Chicken Run is the first feature of Aardman Animations, the people who brought you Wallace and Gromit. Like Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run is claymation.

The plot is rather simple: a bunch of hens, led by the main character Ginger, attempt to escape from a chicken farm. It is also quite well done, mixing a wide range of personalities for some great character interaction. The characters also lend themselves well to humor for all ages. There's even an intense action scene or two.

I'm not much of a claymation fan, and the previews for Chicken Run didn't look all that great to me, especially since the movie's rated G. However, I found myself enjoying the movie quite a bit. Hey, if it's good enough for Mel Gibson to be one of the lead characters...

If you've already decided to hate this movie, you should go see it anyway when it comes out on June 23.

OK, so it's long past June 23 now. Ansate has convinced me not to be a lazy bastard, so here I am adding a bit more of my knowledge on the subject. A lot of the story of Chicken Run, and a lot of the humor, came from an old war movie called The Great Escape. I haven't seen Great Escape in quite a few years, so I can't really compare the two very well, but there's one detail that did stick. (Hey, I was a little kid at the time...)

As in Chicken Run, there was one prisoner who led the escape attempts, and thus he was the one punished every time they were caught by being put in solitary confinement. His prison mates would hand him his ball and glove on his way out, and he'd just sit there throwing it against the wall until they let him out again. So we see that the real reason Ginger didn't fall asleep when she was locked in the coal bin, as our resident animal science expert says she should have, is because that would ruin the humorous Great Escape references. And we all know that humor always takes precedence over scientific fact.