Chicken Run

Chicken Run
Chicken Run

British theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Lord
Nick Park
Produced by Nick Park
Peter Lord
David Sproxton
Written by Peter Lord
Nick Park
Margaret French
Starring Julia Sawalha
Mel Gibson
Miranda Richardson
Benjamin Whitrow
Timothy Spall
Phil Daniels
Jane Horrocks
Tony Haygarth
Music by John Powell
Harry Gregson-Williams
Editing by Mark Solomon
Studio Aardman Animations
Distributed by DreamWorks (USA/UK Television Airings)
Pathé (UK/France)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (UK DVD)
Release date(s) 23 June 2000 (2000-06-23) (United States)
30 June 2000 (2000-06-30) (United Kingdom)
Running time 84 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $45 million
Box office $224,834,564

Chicken Run is a 2000 British stop-motion animation film made by the Aardman Animations studios, the production studio of the Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit films. Set in Yorkshire, England in 1961, the film centres around a band of chickens, who seek a smooth-talking Rhode Island Red named Rocky as their only hope to escape from their certain death when the owners of their farm decide to move from selling eggs to selling chicken pies.



The Tweedys are a grumpy middle-aged couple who run a chicken farm in Yorkshire, England. The coop is run in the style of a World War II prisoner of war camp, with the chickens accountable for the number of eggs they lay each day or else face being on the chopping block. One chicken, Ginger, has attempted numerous plans to flee the coop, aided by contraband smuggled into the coop by two rats, Nick and Fetcher, but she is always caught by Mr. Tweedy and his dogs, and placed into solitary confinement.

Mrs. Tweedy realises her farm is failing and reads a catalogue on products to increase the profits. Ginger tries to convince the other hens to speed up their efforts to escape, but soon comes to conclude the only escape route is to go over the fence, something chickens cannot do. Soon, a Rhode Island Red rooster appears to fly over the fence and crash into the coop. The hens fawn over the new arrival, Rocky, and keep him hidden from the Tweedys. Ginger finds part of a poster Rocky dropped, claiming that he can fly. She tries to convince Rocky to help them escape by teaching them how to fly, but Rocky's wing was injured and cannot show them immediately. Instead, he puts them through a set of exercises that seem to have no purpose while assuring the chickens they are making progress. Soon, the Tweedys have machinery delivered and begin assembling it. At the same time, Mrs. Tweedy orders food rations doubled- intending to fatten the chickens up. Ginger is the only one to take serious note of this.

Soon, what is revealed to be a pie machine is completed, and Mr. Tweedy grabs Ginger for its first test. Rocky rescues Ginger, and they manage to jam the machine, giving them a more time to work out their escape. Fowler, an older rooster, gives Rocky his respect for saving Ginger, giving him his old RAF badge in tribute. Rocky decides to flee the farm the next day. Ginger finds Fowler's medal and the second part of the poster, showing that Rocky was a stunt rooster, "flying" by being shot out of a cannon. This revelation shocks the chickens, and a fight soon breaks out as morale falls. When Fowler arrives to restore order and begins talking of his days in the Royal Air Force, Ginger realises they can build a plane from Fowler's pictures and personal recollections. The chickens race against time to assemble the aircraft while Mr. Tweedy works to repair the pie machine.

The chickens finish their machine just as Mr. Tweedy completes repairs and enters the coop to grab the chickens. Led by Ginger, the chickens launch an open revolt, tying up and gagging Mr. Tweedy and readying the "crate". As they prepare for take off Mr. Tweedy breaks himself loose and knocks down the ramp. Ginger jumps down while Fowler turns the plane around, knocking Mr. Tweedy unconscious. As Ginger struggles to lift the ramp, Mrs. Tweedy arrives with an axe. Rocky, having had a change of heart, flies in over the fence and hits Mrs. Tweedy. Ginger and Rocky grab onto a string of lights caught on the plane's landing gear- Mrs. Tweedy soon wakes up and grabs onto the lights too, weighing down the crate. Ginger heads down the string to cut it, but after losing the pair of scissors, tricks Mrs. Tweedy into using the hatchet to severe the string. Mrs. Tweedy ends up crashing into the pie machine, plugging up a the safety valve and causing it to explode, destroying the barn. The chickens cheer and continue flying to safety as Mr. Tweedy, who reminds his wife "I told you they was organized", abandons his oppressive wife in the ruins of their farm. In the film's dénouement, the chickens have found an idyllic field where they have set up their new homes and raising their new chicks, while Ginger and Rocky fall into a romantic relationship.

The film ends with the rats Nick and Fetcher talking about starting their own chicken farm so they could have all the eggs they could eat, but arguing over whether the Chicken or the egg should come first.

Cast and characters

  • Julia Sawalha as Ginger, the chickens' leader. Ginger is an orange chicken who wears a green knitted hat on her head and a cream-colored bandana around her neck. She is determined to save her fellow chickens from the farm.
  • Mel Gibson as Rocky, a rooster.
  • Miranda Richardson as Melisha Tweedy, a chicken farmer. Determined to make good money, she decides to turn the farm into a chicken pie factory.
  • Benjamin Whitrow as Fowler, an elderly rooster who lives on the farm. He is a former RAF member who was obviously involved in World War 2 and is always talking about his time there.
  • Timothy Spall as Nick, an obese rat who, along with his partner, Fetcher, aids the chickens in their quest to freedom, in exchange for eggs. He is the more level-headed of the two.
  • Phil Daniels as Fetcher, a slender rat with a knitted sweater and a knitted cap, who, along with his partner, Nick, aids the chickens in their quest to freedom, in exchange for eggs.
  • Jane Horrocks as Babs, one of Ginger's friends, who is the fattest of the chickens with a dim-witted personality who loves knitting.
  • Imelda Staunton as Bunty, another one of Ginger's friends, who has a tendency for laying eggs and is the most doubtful of Ginger's plans to escape.
  • Lynn Ferguson as Mac, Ginger's white-bodied assistant from Scotland, who is extremely brilliant, and who helps in the chickens' big escape as the engineer
  • Tony Haygarth as Willard Tweedy, Melisha's husband. He is dimwitted, but still tries to help his wife make money.


Chicken Run was to be Aardman Animations' first feature length production, which would be executive produced by Jake Eberts. Nick Park and Peter Lord, who run Aardman, co-directed the film,[1] while Margaret French and Jack Rosenthal scripted the film. In December 1997, it was noted that David Sproxton was to also produce. DreamWorks secured their first animated feature with the film, and they handled distribution in all territories except Europe, which Pathé handled. The two studios both co-financed the film. DreamWorks also retains rights to international merchandising. Pathé and Aardman had both been developing the film since 1996, whilst DreamWorks officially came aboard in 1999. DreamWorks beat out studios like Universal Studios and Warner Bros. and largely won due to the perseverance of DreamWorks co-chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, who as a company were eager to make their presence felt in the animation market in an attempt to compete with Disney's dominance of the field.[2]

Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell, composers in the artist pool of Media Ventures, were in talks to compose the film since January 1999.[3] In January 2000, the release was revealed to be for 23 June 2000.[4]


The film has received critical acclaim from critics upon its release and currently garners a 96% "Certified Fresh" rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 140 reviews, with an average rating of 8/10 and the critical consensus: "Chicken Run has all the charm of Nick Park's Wallace & Gromit, and something for everybody. The voice acting is fabulous, the slapstick is brilliant, and the action sequences are spectacular."[5] The film also holds a score of 88 based on 34 reviews on Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim."[6]

Awards and nominations

Group Category (Recipient) Result
Annie Awards Best Animated Feature Nominated
Best Individual Achievement in Directing (Nick Park and Peter Lord) Nominated
Best Individual Achievement in Writing (Margaret French) Nominated
BAFTA Awards Best British Film Nominated
Best Visual Effects Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Best Animated Feature Won
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Best Animated Feature Won
Empire Awards Best British Director (Nick Park and Peter Lord) Nominated
Best British Film Nominated
Best Debut (Nick Park and Peter Lord) Nominated
European Film Awards Best Film Nominated
Florida Film Critics Best Animated Feature Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy Nominated
Kansas City Film Critics Best Animated Feature Won
Las Vegas Film Critics Best Family Film Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Best Animated Feature Won
National Board of Review: Best Animated Feature Won
New York Film Critics: Best Animated Feature Won
Phoenix Film Critics: Best Animated Feature Won
Best Family Film Won
Best Original Score (Harry Gregson-Williams and Alan Silvestri) Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Motion Picture - Animated or Mixed Media Won
Best Sound Nominated
Southeastern Film Critics Best Film Nominated

Box office

On opening weekend, the film grossed $17,506,162 for a $7,027 average from 2,491 theatres. Overall, the film placed second behind Me, Myself and Irene. In its second weekend, the film held well as it slipped only 25% to $13,192,897 for a $4,627 average from expanding to 2,851 theaters and finishing in fourth place. The film's widest release was 2,953 theaters and it closed on November 2, 2000, after grossing $106,834,564 domestically with an additional $118,000,000 overseas for a worldwide total of $224,834,564. Produced on a $45 million budget, the film was a huge box office hit.

Marketing received exclusive right to hosting the official site for the film and designing, for which Canned Entertainment were chosen.[7]

Video game

Chicken Run is a stealth-based 3-D platformer based on the movie. The game is a loose parody of the film The Great Escape, which is set during World War II.

See also


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chicken run — Titre québécois Poulets en fuite Réalisation Peter Lord Nick Park Acteurs principaux Julia Sawalha Mel Gibson Miranda Richardson Benjamin Whitrow Timothy Spall Phil Daniels Jane Horrocks Tony Haygarth Scénario …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chicken Run — Título Chicken Run: Evasión en la granja (España) Pollitos En Fuga (Latinoamérica) Ficha técnica Dirección Nick Park Peter Lord Guion Karey Kirkpatrick …   Wikipedia Español

  • Chicken Run — Données clés Titre québécois Poulets en fuite Réalisation Peter Lord Nick Park Scénario Peter Lord Nick Park Karey Kirkpatrick Acteurs principaux Julia Sawalha …   Wikipédia en Français

  • chicken run — n an area surrounded by a fence where chickens are kept …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • chicken run — chicken ,run noun count an area inside a fence where chickens are kept and allowed to walk around …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Chicken Run —    Film d animation de Nick Park et Peter Lord.   Pays: États Unis   Date de sortie: 2000   Technique: couleurs   Durée: 1 h 25    Résumé    Les poules de la ferme Tweedy n ont aucune envie de finir rôties, bouillies ou grillées. Avec l aide d un …   Dictionnaire mondial des Films

  • chicken run — noun an enclosed yard for keeping poultry • Syn: ↑chicken yard, ↑hen yard, ↑fowl run • Hypernyms: ↑yard * * * chicken run noun An enclosure for hens • • • Main Entry: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Chicken Run — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Chicken Run – Hennen rennen Originaltitel Chicken Run …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • chicken run — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms chicken run : singular chicken run plural chicken runs an area inside a fence where chickens are kept and allowed to walk around …   English dictionary

  • Chicken Run (video game) — Chicken Run PlayStation cover art for PAL regions Developer(s) Blitz Games …   Wikipedia

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