There's BUNTY, a champion egg-layer and proud of it; BABS, kind-hearted but decidedly bird-brained; MAC, the Scottish chicken who has all the skills of an engineering genius; and FOWLER, the farm's elderly cockerel, who constantly reminisces about his wartime exploits in the R.A.F.
Every one of the chickens' many escape attempts - under the fence, over the fence, even masquerading as Mrs. Tweedy - is thwarted, and the ringleader, Ginger, is tossed into "the cooler" by Mr. Tweedy.
Undaunted, Ginger is contemplating yet another escape attempt, when she witnesses the impossible - a rooster named ROCKY comes flying over the fence into the farm. Ginger sees her salvation - if he can fly into the farm, she and the rest of the brood can fly out. She agrees to hide Rocky if he will teach the rest of the flock how to fly.
But even as the chickens attempt to fly up, the egg count continues to go down - a fact not lost on the greedy Mrs. Tweedy, who decides that chickens who aren't laying profits...can be baked for profits as CHICKEN PIES.
There were a total of 563 puppets made, of which 208 were "A" scale chickens, 79 "B" scale chickens, 48 peddling chickens plus 38 other characters and the rest solid characters.
Bunty's backside is composed of a staggering 3,077 feathers or "fluffles". It takes one person a whole day to hand-paint in the tips.
The CHICKEN RUN models are made from a special blend of plasticine called the "Aardman Mix" which is slightly more durable than ordinary plasticine.
3,500kg of plasticine were used in the production of CHICKEN RUN. A total of 60 different colours have been used. Each character's colour is individually blended and mixed in a converted chewing gum machine housed in the Aardmans tudios.
Each character gets through an estounding number of replacement body parts during the production of a full-length feature. These include:
- At least one pair of wings per day
- The skin is generally mended rather than replaced
- lead characters' skins last about six months before replacement, whereas background characters have only been re-skinned once
- 1,000 pairs of eyes have been made for the characters, and each character's eye colour is unique.
Bab's knitting is real and was knitted with needles measuring between 16 and 18cm long. Some of the smaller, trickier parts were even finished off using cocktail sticks!
Mr Tweedy's cardigan was knitted by hand and it took two modelmakers three weeks in total to complete (two weeks to knit and one week to assemble).
DAVID SPROXTON is producing CHICKEN RUN (with Peter Lord and Nick Park). Sproxton founded Aardman Animations with Peter Lord more than 20 years ago. Working an a kitchen table with Plasticine models and very little equipment, Sproxton and Lord made their first groundbreaking films for children's television. Pioneers in model animated film-making, they were soon producing short, but highly sophisticated films, as well as an increasing number of television commercials.
It was the early films of Aardman Animations that encouraged the young Nick Park to take up a career in animation. While a student at the National Film and Television School, Park invited Lord and Sproxton to give a lecture and, during their visit, showed them part of a short film he was working an about a man and his dog who build a rocket and fly to the moon in search of cheese. That film was A GRAND DAY OUT and it marked the debut of Wallace and Gromit.
After Park had left film school, Lord and Sproxton invited hirn to complete his film at Aardman. When A GRAND DAY OUT was televised in 1989, it was not only enthusiastically received by British viewers, it also secured an Academy Award nomination, competing against Park's subsequent film CREATURE COMFORTS, which combined vox-pops of real people speaking with a zoo of animated animais. The latter film won that year's Oscar for Best Animated Short.
Nick Park next directed THE WRONG TROUSERS (1993), followed by A CLOSE SHAVE (1995), both of which were executive produced by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, and both of which won Oscars. Park subsequently joined Lord and Sproxton as company directors of Aardman Animations.
Cast & Crew
Directed by: Nick Park, Peter Lord
Written by: Karey Kirkpatrick
Produced by: Peter Lord, David Sproxton, Nick Park
Animation: Loyd Price
Nominations and Awards
- European Film 2000
- Feature Film Selection 2000