You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘sheep’ tag.

Director: Nick Park
Release Date:
December 24, 1995
Stars: Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep
Rating:
★★★½

Like the ground-breaking ‘The Wrong Trousers‘, ‘A Close Shave’ has a mystery plot featuring an evil genius framing Gromit. This time the premise is a wool shortage.

Wallace and Gromit are window cleaners, accidentally harboring an escaped sheep, and later meeting the villain, a bulldog called Preston, themselves. Things get complicated when Wallace gets romantically involved with Preston’s owner, wool shop owner Wendolene Ramsbottom, and Preston turns Wallace’s knit-o-matic into a killer machine, turning sheep into dog food.

As with ‘The Wrong Trousers’ the film knows a spectacular finale, first with an exciting car chase (also involving a little plane), and then in Preston’s dog food factory. As with the earlier film the suggestion of speed is flawless, and one forgets immediately that the original clay puppets didn’t move at all. The animation and the elaborate sets are even more spectacular than in the earlier film.

And yet, ‘A Close Shave’ is less gripping than ‘The Wrong Trousers’ was. The plot is more predictable, the car chase more conventional, and Preston less creepy than the penguin was in the earlier film, despite being indestructible in a rather Terminator-like manner. It’s a pity Nick Park and his team didn’t come with a more different plot, because now ‘A Close Shave’ demands too much comparison to the earlier film.

Nevertheless, the film is very important in Aardman history, for it introduces Shaun the Sheep, since 2007 hero of his own series, and star of no less than two feature length films. Already in his first short the little sheep shows to be a brave and inventive little fellow, and he literally has the last laugh.

Watch the opening of ‘A Close Shave’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘A Close Shave’ is available on the DVD ‘Wallace & Gromit – The Complete Collection’

Director: Michael Lah
Release Date: February 7, 1958
Stars: Droopy, the Wolf
Rating: ★★★½
Review:

Sheep Wrecked © MGMIn ‘Sheep Wrecked’ Droopy is a sheepherder, or more clearly, a sheep dog guarding his flock inside a fenced pasture against the laid-back Southern wolf character ( in his last screen appearance).

‘Sheep Wrecked’ arguably is the most inspired of Michael Lah’s six Droopy films. The animation is fine, and the gags plentiful. Among the wolf’s attempts are him dressing up like a stork and like Bo-Beep, a gag harking all the way back to the Silly Symphony ‘Three Little Wolves‘ (1936). Both Droopy and the wolf are in fine shape in this cartoon.

Unfortunately, the pace is rather slow, and the best features of this Cinemascope cartoon are Scott Bradley’s very inspired music and F. MonteAlegre’s beautiful backgrounds, with their minimal indications of settings on a bright orange canvas. Remarkably, this Homer Brightman-penned story involves a very slow guided missile, very similar to the one in the Woody Woodpecker cartoon ‘Misguided Missile‘. ‘Misguided Missile’ was penned by the very same writer, and only released eleven days earlier.

Watch ‘Sheep Wrecked’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Sheep Wrecked’ is available on the DVD-set ‘Tex Avery’s Droopy – The Complete Theatrical Collection’

Director: Frank Tashlin
Release Date: November 3, 1944
Rating: ★★★★
Review:

I Got Plenty of Mutton © Warner Brothers‘I Got Plenty of Mutton’ opens with a hungry wolf reading in the newspaper that the sheepdog is drafted, leaving the sheep unprotected.

Unfortunately, Killer-Diller, “the wolf destroying ram” is now in charge, giving the wolf a hard time, especially when the wolf dresses up as a sexy female sheep tot lure the ram away. When to get rid of the horny ram, the wolf reveals himself as being a wolf, the ram simply replies “so am I!”.

This cartoon is full of zany silent comedy, with frequent looks into the camera by the poor wolf, anticipating similar looks by Chuck Jones’ Coyote in his Road Runner series.

Watch an excerpt from ‘I Got Plenty of Mutton’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Chuck Jones
Release Date: January 3, 1953
Stars: Sam Sheepdog & Ralph Wolf
Rating:
 ★★★★★
Review:

Don't Give Up the Sheep © Warner Brothers‘Don’t Give up the Sheep’ is the first cartoon in a series of seven cartoons featuring the excellent duo Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf.

In their first entry Sam Sheepdog is called Ralph, while Ralph remains yet unnamed. Sam goes to work, relieving his colleague Fred in attending the sheep. He has to counter the attacks by Ralph the wolf, who looks like Wile E. Coyote’s scruffy cousin. The cartoon is full of excellent, Road Runner-like blackout cartoons. In his silliest attempt the wolf dresses up as the God Pan to lull the sheepdog to sleep. To no avail, of course.

In this cartoon the backgrounds (by Carlos Manriquez) are becoming more stylized, although they still look like real nature. Sam and Ralph would never become major characters, but their miniseries is a little delight within the Warner Brothers canon.

Watch ‘Don’t Give up the Sheep’ yourself and tell me what you think:

http://www.wimp.com/hilariouscartoon/

‘Don’t Give up the Sheep’ is available on the DVD set ‘Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Vol. 1’

Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date: February 8, 1952
Rating: ★★½
Review:

Lambert, the Sheepish Lion © Walt DisneyDisney’s  favorite voice, Sterling Holloway, returns for the first time since ‘Peter and the Wolf’ (‘Make Mine Music’, 1946), to lend his voice to a child-delivering stork like he did in ‘Dombo’ (1942).

Holloway tells the story of Lambert, a lion cub who’s accidentally delivered to a mother sheep. Because he’s different, he’s bullied by the other lambs, and he grows into a cowardly lion, until he rescues his mother from the clutches of an evil wolf.

Like the similar ‘Morris, the Midget Moose‘ from two years earlier, the story of ‘Lambert, the Sheepish Lion’ is slow, sickeningly sweet and terribly unfunny. What Lambert eats during his stay among the sheep remains a puzzling mystery. The cartoon’s only delight are the facial expressions on the adult Lambert.

Watch ‘Lambert, the Sheepish Lion’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Lambert, the Sheepish Lion’ is available on the DVDs ‘Walt Disney Treasures: Disney Rarities’ and ‘Melody Time’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,061 other followers

Bookmark and Share

Follow TheGrob on Twitter

Categories