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szdaily -> Culture -> 
Early Man
    2018-01-24  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

“Early Man” is the fourth feature-length film directed by “Wallace and Gromit” creator Nick Park, and is set at the dawn of time, where soccer helps bring cavemen together. To be released on January 26 in Britain, the movie stars the voices of Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams and Timothy Spall.

Park always had wanted to make a caveman story, but to make it unique compared to other movies or animations, he introduced soccer into the plot.

Set at the dawn of time when prehistoric creatures and cavemen roamed the earth, a young caveman named Dug (Redmayne) and his wild boar Hognob unite Dug’s tribe to save their valley home when it is claimed by Lord Nooth (Hiddleston) and his Bronze Age City. They receive help from a Bronze Age City vendor named Goona (Williams) when Dug challenges Nooth to play a soccer match.

Veterans of the “it all depends on the big game” sports movie will know where this is all going, but as with so much of Aardman Animations’ work, the delight is in the details. The frame is invariably filled with sight gags*, puns* and playful little details, in an Asterix/Flintstones* vein. Rob Brydon has fun voicing a pigeon that transmits its sender’s messages all too faithfully, and Dug has a smart, Gromit-like pig sidekick* (oinked* by director Nick Park himself). Some of the jokes will need carbon-dating* to ascertain* their age, but the good-natured humor never loses its fizz*.

The movie’s setting is also of a piece with Aardman Animations’ form of painstakingly hand-crafted stop-motion animation*, which is positively prehistoric compared to the flashier, computer-made family films that now dominate the box office. Aardman Animations itself is the little tribe fighting the giants, and putting its faith in old-fashioned storytelling and unassuming* comedy. These little gap-toothed*, eyes-too-close-together characters are every bit as expressive as their digital counterparts, and there’s something heartening about seeing actual human fingerprints in the clay models. For younger viewers, the straightforward storytelling and gentle humor of “Early Man” work a treat.(SD-Agencies)

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