This article is about the TV show. For the theme, see Shaun the Sheep Theme.
Shaun the Sheep (STS) is a British stop-motion animated comedy children's television series produced by Aardman Animations, and commissioned by the BBC and the WDR. It first aired in the UK on CBBC in March 2007. The show consists of 150 episodes in 5 seasons, and is currently in hiatus.
Channels that aired the TV show Edit
- Disney Channel (US)
- Cartoon Network (Asia)
- Nickelodeon (UK)
- Nick Jr. (Australia)
- ABC3 (Australia)
- MBC 3 (Middle East)
- Jeem TV (Middle East)
A premise of the series is that Shaun the Sheep exhibits human intelligence, creativity, and behaviour in a farm setting, which usually provides a situational comedy conflict which Shaun must resolve before the end of each episode. Recurring themes include the characters evading the sheepdog Bitzer (though he is sometimes with the sheep in their escapades) and avoiding discovery by the Farmer.
Episodes are very much a combination of slapstick and classic silent comedy in Aardman’s recognizable animation style. There is no spoken dialogue, even by human characters. In this way it is reminiscent of silent comedy films and even Pingu and the animated version of Mr. Bean. However, simple grunts, bleats, and sighs are all used to add subtle expression to each character's moods and feelings.
Shaun's First Appearance Edit
Shaun the Sheep made his first "official" appearance in Wallace & Gromit's third short feature, the Academy Award winning "A Close Shave" as the youngest member of a flock of sheep Wallace and Gromit work to save from an evil mechanical dog that wants to turn them all into dog food for profit. Shaun does show a hint of intelligence, though he proves to be a big factor in saving the day. Shaun and the entire herd are also seen living with the inventive duo (much to Wallace's annoyance since they eat everything in sight, including furniture and clothes as well as his beloved cheese), though none of this seems to be part of this series' canon, or it can be surmised Wallace simply sold off the flock to The Farmer where Shaun and his friends now reside.
Reviews of the series were consistently positive. Harry Venning of "The Stage" found "characterisation charming and the animation superb. All this before even a mention of how funny and splendidly slapstick the script is." The Guardian noted that the series "hits the four-to-seven-year-old age group smack in the eye." Charles Arthur wrote "classic Aardman style that leaves me laughing out loud." On forums, the show has received rave reviews, with Shaun becoming a favourite among adults as well as children.
References to popular culture Edit
As with the series' parent show Wallace and Gromit, there are many allusions to scenes from movies such as Star Wars, The Lion King, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, The Matrix, and Pulp Fiction. These include:
- Shirley's training in the episode "Shape Up with Shaun" is based on the film Rocky.
- The paintings parodied in "Still Life" include the Mona Lisa and Constable's The Hay Wain.
- In "Buzz Off Bees", the Farmer appears in his hooded beekeepers outfit, with accompanying Darth Vader-style heavy breathing.
- The infamous shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho is spoofed in the episode "The Little Sheep of Horrors", whose name is based on the 1960 film The Little Shop of Horrors and its 1986 remake.
- In "Hiccups", Shaun turns his guitar amplifier up to 11 in a reference to a scene in This Is Spinal Tap.
- In "Fleeced", the Farmer drags one of the sheep away for shearing, slamming a large metal sliding door closed behind him. This is particularly reminiscent of the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
- In "Supersize Timmy", when Timmy ate a tomato he becomes big like four other characters from cartoons (Mort from penguins of Madagascar, Scrappy Doo from the Scooby-Doo movie (even though it is live action), Private from The Penguins of Madagascar and Fry from Futrama). This is similar to the 1933 film King Kong 1976 and 2005 remakes of it.
- In "The Visitor", the alien thrashes his car with a tree branch in the same way as Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers.
- In "Mountains out of Molehills" a sheep is reading a magazine called "Bleat", a spoof of celebrity gossip magazine "Heat".
- Also in "Mountains out of Molehills" Shaun tries to catch the mole with a fishing rod and line. When the first "bite" is shown, the first two notes of the Jaws theme are played.
- Near the end of "Off the Baa", the well-known Nessun Dorma theme from Puccini's opera Turandot is used, which was the musical theme of the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
- At the end of "Mower Mouth" the shrubs are clearly reminiscent of those in Edward Scissorhands.
- In "Saturday Night Shaun" Shaun rips off his coat and tosses it away as he is dancing, only to have tossed back. This is reminiscent of the scene in the 1980 movie Airplane!, where Robert Hays tosses his white sportcoat away, only to have it tossed back in his face.
- In * in "Party Animals", one of the guests is dressed as a crude version of a Dalek trying to get up some stairs but failing because of the suit.
- In "Zebra Ducks of the Serengeti", the Farmer's signpost over the gate falls over Bitzer - à la Buster Keaton in Steamboat Bill Jr.
- The title to What's Up, Dog? references Bugs Bunny's line "What's Up, Doc?"
A feature film is being developed for 2013/2014 release.
Theatre Show Edit
On March 9th, 2011, Shaun the Sheep made its theatre début in live Shaun's Big Show. This 1 hour and 40 minutes long musical/dance show features all favourite characters, including Bitzer, Shirley and Timmy.
Video Games Edit
On June 16th, 2008, D3 Publisher of America, which published a game based on Aardman's 2006 film Flushed Away, announced that it would also release a video game based on the television series. The Shaun the Sheep game was developed by Art Co., Ltd exclusively for Nintendo DS, and was released in autumn 2008. The Shaun the Sheep website also ran a contest which offered five packages containing a Nintendo DS and a copy of the game as a prize.
A second game named Shaun the Sheep: Off His Head was released on April 2009 exclusively in Europe.
- ↑ http://www.locatetv.com/listings/cartoon-network#09-Sep-2015
- ↑ TV Review The Stage. Harry Venning. 12 March 2007. Retrieved 3 April 2007
- ↑ Banks-Smith, Nancy (6 March 2007). Last Night's TV. The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 3 April 2007.
- ↑ Charles Arthur (20 March 2007). Roll over, Pixar – Shaun the Sheep’s here to tickle your funny bone CharlesArthur.com. Retrieved 3 April 2007.
- ↑ Multiple authors (3 May 2007). Shaun The Sheep - 3.45pm BBC1 DigitalSpy Forums. Retrieved 3 April 2007.
- ↑ "Aardman Animations plan new Shaun the Sheep film". BBC Online. 2011-01-27. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-12299286. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- ↑ BWW News Desk (2011-02-22). "SHAUN'S BIG SHOW Debuts at Stoke-on-Trent's Regent Theatre, Mar. 9 -13". BroadwayWorld.com. http://westend.broadwayworld.com/article/SHAUNS_BIG_SHOW_Debuts_at_StokeonTrents_Regent_Theatre_Mar_9_13_20110222. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- ↑ Remo, Chris (2008-06-16). "D3 Announces Coraline And Shaun The Sheep Adaptations". Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=18932. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
- ↑ "Shaun the Sheep Flash game". http://www.shaunthesheep.com/games/homesheephome/.
- ↑ "Shaun the Sheep iOS game". http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/home-sheep-home/id433704428?mt=8.
- ↑ Loveday, Samantha. "Timmy Tales". Licensing.biz. http://www.licensing.biz/brand-profiles/39/Timmy. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
- Official website shaunthesheep.com
- Shaun's Big Show
- Fan site
- Aardman Animation official website
- BBC Press release (animation series)
- Shaun the Sheep at BBC Online
- Shaun the Sheep at British Comedy Guide
- Shaun the Sheep at
- Shaun the Sheep at TV.com
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