Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon

This sequel to Shaun the Sheep (2015) comes from Aardman, the studio behind Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run. Known for its visually arresting stop-motion style, Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon promises, delightfully, more of the same.

The first twenty seconds or so evoke a 1950s sci-fi feel, with violin in the upper register accompanied by the theremin. A weathervane ominously creaks. A distant, barely perceptible piano plaintively lays down soft, uniform chords in the background. A voice arrives at 0:16, adding a sense of religious zeal to the mix.

At 0:25 the aural landscape markedly shifts, to a clean electric guitar and synthesizer, as a man is stirred awake. It quickly shifts back to the choral voice as we see the Farmer investigating farm field, till in hand. As the view pans out to reveal enormous crop circles, it becomes obvious the theremin cue (or is it a musical saw?) and sci-fi feel presage some kind of alien abduction theme. 

By 0:48, the jig is up: farm dog Bitzer reveals the ruse Shaun the sheep put on to spook the Farmer, and the musical saw – as it is not clearly shown to be – enters the world of the story (i.e., diegetic), previously thought to be simply part of the soundtrack. 

At 0:50 the soundtrack definitively shifts to a rock track reminiscent of Keep on Rocking in the Free World, with a steady, pulsing beat. Just as soon as we think all is revealed, however, at 0:55 a sheep (Shaun) is actually abducted. 

From 1:05 on the song includes vocals with lyrics; the song appears to have been made specifically for the film, as it has been unidentifiable to the YouTube community as of yet. Nevertheless, this focus on the music, and the feeling of out-of-this-world adventure it evokes, effectively plays the abduction in an oddly positive light, inviting the audioviewer to imagine what is to come in the film.

Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon arrives in theatres in 2019.

– Curtis Perry