Early Man

Eddie Redmayne happily swapped his straight smile for a buck-toothed grin to play Dug
Verdict: 
7/10 - Nick Park makes a most welcome return to the big screen with this thoroughly enjoyable tale.
Release Date: 
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Written by: 

Join Stone Age sweetie Dug as he fights for his home and discovers the joys of football for the very first time.

7

For a few years, Nick Park and his Aardman Animations colleagues were constantly wowing TV and cinema audiences, with Wallace and Gromit shorts, followed by big screen outings Chicken Run and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

It's been 10 whole years since Nick directed a stop-motion animation, but thankfully, his new film Early Man shows he's not lost any of his flair.

Early Man tells the story of modern-thinker Dug (Eddie Redmayne), his sidekick Hognob, and their tribe of Stone Age buddies, who get evicted from their lush green valley when Bronze Age leader Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston) decides to mine for treasure there.

After being banished to the barren badlands, complete with giant mallards, Dug accidentally finds himself smuggled into snooty Frenchman Nooth's kingdom, which is unlike anything he's ever seen before.

Surrounded by shops, wheels and even sliced bread, Dug can't quite believe what's he's little caveman eyes are seeing, with events getting even more surprising when he's swept along with the crowd as they head towards the giant stadium to watch a football match.

After getting his bearings, Dug challenges Nooth to a game.

He promises that if his team of simple Stone Agers doesn't beat the elite Real Bronzio squad, made up of towering, talented players, they'll work down the mines of their former home. But should they win, they'll be allowed back to their tranquil valley to live out their days.

Sensing a win-win situation, money-obsessed Nooth gladly agrees, but after one of his own citizens, skilled girl footballer Goona (Maisie Williams), agrees to help Dug out, the outcome of the beautiful game will soon be changed forever.

Transformers: The Last Knight



Early Man is brimming with English charm, made even more fun by a cast of British stars.

As well as the big names, who you can't even recognise in their plasticine roles, a who's who of comedians have also lent their vocal talents to the film, with Richard Ayoade, Rob Brydon, Johnny Vegas, Gina Yashere, Kayvan Novak and Mark Williams all upping the funny factor as Dug's best pals.

National treasures Miriam Margolyes and Timothy Spall also get involved, with the stellar cast and charming script from Mark Burton and James Higginson, complete with subtle nods to current issues like Brexit and a great Arsenal reference in the shape of Goona, making it impossible not to smile throughout. And at a runtime of 89 minutes, it whizzes by.

A real joy to watch - welcome back Nick and co!

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