Review of 'Early Man'

early_man.jpg An asteroid strikes prehistoric earth wiping out the dinosaurs but leaving a small group of cavemen living in the impact crater. When a group of bronze age miners arrive, threatening to destroy their home the young caveman Dug (voiced by Eddie Redmayne) along with his trusty pet warthog Hognob decide to challenge the amazingly talented bronze age football (soccer) team to a match - If the caveman win they get their home back, if the bronze age team win, the cavemen will be sent to work in the mines. Yes, it is as silly as it sounds with a decidedly British twist - the love of football.

A cute but amusing claymation film from the masters of the art at Aardman directed by Nick Park (one of the co-founders) himself. This is full of humour that will appear to both the young and old though it does seem full of a number of British references that may be lost overseas. The animation is amazing with some incredible set pieces – The football games are impressive knowing how hard it must have been to get the timing and balls flying through the air correctly with this type of animation. The characters are all fun and Redmayne does a great job with the naive but optimistic Dug while Timothy Spall as Chief Bobnar is suitably cautious and cantankerous. The most amusing part of the film is the message bird (voiced by Rob Brydon – yes there are a lot of British comedians in this film including Richard Ayoade and Johnny Vegas to name but two more) as he delivers a message from the Queen to Lord Nooth (voiced by Tom Hiddleston), leader of the bronze age society with the bird doing the actions, attitude as well as a true recording of the Queen's message “Is this thing on? How do I talk to it…” (etc).

A good lot of British animation fun by the masters. Not exactly deep but looks great and is very amusing. The only thing I will say is that it slightly relies on the viewer sharing a love for the beautiful game (football) which I can't say I do.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2019-05-20

Directed by: Nick Park

Studio: Aardman Animations

Year: 2018

Length: 89 minutes

Genre: Animation