Shaun and his flock live on Mossy Bottom Farm with their once loving, now middle-aged and jaded farmer/guardian. Life is verging on deathly dull with a mechanical daily routine. Shaun the sheep is a tad too smart for his flock, so much so that dulled by the drudgery of farm life, he dreams of a day off. But when his plan to outsmart the farmer goes off the rails, Shaun and the sheep get much more excitement than they bargained for.

The action shifts from the serene farm to the chaotic Big City where the farmer loses his memory. When the sight of a pair of shears in a hairdressing salon sets off some pangs, the farmer becomes a celebrated hairstylist.

As the animals along with the farmer’s dog Bitzer search for the farmer to get him back home, they are forced to improvise to blend in. This leads to them dressing up as humans and dining in a snooty French restaurant. Hot on their heels is a snarling and zealous animal containment officer.

While this spin-off of the highly successful stop motion animation British TV series seems to recall the animated film Madagascar, it stands out for its clever humour and brilliant animation. Written and directed by Mark Burton and Richard Starzak, there is no dialogue in the film. Instead, artists simply add sounds, grunts and utter gibberish, depending on whether they are playing pig, sheep, dog or human.

The soundtrack is a bit over the top as is the predictably slapstick scene in the restaurant that reminds you that this is a film aimed mainly at young audiences and it’s just a bonus that there are enough subtextual gags for adults too.

Shaun the Sheep has a fun story that subtly extols the virtues of a simple life and appreciating what you have rather than craving the greener grass on the other side. It also touches on themes of loyalty and compassion. A heartwarming, fun, smart experience is kneaded into a simple, delightful and insightful story.