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Chicken Run

 06 Sep 2018  Blog

As the multi-award-winning 2000 animated film from the DreamWorks team, Chicken Run tells the tale of a group of chickens living on a Yorkshire farm in the 1950s. Their prospects are bleak when the couple who own Tweedy Farm decide they should be making more money from the fowl and decide to upgrade from egg production to making chicken pies.

As the new machinery is installed, the hens, who have always dreamed of escaping from their pens (described as being like a World War II prisoner of war camp, with dogs patrolling the grounds) realise their need to escape has become more urgent, as their lives are now at risk.


Rocky the rooster

Out of the blue, a flamboyant American rooster, Rocky, arrives on the scene, apparently flying over the hen coops, but crashing and spraining his wing. The hens are amazed he can fly and hide him from Mr and Mrs Tweedy, in the belief he can teach them to fly too when his injured wing recovers.

Four hens, called Ginger, Babs, Bunty and Fowler, know that time is running out - their rations are doubled as the farmers begin to fatten them up ready to make chicken pies. Ginger has already hatched several escape plans, but all have failed, so they are now desperate to get away before it's too late.

Rocky says he's unable to demonstrate how to fly because his wing is still too sore, but he does help Ginger to escape cruel Mr Tweedy's clutches when he completes the construction of his chicken pie machine and decides to use her for a trial run. Rocky also damages the machine to buy some time for the hens' escape bid.

However, one morning, the hens awake to find Rocky has escaped alone, leaving behind an old, torn poster that shows he can't really fly. He belonged to a circus and had been fired out of a canon on the day he crashed into the chicken coop.


Flying machine

Although Ginger feels depressed, she's not one to give up and decides to create a flying machine instead. Inspired by the cockerel Fowler's tales of his earlier life in the Royal Air Force, she and the other chickens build a plane that they call The Old Crate.

They are helped by two black marketeer rats, smart Nick and dull-witted Fletcher, who help them to assemble the parts. Meanwhile, Rocky is travelling across the countryside alone, but sees a poster advertising Tweedy Farm's new pie-production facility and feels guilty, so he returns to help the hens flee.

As bossy Mrs Tweedy sends hen-pecked Mr Tweedy to gather the chickens to put them in the machine, they are ready for him. After gagging and tying him up, they're ready to fly off into the sunset!



Voice actors

The film featured some of Hollywood's biggest A-list stars as the characters' voices, such as Mel Gibson as Rocky Rhodes the rooster, Julia Sawalha as Ginger, Timothy Spall as Nick the rat and Miranda Richardson as Mrs Tweedy. Directed by Nick Park and Peter Lord, it was a massive hit, winning 13 awards.

Henry Cowls manufactures a range of high-quality netting products that are suitable for chicken runs.

Choose from our selection of bird netting, or to ensure your chickens have spacious runs and live in humane conditions, our bespoke nets are made to measure.  For more information, call our helpline on 01326 221514.

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