Rating: 4 stars out of a possible 5.
This short film is hilarious from beginning to end. I wouldn’t have thought it possible to pick so many classic puns into 89 minutes. I really loved every single one of them, even though you might say that some were corny.
The best come during the commentary on the football match between Real Bronzio and the stone age team who are playing to save their land. The commentators are modelled on John Motson an and Alan Hansen.
We hear, “…. early Man United. Did you see what I did there?”
Later, when Lord Nooth, voiced by Tom Hiddleston, is caught by a giant duck, “Caught by the old bill,” closely followed by, “That’s sorted out the pecking order.”
Many other stars provide the voices: Maisie Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Timothy Spall, Miriam Margolyes, Rob Brydon, Johnny Vegas, to name but a few.
The storyline is very simple and has a predictable ending. The animation is typically brilliant, exactly as we would expect from a Nick Park led team. I loved the way that the game of football was all related to an ancient accidental game played with a hot meteorite and captured in cave drawings.
The conflict comes between the “new” bronze age and the lingering stone age.
The stone age people originally occupy the, now lush, crater that was created by the said meteorite. The bronze age people invade, hoping to exploit the rich seams of bronze that run through the land. A ridiculous notion, as we all know that bronze is an alloy and is not extracted from any ore. Silly and amusing.
The stone age people are banished to “the badlands,” which exist beyond the boundaries of the lush valley. Young caveman, Dug (Eddie Redmayne), with the support of his pig, Hognob (Nick Park) and bronze age traitor, Goona (Maisie Williams), train up the stone age crew to snatch the most unlikely victory from under the feet of Lord Nooth’s Real Bronzio team. This is not really a spoiler, because it is more predictable than Laurel and Hardy getting into another fine mess.
If you want ninety minutes of light entertainment and plenty of laughs, I thoroughly recommend Early Man.