Peter Lord and Nick Park’s hit animated comedy was largely acclaimed–quite rightfully so–for its clever script, which improbably cast the conventions of wartime prison escape pictures in a British chicken farm. Unfortunately overshadowed along the way, however, was the technical achievement of the film, which was made in the stop-motion animation process. DreamWorks’ Special Edition DVD skews the spotlight back toward the technical end, with Lord and Park’s informative running commentary focusing squarely on the time-consuming task of bringing Plasticine puppets to life. The pair are quite eloquent about their craft, not to mention unmistakably, politely British, quick to praise the work of the many others on their animation crew; their humble humility adds to the charm.
But like the film itself, the Chicken Run DVD is all about fun. While the two making-of featurettes “The Hatching of Chicken Run” and “Poultry in Motion: The Making of Chicken Run ” essentially cover the same material in negligibly different ways, both are done a light sense of humor that befits the main feature. While those features, the collection of trailers and TV spots, and complete production notes are targeted toward the adult viewers, kids get their due with a read-along feature and two DVD-ROM games–though the young-at-heart should get some amusement out of the latter as well. This being a film about chickens, the disc also has its share of so-called “Easter eggs.” Rabid hunters shouldn’t get too excited, though, for the hidden features are simply factoids about the production. But when a disc includes a “Panic Button”–which leads to footage of chickens doing just that–why complain?
Specifications: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen; English DTS; English 5.1 Surround; English Dolby Surround; English and French subtitles; English closed captioning; DVD-ROM features.