also does a fantastic job as Molly, the newest member of the chicken family. The actress has been doing a great job both behind the microphone and in live-action shows such as The Last of Us, and her performance here is quite amusing. You can definitely feel that Molly is changing throughout the film, realizing that maybe she should have listened to her parents. The rest of the cast does a great job, including Lynn Ferguson as Frizzie, a new character that brings the chaotic Scottish flavor the film needs.