Top 10 reasons Chicken Run may be the best film ever
#10 – The Chicken Hut
The moment when Mr Tweedy lifts the lid off the chicken hut to reveal all the chickens building things and making things and all the little things is one of the best in the film. Not just because it’s followed up by a Chicken Attack (“Mrs Tweedy, the chickens are revolting!” “Finally, something we can agree on.”), but because it reveals all the tiny, tiny details of the hut. Models! Posters! Tools! Also, that Mr Tweedy is not surprised by the sentiency of his chickens. Bastard.
#9 – Babs
A fat Northern chicken who knits and wears a little purple scarf. Knits herself a noose. Maybe one of the best characters ever created, and responsible for some of Chicken Run‘s best lines, i.e. “‘Ow was yer ‘oliday?” “I was in solitary confinement, Babs.” “Oh, well, it’s nice to get a bit of time to yourself.” and “Me ‘ole life flashed before me eyes…it was really boring”. Oh, Babs. We love you, Babs.
#8 – The Bit Where All The Chickens Dance
Chickens. Dancing. I can say it again as many times as I need to before you get how brilliant this is. They have a chicken dance. Under a disco ball. In their chicken hut. That’s a beat, Bunty! That’s a beat!
#7 – “We mustn’t panic! We mustn’t panic!”
This bit is me, on an almost daily basis. I have sympathy. Also, a hundred fat chickens wobbling about in terror is very, very funny. It doesn’t get less funny the more it happens, which is..often. I love panic. I love chickens.
#6 – Strong Female Characters
You want strong female characters? Chicken Run‘s going to bloody give you strong female characters. Let’s just think for a minute about Ginger. Let down by men, imprisoned by Tweedys, she does everything herself. The Great Escape reimagined, only with Northern lady chickens instead of men. Yep, yep yep. Also, a beret.
#5 – Fowler
“You mean you never actually flew the plane?” “Good heavens, no! I’m a chicken. The Royal Airforce doesn’t let chickens fly a complex aeroplane.” So true, Fowler. So true.
#4 – Chicken Spectacular!
I am persistently intrigued by the concept of a circus with a chicken spectacular, and one in which the main attraction is “We’re going to put this chicken in this cannon and see what happens.” Can you imagine being the ringmaster who came up with that?
#3 – The Pie Machine
“It’s a piiiiie machine, you idiot. Chickens go in, pies come out.” Complicated Plasticine machinery is always a winner, especially when it’s malevolent Plasticine machinery. So many gears! So many cogs! A squeezy thing! A pedally thing! So much gorgeous, gorgeous peril!
#2 – Mrs. Tweedy
Putting it out there, Mrs Tweedy (voiced by, of all people, Miranda Richardson) is one of the world’s best villains. Queen of the Pie Machine, doyenne of the sarcastic put down, mistress of insults. And she has a very fitting end, like all good villains.
#1 – The Plane Montage
“I think I’m going to cry,” says a certain esteemed editor, dabbing his eyes. “I do love a good montage. Oh, I bloody love a good montage.” And this- let’s be clear- is a bloody good montage. They will triumph! They will! Look at them go! They don’t need anyone! What clever, clever chickens!
It is, perhaps, the only film in the world with a montage of chickens building a plane, with blueprints and scale models. Thus, it is almost certainly the best. Disagree? Bollocks you disagree. Go home and watch Chicken Run, right now.