Written by Aaron Radcliff:
Aardman Animations is no stranger to the realm of claymation and the famed studio is back once again with their latest outing, Early Man.
When a tribe of cavemen is driven out of their valley by the dastardly Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston), the tribe, led by simple but idealistic Dug (Eddie Redmayne) must fight to win their home back by defeating the Bronze Age champions in a game of skill, honor, and near-religious reverence: Soccer…or football if you’re not from the U.S.
If you find the British offensive then you’ll find this movie to be offensively British, but that’s part of the charm Aardman’s movies are known for. It is, for lack of a better description, a typical Aardman film. It has well done claymation, goofy voices, slapstick comedy for children to enjoy, the typical dry wit for the adults that you come to expect from British comedies, and puns. So many puns.
I have to give Aardman credit because this formula always seems to work with all of their films. There’s literally nothing new to the equation but they manage to make it enjoyable each time. There’s a checklist with these types of movies that rarely gets ignored. You have the goofiness, you have the simplistic plot, you’ve got your action, and then the ending. That’s the case for most kids movies and the same applies here. You’re not getting the formula subverted or freshened up at all (unless you want to traumatize your kids and show them Watership Down for comparison). But again, this is a kids movie and as such it works pretty well.
Everything is simple enough to be understood and there’s enough comedy to keep the kids entertained while giving a few clever winks and nods to the adults. It’s not touching like Coco or hilarious like Lego Batman Movie, but it’s cute and charming enough to be fun for everyone if you’re looking for a way to kill 90 minutes.
Score: 7 out of 10
Image via StudioCanal