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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
Karey Kirkpatrick
Starring Mel Gibson
Julia Sawalha
Miranda Richardson
Benjamin Whitrow
Timothy Spall
Phil Daniels
Jane Horrocks
Tony Haygarth
Music by Harry Gregson-Williams
John Powell
Editing by Mark Solomon
Studio Aardman Animations
Allied Filmmakers
Distributed by Pathé (Europe)
DreamWorks Animation (non-Europe)
Release date(s) 21 June 2000 (2000-06-21)
(United States)
02000-06-30 30 June 2000
(United Kingdom)
Running time 84 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget US$45 million
Gross revenue US$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.



The Tweedys run a chicken farm in Yorkshire, England, in the manner of a World War II POW camp. One chicken, Ginger, continually tries to get the chickens to escape from the coop using various plans and contraband obtained through two rats, Nick and Fetcher. They sometimes involve going under the fence. However, Ginger is always caught by Mr. Tweedy and his dogs, and while she is kept in solitary confinement, she comes to realize their only hope of escape is to fly over the coop's fence.

Mrs. Tweedy, struggling to keep the farm financially viable on dwindling egg production, decides to convert the farm from egg production to chicken pies, and orders a giant pie-making machine. Mr. Tweedy believes the chickens are plotting a big escape, but Mrs. Tweedy dismisses the idea as paranoia and does so in a rude domineering manner. While the Tweedys await delivery, a Rhode Island Red rooster named Rocky Rhodes appears to "fly" into the coop, though harming his wing on landing. While the other chickens fawn over him, Ginger convinces Rocky to help teach them how to fly. Unable to admit that he cannot actually fly, Rocky plays for time by putting the chickens through seemingly-futile training exercises while he tends to his injured wing. At the same time, the Tweedys provide the chickens with more food in order to make them plumper for their pies. The pie-making machine soon arrives, and as Mr. Tweedy begins construction, Ginger realizes what Mrs. Tweedy's plan is, and that they have very limited time to escape. With the machine completed, Mr. Tweedy attempts to put Ginger through the machine, but she is saved by Rocky, and they are able to disable the machine, giving themselves some more time while Mr. Tweedy tends to its repair.

The next day, Ginger finds Rocky has fled, leaving behind part of a poster that explains that he was a circus act, only "flying" after being launched out of a cannon. Ginger and the other chickens lose hope of escape, cumulating in a huge brawl in the mud, until Ginger finds out that Fowler, the farm's aged rooster, was once an honorary member of the Royal Air Force. With Fowler's knowledge, they begin working hastily to create an airplane, pedal-powered by the chickens themselves, in secret from Mr. Tweedy, who has become suspect of the chickens' ingenuity. The craft is completed even as the repairs on the pie-making machine are completed. As Mr. Tweedy attempts to grab the chickens, he is restrained by the attacking chickens and 'hidden' under one of the coops.

The chickens quickly assemble their plane and attempt to take off, despite Mr. Tweedy's attempt to stop them. Mrs. Tweedy hears the commotion outside, and, armed with a hatchet, is able to grab onto a string of lights from the plane before it takes off. Rocky returns to help, and he and Ginger attempt to knock Mrs. Tweedy off, as her weight is too much for the chickens to keep the plane airborne. Ginger tricks Mrs. Tweedy into cutting the light string with her hatchet, causing her to fall right into a vent on the pie-making machine, causing the machine to burst and destroying their barn. Rocky, Ginger, and the other chickens celebrate as they fly off. At the end of the film, the chickens have found themselves a protected bird sanctuary to live in and raise their chicks, with Rocky and Ginger becoming a couple.



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, are to co-direct the film,[1] while Karey Kirkpatrick 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 distbution 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 1995, whilst DreamWorks officially came aboard in 1997. DreamWorks beat out studios like 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. and largely won due to the perserverance 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, composeers in the artist pool of Media Ventures Entertainment Group, were in talks to compose the film since January 1999.[3] In January 2000, the release was revealed to be for June 23, 2000.[4]

Production notes

  • Chicken Run was the first feature film in Europe to use the Digital Intermediate process, digitally storing and manipulating every frame of the film before recording back to film.
  • In early versions of the movie, Ginger had a little brother named Nobby, but the idea was dropped in order to make the film less cute.
  • An early storyboard idea was that the plane would breakup in the middle of its flight and that the chickens would suddenly find the ability to fly; the idea being to show that you can do things if you "believe in yourself". This was dropped because the directors thought it was a little far-fetched.
  • Besides the English characters, there are some other characters that live in different countries like Mac the Scottish hen and Rocky the American Rooster. Ginger is described as responsible while Babs is considered to love knitting as her favorite hobby.
  • It was also suggested that Fowler would be a drunk who felt useless and neglected until Ginger convinced him that he was needed. In the final film it is a sober Fowler who is made to believe in himself and fly the plane.
  • During the early stages of production, the film had the working title "A Few Good Hen", a reference to the 1992 drama film A Few Good Men.
  • The reason all the chickens wear scarves is to hide the joint between the head and the body. The scarves hide the 'seam' which is present because the bodies of the chickens are articulated steel frames coated in silicon rubber while the heads are plasticine (this is similar to the reason why Ewoks in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi wore hoods: to hide the seam between the head and the body parts of the suit).


The film has received outstanding reviews from critics since its release and currently garners a 98% "Certified Fresh" rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website.

Awards and nominations

Marketing received exclusive right to hosting the official site for the film and designing, for which Canned Entertainment were chosen.[5]

Video game

Chicken Run is a stealth-based 3-D platformer based on the movie. The game is a loose parody of the famous The Great Escape movie, which is based in WWII.


  1. ^ Rex Weiner (10 April, 1997). "Aardman on 'Run'". Variety. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  2. ^ Dan Cox (4 December, 1997). "D'Works' feat of clay". Variety. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  3. ^ Robert Koehler (21 January, 1999). "Zimmer's Ventures in music is a factory in the (tune) making". Variety. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  4. ^ Christian Moerk (21 January, 2000). "Showbiz was schiz in 1999". Variety. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  5. ^ Marc Graser (3 April, 2000). "D'Works hands Reel 'Chicken'". Variety. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 

See also

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Chicken Run is a 2000 clay animation film made by the Aardman Animations studios. It tells the story of a band of chickens who seek escape from their coop before their owners, mild-mannered egg farmer Mr. Tweedy and his overbearing wife, make them all into chicken pot pies.

Directed and written by Peter Lord and Nick Park.
This Ain't No Chick Flick! taglines



  • [Holding Rocky's beak] The name... is Ginger.
  • [Pointing at Mr. Tweedy] ATTACK!
  • Either we die free chickens, or die trying.
  • I've never felt grass under my feet before.
  • [Waving bye to Mrs. Tweedy] Bye Bye!
  • We did it everyone!


  • FREEDOM!!!
  • [about Fowler] Hey, what's eatin' Grandpa?
  • [Ginger squawks loudly] Was your father, by any chance, a VULTURE?!
  • [Rocky and Ginger are in an oven] It's like an oven in here!


  • Operation Cover-Up! [Is then covered with an old sock]
  • [About Rocky] I don't like the look of this one. His eyes are too close together.
  • Pushy Americans, always showing up late for every war. Overpaid, oversexed, and over here!
  • Keep pedalling! We're not there yet! You can't see paradise if you don't pedal!
  • Cock-a-doodle-doo! What, what.


  • [After she fainted from a near-death experience] All me life flashed before me eyes. [disappointed] It was really borin'.
  • I don't want to be a pie! I don't like gravy.
  • Bingo!
  • [after Ginger is released from Solitary in the dumpster] Oh, it's nice to have a bit of time to yourself, isn't it? [smiles calmly]


  • I laid five eggs this morning. FIVE! I was dead chuffed with that, I was!
  • [Grabbing Fowler's hand] Oh, shut up and dance, you old coot!
  • We musn't panic... We mustn't panic...!! [two seconds before she and all the other chickens start screaming]
  • [After everyone learns that Rocky cannot fly] I had a feeling he was a phoney all along. In fact, I'm not even certain he was American.
  • [Cheering on Fowler] You can do it... you old sausage!


Ginger: So laying eggs all your life and then getting plucked, stuffed and roasted is good enough for you, is it?
Babs: It's a livin'.

Bunty: Face it, ducks; the chances of us escaping from here are a million to one.
Ginger: Then there's still a chance.

Mrs. Tweedy: Chickens go in; pies come out.
Mr. Tweedy: What sort of pies?
Mrs. Tweedy: [sarcastic] Apple.
Mr. Tweedy: My favourite!
Mrs. Tweedy: CHICKEN pies, you great lummox!

Babs: Morning, Ginger. Back from holiday?
Ginger: I wasn't on holiday, Babs. I was in solitary confinement.
Babs: Oh, it's nice to get a bit of time to yourself, isn't it?

Ginger: Listen. We'll either die free chickens or we die trying.
Babs: Are those the only choices?

Ginger: But you're supposed to be up there - you're the pilot.
Fowler: Don't be ridiculous. I can't fly this contraption.
Ginger: "Back in your day"? The Royal Air Force?
Fowler: 644 Squadron, Poultry Division - we were the mascots.
Ginger: You mean you never actually flew the plane?!
Fowler: Good heavens, no! I'm a chicken! The Royal Air Force doesn't let chickens behind the controls of a complex aircraft!

Rocky: You see, flying takes three things: Hard work, perseverance and... hard work.
Fowler: You said "hard work" twice.
Rocky: That's because it takes twice as much work as perseverance.

Nick: First of all, we sneak in all quiet, like...
Fetcher: [interrupting] Like a fish!
Nick: Yeah, like a-- [pauses] Like a fish? You stupid Norbert.

Nick: [aboard the flying machine] The exits are located here and here. In the quite likely event of a emergency, put your head between your knees--
Fetcher: And kiss your bum goodbye!

Mr. Tweedy: [being attacked by the chickens] MRS. TWEEDY! The chickens are revolting!
Mrs. Tweedy: [not paying attention] Finally, something we agree on.

Nick: Eggs from heaven.
Fetcher: No, from her bum.

[On the flying machine]
Fowler: We need more power!
Mac: I can't work miracles, captain! We're giving her all she's got!

Fowler: Increase velocity!
Babs: What does that mean?

[After everyone is yelling]
Rocky: Whoa, whoa, hold up! Let's get right to the point. Where am I?
Ginger: Oh, yes, how rude of us. It's just that we're very exci-- [clears throught] This is a chicken farm.
Babs: And we're the chickens! [winks]

[Fowler is forced to share his bunk with Rocky]
Fowler: ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGEOUS! Asking a senior officer to share his quarters?! And with a non-commissioned Yank, no less! Why, back in my day, I'd never...
Rocky: Hey, you weren't exactly my first choice either. And scoot over, your wing's on my side of the bunk--
Fowler: "YOUR SIDE OF THE BUNK"?! The WHOLE bunk is MY side of the bunk!
Rocky: [snapping back] Just-- What's that smell, is that your breath?
Fowler: [grumbling] ... It's absolutely outrageous...

Mac: THRUST! [rapidfire] I went over my calculations, hen, and I forgot the key element missing is thrust!
Rocky: I-– I didn't get a word of that.
Mac: THRUST! Other birds, like ducks and geese, when they take off, what do they have? THRUST!
Rocky: I swear she ain't using real words.
Ginger: She said we need more thrust.
Rocky: Oh! Thrust! Well, of course we need thrust! Thrust and flying are like, well, like this. [Crosses fingers] That's flying, and... that's thrust.

Ginger: Where there's a will, there's a way
Rocky: Couldn't agree more. And I will be leaving that way.

Ginger: So that's it! You're from the circus.
Rocky: Shh!
Ginger: You're on the run, aren't you?
[Rocky pulls her behind a hut]
Rocky: You want to keep it down?! I'm trying to lay low here!
Ginger: I should turn you in right now!
Rocky: You wouldn't!... Would you?
Ginger: Give me one reason why I shouldn't.
Rocky: Because I'm... cute?
[Ginger squawks loudly]
Rocky: [muffles her] What are you doing?! Do you know what will happen if that guy finds me?!
Ginger: It's a cruel world.
Rocky: I've just decided, I don't like you.
Ginger: I've just decided, I don't care. Now show us how to fly.
Rocky: With this wing?!
Ginger: Teach us, then!
Rocky: No!
[Ginger squawks again]
Rocky: [muffles her again] Now you listen here, sister. I'm not going back to that life! I'm a lone free ranger - emphasis on "FREE"!
Ginger: And that's what we want! Freedom!
[Rocky notices the Tweedys approaching]
Rocky: Oh no! Oh no, they're after me!
Ginger: Teach us to fly, and we'll hide you.
Rocky: And if I don't?!
[Ginger squawks again]
Rocky: [muffles her again] Was your father, by any chance, a VULTURE?!

Rocky: Time to make good on that deal, doll--
Ginger: [grabs his beak] The name... is Ginger.

Ginger: I thought you were going to teach us how to fly.
Rocky: That's what I'm doing.
Ginger: ... Isn't there usually some flapping involved?
Rocky: Hey, do I tell you how to lay eggs? Relax! We're making progress.
Ginger: Really? I can't help feeling we're going around in circles.
[Ginger points to the chickens, who are indeed, spinning around in circles]
Rocky: Whoah, woah, cut it out! You're making me dizzy!
[The chickens stop, and start wobble around uneasily and toppling over]
Rocky: There. I think they're ready to fly now.
Ginger: Good, because they certainly can't walk anymore!

Rocky: You know what your problem is? You're... difficult!
Ginger: Why, because I'm honest?! I care about what happens to them! Nothing I'd expect a lone free ranger to know anything about!
Rocky: Hey, if this is the way you show it, I hope you never care about me!
Ginger: I can assure you, I never will!
Rocky: Good!
Ginger: Fine!

[Ginger has been put on the pie macine, and can't get free]
Ginger: Oh great! Brilliant!
Rocky: Yo! baby doll!
Ginger: Rocky!
Rocky: I'm coming! [He begins slipping on the metal] I'm still coming!
Ginger: Come on! Stop this thing!
Rocky: I'm getting there!
[The machine releases Ginger. Rocky makes a grab at her but misses as she falls down a chute]
Rocky: Oh, "chute"!
Ginger: ROCKY!
Rocky: Don't worry! I'll be down there before you can say...
[Mixed vegetables tumble towards him]


  • This Ain't No Chick Flick!!
  • Escape or Die Frying.
  • A Few Good Hen.
  • There's Nothing More Determined Than Poultry With A Plan.
  • She's Poultry In Motion.
  • Feathers will Fly!
  • The Lone Free Ranger.
  • It's Chicken Impossible.
  • A Chicken Will Rise!
  • The Cluck Stops Here.
  • Run, Don't Walk!
  • because i wanted to spoon it, it tastes better!

Voice cast

External links

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