Early Man Goooooals
Sometimes I want to go to the movies and just have fun. Even if what I’m seeing is silly. (Jumanji anyone? I’m still eagerly awaiting that DVD.) For me, Early Man fit that bill perfectly.
Any Aardman Animation film is guaranteed to catch my attention, especially since Chicken Run has always been one of my favorites. I think the characters are so charmingly designed and the knowledge of the effort that goes into creating a claymation film fascinates me.
What is Early Man about? Cavemen. And soccer. Excuse me, football. Taking place in prehistoric Manchester, Dug and his tribe live in a beautiful valley. They hunt rabbits, celebrate, and do it all again the next day, despite Dug trying to encourage them to hunt something bigger. Like a mammoth.
Cue Lord Nooth - the leader of a city that’s made its way into the Bronze Age - invading the valley because of the bronze ore available. He chases the cavemen out into the Badlands (think dinos, mutant ducks, active volcanoes, and gross bugs). When Dug accidentally ends up in the city, he discovers the sacred game of soccer and challenges the champions in a bid to win his home back.
With the help of Goona, an exceptionally talented soccer player who dreams of playing on the sacred grounds, Dug sets out to turn his tribe into a team that can beat the champions. And it’s done with all the hilarious and ridiculous humor Nick Park so excels at. I lost track of the times I snorted or outright laughed.
I will admit some of the soccer jokes went above my head. The perils of being an American, I guess.
Of course, there are also the amazing actors. Eddie Redmayne gives Dug such a lovable personality. I wanted to hug him. If nothing else, go see this just for the adorable things Eddie managed to do with his voice to bring Dug to life. And it was great to hear Maisie Williams as Goona. Something a little more light hearted than Game of Thrones. You can definitely hear how much fun they were having bringing these characters to life
Then there's Tom Hiddleston as Lord Nooth. The person next to me in the theater went, "What?! That was Tom Hiddleston?" when his name came up in the credits. And it’s understandable. You can only hear it’s him if you’re really listening. Even then, it’s difficult. With the over-exaggerated French accent and pompous tone, he turns Nooth into a villain you can’t help but laugh at. It’s fantastic.
If you’re looking for a movie that will put a smile on your face and make you laugh, this is the one. I love the “funny and thumb-y” animation and the actors putting so much love into their characters. In the midst of award season movies and huge blockbusters, it was a genuinely fun time.
And if you find out where to get a warthog that behaves like a dog a la Hognob, please let me know!
P.S. You should also check out all the fun press they did for this movie. Especially the video below where the actors were learning how to sculpt Hognob.
Absolutely awkward. Literature nut. Tolkien enthusiast. Thedas thrill seeker. Fierce protector of Norse space sons. Fangirl. Writer. Dreamer. Have ambition to become crazy guinea pig lady if marrying various celebrity crushes proves impossible.