Aardman bring us a new feature with nice clay animation and charm, even though its story and characters are about as old as the Stone Age.
Every once in a while, it’s nice to experience a type of animation that’s pretty rare to see on screen. While Disney Studios, Pixar Studios, Illumination Entertainment, and even Sony Pictures Animation create their films with typical CG animation, there’s Aardman Pictures from England with their stop-motion clay animation which sets them apart. Director Nick Park and the production company which made classics Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run have returned to make another feature film taking us back to the Stone Age.
Early Man stars Dug (Eddie Redmayne), a young and optimistic caveman who lives in the valley with his tribe. However, when their valley is threatened and invaded by the Bronze Age, Dug challenges the head of the Bronze Age Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston), to a soccer match – a game that was once part of the cavemen tradition. If the cavemen were to win against the Bronze Age champions, Dug and his tribe realise they will get their valley back. However difficult it may be to train his current tribe for the game, Dug brings the help of a talented soccer fan from the Bronze era who’s discriminated from playing, named Goona (Maisie Williams).
Once again, it’s nice to see the animation style of stop-motion clay animation in theatres next to a lot of CG from other animation studios. Also, the voice acting from the entire cast is incredible. I’m not entirely a huge fan of Eddie Redmayne, but you would never notice that it’s him with the voice he gives in his character. They are fantastic with what they are given. Even if half the jokes are pretty dull, the other half (including some visual gags) got a good laugh out of me.
Also, while the story and characters are pretty generic (with everyone re-enacting what you would expect from an underdog sports movie, with a caveman and Bronze age background) – these elements do have a likeable charm that’s hard to hate. Overall, even if its not entirely great, I reckon families with young kids would like this one.