“Early Man” Review ✦✦✦✧✧

21 January, 2018

Director: Nick Park
Screenwriters: Mark Burton, James Higginson
Directors of Photography: Charles Copping, Dave Alex Riddett
Tom HiddlestonMaisie WilliamsEddie Redmayne

Synopsis: Quirky characters from the Stone Age and the Bronze Age cross paths in a tale of early civilisation with a sporting twist.

Early Man Review:

A claymation treat from four-time Academy Award winner Nick Park, “Early Man” feels like a blast from the past despite its presentation of a new cast of characters. Situated rigidly within the Aardman universe, the film is the result of a painstaking stop-motion animation process involving weeks of work for mere minutes of film, capturing subtle movements and expressions while giving the impression of living, breathing, characters. Made to measure in Nick Park’s unmistakable style, the film adapts to the times, adopting CGI backdrops while never once rejecting the physicality of the personalities in the foreground whose thumbprint bodies remind us of Aardman hits like “Chicken Run,” “Curse of the Were-Rabbit,” and the “Morph” series.

Giddy from head to toe in spite of its simplistic storyline, “Early Man” is an enjoyable, albeit fleeting moment in time with some new faces to add to the Aardman studio tour. Featuring dozens of tiny details and nods back to Nick Park’s early days working as writer, director, and animator on a now iconic short film series, “Early Man” takes the leap without his legendary twosome in tow, giving us some reason to miss his most famous characters while the adorable Hognob becomes the Gromit of a new era as an equally cute alternative to the silent sidekick audiences remember fondly.

Another unique passion project from the father of Wallace and Gromit, “Early Man” excels with a bonkers premise, proving quirky and engaging despite the limitations of its family-friendly set-up. Part prehistoric epic, part competitive sports movie, the film balances slapstick humour with witty comedy, feeling inherently British with region-specific references and vocal assistance from the current English A-List. A surprising experiment stretching further than expected, the movie isn’t always a storytelling marvel and yet, as an excuse for family fun and frivolous comedy, it works rather well.


Review Date
Early Man