5/10 Not a movie I would normally seek out, “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” is nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards and since I’ve already reviewed fellow nominees “Onward” and “Soul” (both 9/10), I figured I would tackle a couple more before the Oscars. Since this is a sequel to 2015’s “Shaun the Sheep Movie”, I checked that out first and found it to be much better than this follow up arriving five years later. My biggest problem with this movie was how the farm life aspects just didn’t vibe with the science fiction/alien plot. The first film had the farmer suffering memory loss and the sheep setting out to find him and it was a surprisingly fun, solid film that I enjoyed. Here, the plot feels forced and although the farmer subplot this time around was fine, the main plot with a lost alien trying to get back to its parents just didn’t do anything for me. The first film had some strong moral messages and emotional elements that I didn’t feel any of this time around. Besides the story not clicking for me, there was also a truly awful end credits song that I couldn’t believe was real and the movie itself overall was just forgettable. One element that was both a pro and a con for both of these movies was that there is no dialogue. Most of the characters are animals so they obviously don’t speak and the human characters just mutter jibberish. On one hand, since the film makers can’t rely on dialogue to tell the story, they have to rely on actions and over the top motions to grab our attention, like old silent films/Charlie Chaplin films, which is challenging and fun to watch. On the other hand, because there is no dialogue to draw your attention in, I sometimes found my mind wandering while watching and not focusing on what was going on since I wasn’t listening for anything. Since I enjoyed the first film more, I was more engaged and paid closer attention but this time around since I wasn’t as engaged, I found it harder to focus at times. As for what worked, I prefer the Pixar style of animation but the claymation they use here does look as good as you can get it. There were multiple Steven Spielberg references that I found to be clever and amusing. The vast majority of the score and soundtrack were great and fitted the movie well. The running time was lean so the pacing worked well and you can throw this on for a quick watch if you have kids. Speaking of kids, if you have them, they will enjoy this movie but if you are a parent who watches movies with your kids, I would stick with the first movie and ignore this one. If you don’t have kids, there is really no reason to check this out. With “Onward” and “Soul” also up for the Oscar (my money is on “Soul” to win it), I’d check those out and skip this unless you’ve already seen those other animated films a dozen times and need something new.

#CloseEncountersOfTheHerdKind / #SheepSkate / #BigFarma / #LetSheepingDogsLie / #TooSheepishToWatch / #NoFarmNoFoul

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