I’d like to start off with a special thanks to Fons PR for hosting such a fun early screening event. Biggs and Smalls both enjoyed decorating their own pet rocks, listening to Austin School of Rock perform, and now are proud owners of some snazzy Early Man shirts. Gareth Witte and Kenneth Haney of Triad Media set up a mini stop motion production to help show dreamers young and old that we can still play with toys as we grow. Biggs was particularly fascinated by their display.
The film was hosted at the Mueller location of Alamo Drafthouse, which has now been open for 11 months. The location comes fully stocked in great Mondo posters upstairs and a neat restaurant and bar called Barrel O’ Fun, downstairs. We all enjoyed the short wait once seated with a small brunch.
It has been three years since the release of the Shaun the Sheep Movie, and we were all ready for another Studio Canal and Aardman Animations production. There is artistry in all forms of animation, however we really enjoy the idea that people are getting into their work with stop motion. Being an artist who works with many mediums and fibers, I love to visually deconstruct set build and characters. The entire film was filled with innovative ideas to create a new world I don’t often see.
The distant ancestors of early man stumble upon the discovery of soccer, and develop the game. They’re observed in paintings by Chief Bonbar (Timothy Spall) and his clan, but are misinterpreted and seen as hunting techniques rather than a sources of entertainment.
Sweet Dug (Eddie Redmayne) and his pet counterpart Hobnob (Nick Park) wake to a beautiful new day in their valley, and rouse everyone up for hunting day. Dug can’t help but believe there’s got to be more than just little bunny rabbits for his people to live off of, but Chief is a cautious, traditional man.
Having been swept up, knocked out, and transported a fair distance to Bronze Age City, Dug hurries his way to a football game where he wagers his valley if his team wins against the champions. Money grubbing as he is, Lord Nooth can’t turn down the opportunity to make an extra buck off the audience, accepts.
Dug tries haphazardly to teach his group the basics, but only knowing the little he witnessed, he is overwhelmed. Luck shines down when he goes to retrieve more soccer balls, and runs into one of the merchants, Goona (Maisie Williams) practicing on the field. Typically, Nooth doesn’t believe women should be allowed to or can play, but Dug sees her strengths and what she can offer to their team, and she wants to play.
Once the duo is created, the team becomes stronger, eventually winning with an unlikely addition to the team.
I found the audience enjoyed all the puns that were part of the final cut. It was fun to hear everyone giggle together, not just kids or just adults. I thought it was refreshing to see new scenes, not just the typical urban and suburban world.
Complimenting our families style of films we like, I give this flick 4 out of 5 nerdskulls.
Check out the trailer below:
[youtube id=”p8CDTIsSJjs” width=”620″ height=”360″]
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