Hens on the run, the 2000 stop-motion animated film
Hens on the run (Chicken Run) is a 2000 stop-motion animated film produced by Pathé and Aardman Animations in collaboration with DreamWorks Animation. Aardman's first feature film and fourth DreamWorks feature, it was directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park from a screenplay by Karey Kirkpatrick and a story by Lord and Park. The film stars the original voices of Julia Sawalha, Mel Gibson, Tony Haygarth, Miranda Richardson, Phil Daniels, Lynn Ferguson, Timothy Spall, Imelda Staunton and Benjamin Whitrow. The plot centers on a group of anthropomorphic chickens who see a rooster named Rocky as their only hope of escaping the farm, when their owners prepare to turn them into chicken meatballs.
Released to critical acclaim, Chicken Run was also a commercial success, grossing over $ 224 million, making it the highest-grossing stop-motion animated film in history.  A sequel titled Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is expected to be released in 2023 on Netflix.
A group of anthropomorphic hens live on an egg farm run by the cruel Mrs. Tweedy and her stupid husband Mr. Tweedy, who kill any hen that is no longer able to lay eggs. the hens try to escape often, but they are always caught. Frustrated with the low profits and debt the farm generates, Ms. Tweedy comes up with the idea of converting the farm into automated production and turning the chickens into meatballs. A suspicious Mr. Tweedy wonders if the chickens are plotting, but Mrs. Tweedy rejects his theories.
One day, the head of the chickens, Ginger, witnesses a crash landing of an American rooster named Rocky Rhodes in the farm's chicken coop; the hens plaster his damaged wing and hide him from the Tweedys. Interested in Rocky's apparent flying skills, Ginger begs him to help teach her and the chickens to fly. Rocky gives them training lessons while Mr. Tweedy builds the meatball machine. Later that night, Rocky holds a dance party when his wing is healed; Ginger insists that he proves to fly the next day, but Mr. Tweedy runs out of the meatball machine and puts Ginger in for a test drive. Rocky rescues her and inadvertently sabotages the car, buying him time to warn the chickens and plan an escape from the farm.
The next day, Ginger discovers that Rocky is gone, leaving behind part of a poster that reveals him as a former cannon stuntman who is unable to fly, depressing her and the others. Elder Rooster Fowler tries to cheer them up by telling stories from his time as a mascot in the Royal Air Force, giving Ginger the idea of creating a plane to escape the farm.
The chickens, with the help of Nick and Fetcher (two smuggling rats), assemble parts for the plane while Mr. Tweedy repairs the car. Mrs. Tweedy orders Mr. Tweedy to collect all the chickens for the car, but the chickens attack him, leaving him bound and gagged as they finish the plane. Meanwhile, Rocky encounters a billboard advertising Mrs. Tweedy's chicken pies and returns to the farm feeling guilty for abandoning the chickens. Ms. Tweedy attacks Ginger, as she helps the plane take off, but she is subdued by Rocky, who leaves with Ginger, holding on to a string of Christmas lights caught by the departing plane. Mrs. Tweedy follows up the lights with an ax; Ginger dodges an ax blow that cuts the line, knocking Mrs. Tweedy into the safety valve of the pie maker and causing her to explode. After freeing himself, Mr. Tweedy reminds Mrs. Tweedy of his warning that the chickens were organized, much to her frustration. The barn door then falls on Mrs. Tweedy, crushing her.
The chickens celebrate their victory as Ginger and Rocky kiss and fly to an island to live on. During the credits, Nick and Fetcher discuss starting their own chicken farm so they can have all the eggs they can eat, but then they end up arguing over whether or not the chicken or the egg got there first. on a chicken sanctuary prohibition sign.
- Gaia (Ginger): She is the protagonist of the film and is the leader among the hens, although sometimes she struggles to be heard. She initially doesn't get along well with the cock Rocky, despite the fact that she deems it their only hope of escaping. The two will quarrel over differences in character, but in the end they will fall in love.
- Rocky Bulba (Rocky Rhodes): He is the co-star of the film and is a handsome American rooster who ends up on the farm by accident after being shot with a circus cannon. With an exhibitionist and cheerful character, he falsely promises the chickens to teach them to fly when Gaia threatens to return him to the circus. He gets along poorly with Cedrone, whom he ironically calls "daddy", and with Gaia for their different characters, but in the end they will get together.
- Lady Melisha Tweedy: she is the main antagonist of the film and she is a woman who takes care of the economic management of the farm, but who hates chickens. She dreams of becoming rich and for this reason she buys the machine to make chicken pies, hoping to make huge profits. She is constantly involved in mistreating her husband when she makes mistakes or says some nonsense. She is also convinced that her theories about chickens are the fruit of her imagination. She is defeated by getting stuck in the machine, which explodes with her stuck.
- Mr. Willard Tweedy: is the secondary antagonist of the film and is the owner of the farm along with Mrs. Tweedy. He is the only one who notices that the chickens are hatching an escape plan, but Mrs. Tweedy doesn't believe him. At the end of the film, after the chickens' escape and his wife's defeat, he tells her that she was right about the chickens being organized and, as she rages again, the barn door gives way and falls on her.
- Capercaillie (Fowler): he is the oldest rooster in the hen house, and also the only one until Rocky arrives. He had previously been the mascot of a Royal Air Force platoon during World War II. For this reason he often tells some anecdotes he lived during the war, and one of these tales reminds Gaia of the idea of escaping from the farm aboard a plane. He is the only one who doesn't trust Rocky when he comes to the farm and calls him "American Yankee" and doesn't get along with Tantona for his insubordination of him. He always carries a "medal" with him, which is actually a small silver brooch depicting a bird with spread wings.
- Baba (Babs): she is a fat hen with a blue crest, best friend of Gaia. She always carries knitting needles with her and knits at all times of knitting.
- Von (Mac): she is a thin hen, who always wears a pair of rudimentary glasses. She is originally from Switzerland, in fact she speaks with a German accent (while in the original version she is Scottish). She is a sort of engineer about her, in fact Gaia always turns to her to build the contraptions necessary for her escape.
- Tantona (Bunty): she is the fattest hen in the hen house, with a curmudgeoning and realistic character, as well as quarrelsome and abusive. She has the ability to lay lots of eggs consecutively and it is mentioned that she gives some to her mates who cannot make them.
- Frego and Piglio (Nick and Fetcher): they are two rats that steal around the farm the objects that the hens need to escape. Opportunists and gluttons, in exchange for their services they want to be paid with eggs. During the construction of the cart they will be paid with a large amount of eggs to obtain the pieces necessary to build it, but in the end they are forced to sacrifice them to throw them at Mrs. Tweedy who had attached herself to the cart, to prevent the hens from escaping. At the end of the film they settle down with the chickens in the reserve and start discussing a new project to get more eggs. Frego is the mind of the duo while Piglio is the not very good right arm.
Hens on the run was first conceived in 1995 by Aardman co-founder Peter Lord and Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park. According to Park, the project began as a parody of the 1963 film La grande fuga (The Great Escape). Hens on the run was Aardman Animations' first feature film production, which Jake Eberts would executive produce. Nick Park and Peter Lord, who directs Aardman, directed the film, while Karey Kirkpatrick wrote the film with additional contributions from Mark Burton and John O'Farrell.
Pathé agreed to finance the film in 1996, investing its finances in developing the script and designing the model. DreamWorks officially joined the group in 1997. DreamWorks has beaten studios such as Disney, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. and won largely thanks to the persistence of DreamWorks co-president Jeffrey Katzenberg; as a company they were eager to make their presence felt in the animation market in an effort to compete with Disney's dominance in the field. Katzenberg explained that he "chased these guys for five or six years, ever since I first saw Creature Comforts." managed. The two studios co-financed the film. DreamWorks also owns the worldwide merchandising rights. Principal shooting began on January 29, 1998, 30 sets were used during the production of the film with 80 animators working alongside 180 people working in total. Despite this, one minute of film was completed for each week of shooting, production ended on June 18, 1999.
John Powell and Harry Gregson-Williams composed the music for the film, which was released on June 20, 2000 under the RCA Victor label.
Original title Chicken Run
Country of Production United States of America
Duration 84 min
Gender animation, comedy, adventure
Regia Peter Lord, Nick Park
Subject Peter Lord, Nick Park
Film script Karey Kirkpatrick
Producer Peter Lord, Nick Park, David Sproxton
Executive producer Jake Eberts, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Rose
Production house DreamWorks SKG, Aardman
Distribution in Italian United International Pictures
Photography Dave Alex Riddett (sup.), Tristan Oliver, Frank Passingham
Editor Mark Solomon, Robert Francis, Tamsin Parry
Music John Powell, Harry Gregson-Williams
scenography Phil Lewis
Beachwear Sally Taylor
Art director Tim Farrington
Entertainers Sean Mullen, Lloyd Price
Original voice actors
Julia Sawalha as Gaia
Mel GibsonRocky Bulboa
Miranda RichardsonMelisha Tweedy
Tony HaygarthWillard Tweedy
Timothy Spall: I screw
Phil Daniels: Look
Imelda Staunton: Sorry
Italian voice actors
Christian De SicaRocky Bulboa
Melina MartellMelisha Tweedy
Gerolamo Alchieri as Willard Tweedy
Ilaria Stagni: Baba
Paolo Buglioni: Frego
Roberto Ciufoli: Piglio
Solvejg D'Assunta: Tantona
Franca D'Amato: Von
Ettore Conti: Cedrone