Chicken Run

There were a lot of disappointments in the 2000 summer movie season, but Chicken Run wasn't one of them. Made by Aardman Animations, which produced the Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit shorts, this is a dazzling stop-motion animation film that is both deftly funny and surprisingly touching. The concept is simple: The Great Escape--with chickens. But directors Peter Lord and Nick Park take it much further than that (and remember: there's a whole generation out there that has no idea who Steve McQueen is). Julia Sawalha voices Ginger, a plucky English hen who has been trying to escape from Tweedy's chicken farm, where the vicious Mrs. Tweedy (Miranda Richardson) fries up any chicken who doesn't produce enough eggs. When egg profits slump, Mrs. Tweedy decides to turn her farm into a chicken-pie factory, giving new urgency to Ginger's plan. Enter Rocky the Flying Rooster (Mel Gibson), a brash American who has escaped from a circus and promises to teach the chickens to fly to safety. The film is filled with innumerable visual touches and the animation has a tactile quality that makes you want to reach out and touch these funny fowl. Above all, it's played with intelligence, wit, and heart--a rare combination in any film. While Chicken Run is being marketed to a youth audience, it truly is a family film that operates on both a child and an adult level. It would be a shame if grownups skipped it because they thought it was strictly for kids. --Marshall Fine

Production: Dreamworks Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 23 wins & 25 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.0
Metacritic:
88
Rotten Tomatoes:
97%
G
Year:
2000
84
$106,604,314
Website
6,145 Views

[Bunty, Babs and another hen sneak towards Hut 17 with knitted masks over them. Bunty bangs the door, and Ginger lets them in when she sees who it is, except for Babs, who just stands there. Ginger then pulls Babs in by her wing]

Babs:
Ohh!

[Nick bangs the door, and Ginger looks to see who it is.]

Nick:
You called? Nick and…

Fetcher:
Fetcher.

Nick:
At your service.

[Ginger comes out the door. Suddenly, she hears dogs barking and sees Mr. Tweedy looking out the farmhouse window]

Ginger:
Over here!

[She leads Nick and Fetcher to a corner.]

Ginger:
We need some more things.

Nick:
Right you are, miss! [opens a lunchbox and holds up a couple thimbles] How about this quality, hand-crafted tea set?

Ginger:
Um, no...

Fetcher:
[holds up a drain plug on a chain] Or this lovely necklace and pendant?

Ginger:
Well, it's lovely...

Nick:
[holds up a badminton birdie] Or how about this little number that's all the rage in the most fashionable coops in Paris. Simply pop it on like so... [pops it on Ginger's head, feathers side up so that she looks like an Indian] And as the French hens say, "Voila!"

Fetcher:
That is French.

Nick:
And that's two hats in one, miss. For parties... [turns the birdie over, making it look like a wedding veil] ...for weddings! Oh, madame! This makes you look like a vision, like a dream.

Fetcher:
Like a duck!

[Nick glares at him]

Ginger:
No, thank you. [takes off the birdie and shows a diagram of a catapult] We're making this. We need these things. Can you get them?

Nick:
Ooh-hoo-hoo. Ooh, This is a big job, miss. Oh, bigger than the other ones. No, no, this is gonna cost.

Ginger:
Same as always: one bag of seed. [hands Nick a bag of chicken feed]

Nick:
You call this pay?!

Fetcher:
It's chicken feed!

Ginger:
What else could go wrong?

Nick:
Eggs.

Ginger:
Eggs?!

Fetcher:
Eggs. [holds up an egg cup and licks his lips]

Ginger:
We can't give you our eggs. They're too valuable.

Nick:
And so are we. [packs up to leave] After you, Fetcher.

Fetcher:
[pause] After I what?

Nick:
Move!

Ginger:
So that's it. You're from the circus.

Rocky:
[alarmed] Shh!

Ginger:
You're on the run, aren't you?

Rocky:
[pulls Ginger behind Hut 17] You wanna 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 stares at him and squawks loudly, he quickly clamps her beak shut] Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! What kind of crazy chick are you? Do you know what'll happen if he 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]

Mrs. Melisha Tweedy:
He's valuable, you say?

Circus Man:
Sure.

Mrs. Melisha Tweedy:
[to Mr. Tweedy] Get the torch.

Rocky:
[clamps her beak closed 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] Fancy that, they're coming this way.

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 starts to squawk again when Rocky clamp her beak shut the instant she does] Was your father, by any chance, a vulture?

Ginger:
Do we have a deal? [Offers her wing to seal the deal. Rocky reluctantly agrees and Ginger pulls him behind Hut 17]

Rocky:
Time to make good on that deal, doll–

Ginger:
[grabs his beak] The name... is Ginger. [knocks on the wall of Hut 17. A hidden door opens and two chickens grab her and Rocky and take them inside]

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