Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is a 2023 stop motion animated comedy film directed by Sam Fell, from a screenplay by Karey Kirkpatrick, John O’Farrell and Rachel Tunnard, from an original story by Kirkpatrick and O’Farrell. A sequel to Chicken Run (2000), the film was produced by Aardman Animations, Pathé and StudioCanal. It stars the voices of Thandiwe Newton, Zachary Levi, Bella Ramsey, Romesh Ranganathan, David Bradley, Daniel Mays, Jane Horrocks, Imelda Staunton, Lynn Ferguson, Josie Sedgwick-Davies, Nick Mohammed, and Miranda Richardson.
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget will have its premiere at the 67th London Film Festival on 14 October 2023 and will be released by Netflix on 15 December 2023.
After successfully escaping from Tweedy’s farm in a daring and risky manner, Ginger has discovered her ideal place – an idyllic island bird sanctuary where the entire flock can live in harmony, without any risks from humans. With the arrival of Ginger and Rocky’s new daughter, Molly, it appears that Ginger’s fairytale ending has finally come true. However, the entire chicken population is now confronted with a menacing and new danger on the mainland led by a familiar foe. Determined to safeguard their freedom, even if it means endangering it, Ginger and her team are determined to break in.
- Thandiwe Newton as Ginger, a British chicken and Rocky’s wife
- Zachary Levi as Rocky, an American former circus rooster and Ginger’s husband
- Bella Ramsey as Molly, the daughter of Ginger and Rocky
- Romesh Ranganathan as Nick, a cynical rat
- Daniel Mays as Fetcher, a rat who is Nick’s partner
- David Bradley as Fowler, an elderly rooster
- Jane Horrocks as Babs
- Imelda Staunton as Bunty
- Lynn Ferguson as Mac, a Scottish chicken who is Ginger’s assistant
- Josie Sedgwick-Davies as Frizzle
- Miranda Richardson as Mrs. Tweedy, the chickens’ former owner who now seeks revenge
- Nick Mohammed as Dr. Fry
- Peter Serafinowicz as Reginald Smith
A sequel to Chicken Run was reported in April 2018 with Aardman Animations, StudioCanal and Pathé producing. DreamWorks Animation had no involvement due to ending their partnership with Aardman after the release of Flushed Away in 2006. Sam Fell directed, with Paul Kewley producing. The original Chicken Run writers Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell wrote the sequel. Aardman co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton serve as executive producers.
On 16 October 2019, the film officially began pre-production. Aardman said that Mel Gibson was not asked to return as Rocky. In June 2020, Fell released more details about the sequel, which will follow from the ending of the first film, where the chickens have settled into their new safe area. Molly, the chick of Ginger and Rocky, begins to outgrow the area, just as word of a new threat to the chickens arrives. In July 2020, Julia Sawalha, the voice of Ginger in the first film, revealed Aardman’s intention to recast her role, saying her voice now sounded too old, and commented “I have officially been plucked, stuffed & roasted”. The decision was met with widespread criticism with some finding the decision ageist.
Principal photography commenced in early 2021. In January 2022, Zachary Levi, Thandiwe Newton, David Bradley, Romesh Ranganathan and Daniel Mays replaced Gibson, Sawalha, Benjamin Whitrow, Timothy Spall and Phil Daniels as the voices of Rocky, Ginger, Fowler, Nick and Fetcher, while Jane Horrocks, Imelda Staunton and Lynn Ferguson reprised their roles as Babs, Bunty and Mac from the first film, with the film’s title revealed as Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget. Bella Ramsey, Nick Mohammed and Josie Sedgwick-Davies voiced three new characters, Molly, Dr. Fry and Frizzle, respectively. In June 2023, it was reported that Harry Gregson-Williams, one of the composers of the first film, would return to compose the sequel. In September 2023, it was announced that Miranda Richardson would reprise her role as the voice of Mrs. Tweedy and that Peter Serafinowicz would also be joining the cast as Reginald Smith, a “slightly bemused businessman”.
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget will have its premiere at the 67th BFI London Film Festival on 14 October 2023 and will be released on Netflix on 15 December 2023. The film had a preview at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival on 11 June 2023. Netflix purchased the worldwide distribution rights to the film, excluding China.
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