Faeries

Nellie and George (Carley O’Neill and Geoffrey Williams) are children forced on a countryside holiday, staying with family friends whilst their parents move house. Nellie is very much opposed to the idea, but the slightly younger George embraces it for all the fun it could be. Immediately upon arrival, Nellie and George go and play in the nearby woods, and George accidentally stumbles into a fairy world. With the help of the house’s secret hobgoblin Broom (Tony Robinson), Nellie must retrieve George before he eats anything in the fairy world, which will make him have to stay there forever. Of course, George eats something, but the Fairy Prince (Dougray Scott) makes an exception for George: if he and Nellie can complete three tasks for him, George can go free, with most of these plans involving the farmhand Brigid (Kate Winslet). However, the Prince’s evil brother The Shapeshifter (Jeremy Irons) has other plans, and wants to take over the Fairy Kingdom.
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Christmas Carol: The Movie

Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly debt collector in 19th century London, is something of a git. He shuns all those around him, choosing to spend Christmas alone instead of with his nephew, his only living relative. He is cruel to his clients and staff, rude to charity collectors and has no qualms with ordering people to be locked up and their furniture repossessed on Christmas Eve. Oh, and he pours a bucket of cold water onto Tiny Tim, a sickly carol singer, who also happens to be the son of Scrooge’s secretary, Bob Cratchit. After finishing work on Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, who warns him that he will be visited by three more ghosts before the morning, in the hope that Scrooge will change his miserly ways and live a better life, or face the same fate as Marley.
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Chicken Run

The Great Escape, with chickens! For Aardman’s first feature length picture, Nick Park and his team borrowed heavily from a British classic, with the Hilts-esque Ginger (Julia Sawalha) and her Scottish accomplice Mac (thankfully not shot up against the fences) leading a brood of chickens to freedom after their tyrannical farmers make a switch from eggs to chicken pies. The parallels run deep, from the multiple escape attempts using homemade and stolen tools to a heavy American influence courtesy of Mel Gibson’s circus cockerel Rocky Rhodes, although I very much doubt that this was based on a true story. Other elements, from a Flight of the Phoenix inspired mechanical plane to a Raiders style hat gag (by law, every film featuring a vertically closing door must feature the hero sliding under it to safety, before reaching back to retrieve their fallen hat) all add to the fun, but I was annoyed at the farmers complete lack of concern that, not only were their hens wearing hats and scarves, but one of them was wearing glasses. Timothy Spall and Phil Daniel’s east end spiv rats were excellent additions too.
Choose film 7/10