Aardman Animations is a production company which has come to be known for its bizarre and askew concepts. With Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Chicken Run, their distinctive Claymation style has become synonymous with their quirky ideas. With their latest film, Early Man, director Nick Park has taken things to another level with a truly puzzling concept.
To begin with Early Man is a hard film to pin down. At its base it is an animated comedy film set in prehistoric times. Which then becomes a fantasy film, which then becomes a sport film. Early man is basically a mash of a number of ideas to create something fun, interesting and off the wall. What results a series of puns and slapstick comedy with a peculiar storyline that is very much aimed at kids but still genuinely entertaining.
Trying to keep it as simple as possible, Early Man is a film about a tribe of rabbit hunting cavemen who find their valley home invaded by a bronze age army. The films main protagonist, the caveman Dug (Eddie Redmayne) then infiltrates the bronze kingdom, learns that they love the game of soccer and then challenges the kingdom to a game of soccer for the fate of their valley. Yeah it’s an unusual premise and things don’t unfold particular quickly so the premise of the film seems to change from scene to scene for the first 30 minutes.
Early Man is mainly held up by the quality of its acting and animation. Nick Park has assembled a top-notch cast of the most popular British actors. With Eddie Redmayne, Maisie Williams, Tom Hiddleston and Timothy Spall, Early Man’s list of talent and experience is a sure highlight of the film. Hiddleston and Redmayne especially do well as the antagonist and protagonist of the film respectively. Showcasing an acting range that they haven’t previously visited but they nail down with ease.
Early Man is by no means the best Aardman Animations film around. It’s simple and innocent yet still a fun and charming family film. A perfect recommendation for good day out with the kids. Go catch Early Man in cinemas now.
Check out the official site here.