Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Chicken Run (2000)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Chicken Run (2000, UK)

In the UK's Aardman Studio's claymation adventure film directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park was the studio's first feature-length film. It told of the plight of the doomed feathered inhabitants of a chicken farm - it was a comical escape drama set in 1960s England, based upon the plot of The Great Escape (1963), Stalag 17 (1953), and The Flight of the Phoenix (1965), with the taglines: "THERE'S NOTHING MORE DETERMINED THAN POULTRY WITH A PLAN", and the humorous: "This ain't no chick flick!":

  • in the film's opening, there were repeated futile and disastrous attempts of fiesty, tough-minded heroine and plucky chicken leader Ginger (voice of Julie Sawalha) to escape from her 'WWII-type POW or concentration camp' chicken coops (with numbered coops, roll calls, barbed wire and a high fence) located in Yorkshire, England; as punishment after being caught by dim-witted farmer Mr. Tweedy (voiced by Tony Haygarth), she was thrown into a coal bin and suffered solitary confinement
  • the rustic, egg-laying chicken farm business with guard dogs was operated by Mr. Tweedy and his hen-pecking wife - evil, money-hungry Mrs. Tweedy (voice of Miranda Richardson) - two malevolent versions of the 'American Gothic' painting; although Mr. Tweedy was suspicious that the chickens were getting organized to escape, Mrs. Tweedy shot down his ridiculous notions: "They're chickens, you dolt! Apart from you, they're the most stupid creatures on this planet. They don't plot, they don't scheme, and they are not organised!"
  • there was the unusually grim, memorable execution by Mrs. Tweedy of chicken Edwina (#282) when she failed to lay eggs and she was singled out of the group of hens. Mr. Tweedy snatched bug-eyed, fearful Edwina from the group and she was brought to Mrs. Tweedy (who donned red rubber gloves) outside a wooden shed; in silhouette, Mrs. Tweedy's shadow was seen raising the axe above a chopping block. There was a dull whack sound (off-screen) as the axe cut off Edwina's neck. It caused all of the chickens on the farm to slightly flinch; a fterwards, Edwina's gruesome fate was revealed as a pile of chicken bones on the Tweedy's dinner table
Edwina's Head Chopping Execution
  • dim-witted, innocent and bumbling Babs (voice of Jane Horrocks) stated: "I don't want to be a pie! I don't like gravy" - she was disappointed after a near-death experience: "All me life flashed before me eyes... it was really boring"
  • swaggering, smooth-talking, Rhode Island Red cockerel, a would-be swashbuckling American Yankee rooster named Rocky (voiced by Mel Gibson), flew over the fence and accidentally crashed into the coop; to the enamoured hens, he introduced himself with roguish swagger: ("The name's Rocky. Rocky the Rhode Island Red. Rhodes for short...Catchy, ain't it?"), and explained why he came to England: ("Why, all the beautiful English chicks, of course")
Rocky with Chicks
  • the audacious Rocky falsely claimed that he could fly (after Ginger saw a circus poster of him appearing to fly); Ginger (often called "Dollface" by Rocky) bargained with Rocky, promising to hide him from his circus owners if he helped the chickens escape; he blamed an injured wing for a delay in their rescue, and meanwhile spent many hours of ineffectual flight training for the chickens with aerobics and Tae-bo-like exercises
  • after a long day of exercises and trying to fly, Rocky suggested that the hens take a break ("We've been workin' too hard. Time to kick back a bit, shake all the tail feathers...That's called a beat, sister, feel it pulsin' through your body?...Well, go with it, baby"), and most of the chickens irresistibly began to dance, to the tune of "Flip Flop and Fly"
  • a turning point came in the film when a giant 18-wheel truck delivered a modern, Rube Goldberg-like, automated chicken pie-making machine; the chickens became suspicious when the Tweedys doubled the chickens' rations to fatten them up before slaughtering them inside the barn; Babs objected: "I don't want to be a pie! I don't like gravy"
  • the Tweedys kidnapped Ginger to test her in their new pie-making machine: ("Chickens go in, pies go out"); she promised her husband: "In less than a fortnight, every grocers' in the county will be stocked with box upon box of Mrs. Tweedy's Homemade Chicken Pies"; when he objected to being excluded, Mrs. Tweedy explained: "Woman's touch. Makes the public feel more comfortable"
  • Rocky daringly rescued Ginger, but they were both in danger of becoming chicken pie ingredients: ("It's like an oven in here"), before he was able to temporarily sabotage the machine by clogging the gravy sprayer
  • however, Rocky's bravado and bold promises were just a charade - the second half of his torn circus poster revealed that he was actually a stunt cockerel who was shot from a cannon (he couldn't independently "fly" on his own); the cowardly and disgraced Rocky fled from the farm
  • Ginger took charge of the chickens and organized them to assemble and build an airplane (constructed from chicken coops using stolen tools from Mr. Tweedy) to fly out on their own, using pictures and the personal memories of RAF planes flown by elderly, curmudgeonly war vet cockerel Fowler (voiced by Benjamin Whitrow) during the war; it was a race against time to build the flying machine before the Tweedys' pie machine was repaired
  • as lightning struck, Mrs. Tweedy ominously ordered her husband to "get the chickens...all of them!" to feed into their fixed pie machine; Ginger led the chickens to assault Mr. Tweedy when he entered the barn to retrieve the chickens and shockingly realized they had organized themselves - he was attacked, tied up, and gagged; Ginger urged on the nervous chickens: "Listen, we'll either die free chickens, or die trying"
  • in the crowd-pleasing climax, Rocky (with a tweaked conscience after viewing a controversial billboard ad for the chicken pies), redeemed himself and returned just in time to help the chickens; as they were launching the chicken-shaped flying aircraft (the Old Crate) into the air, they battled the Tweedys
  • "hard-boiled egg" chicken heroine Ginger rewarded American "Lone Free Ranger" Rocky's timely return with a tremendous slap. He had conned the chickens of Mrs. Tweedy's Chicken Farm, fooling them into thinking he could fly and could teach them how, so that all could escape. She angrily told him: "THAT'S for leaving!" Then, Ginger softly cooed, as she drew him near to kiss: "And THIS is for coming back!"
  • their kiss was interrupted by the jolt of Mrs. Tweedy clinging to and climbing up the Christmas lights rope attached to the plane that they were flying; she swiped her hatchet-axe at Ginger -- momentarily, it seemed as if Ginger had been beheaded, but revealed she'd ducked and tricked Tweedy into severing the line, causing Mrs. Tweedy to plunge head-first into a safety-valve vent of her own pie-making machine; the entire machine exploded from a build-up of pressure, covering the entire farm with gravy, as the chickens flew to freedom, and Mr. Tweedy smugly told his gravy-covered wife: "I told you they was organized!"
Final Defeat of Mrs. Tweedy

Axe-Swiping Mrs. Tweedy

Ginger Beheaded?

Ginger With the Severed Christmas Tree Lights Line

Mrs. Tweedy Falling From the Plane

Head-First into Pie-Making Vent

Upside-Down Inside Machine
  • after Mrs. Tweedy was disposed of, Ginger tackled Rocky to the ground and they kissed off-screen, as the rest of the chickens sighed: "Awwwwwwwwwwwwww..."'; in the film's epilogue, the chickens reached the safety of a bird sanctuary, where Rocky and Ginger became a couple
  • during the end credits, the two black-marketing, contraband-smuggling, wisecracking rodent-rats Nick (voice of Timothy Spall) and Fetcher (voice of Phil Daniels) made plans plans to open up their own chicken farm to supply them with eggs; however, they became engaged in an endless chicken-and-egg debate: (Fetcher: "If you don't have a chicken, where are you gonna get an egg?" Nick: "From the chicken that comes from the egg." Fetcher: "Yeah, but you have to have an egg to have a chicken." Nick: "Yeah, but you've got to get the chicken first to get the egg, and then you get the egg..."); earlier during the film, they had numerous quotable lines: ("Birds of a feather flop together!", "Is that your first of-fence?", "Poultry in motion!")

WWII POW-Styled Chicken Coop Camp

Ginger Caught by Mr. Tweedy Trying to Escape and Thrown Into Coal Bin for Solitary Confinement

Roll Call With Mrs. Tweedy (voice of Miranda Richardson)

Flight School Exercises and Training for the Chickens

"Shake Your Tail Feathers"

Babs: "I don't want to be a pie"

Ginger Used as a Test Chicken in the Pie-Making Machine

Rocky's Rescue of Ginger in a Test Run Inside of the Pie Machine

The Threat of the Chicken Pie-Making Machine

Rocky's "Nick of Time" Return to Help the Chickens

The Flying Machine - With Ginger and Rocky Hanging on the Trailing Christmas Tree Lights

Mrs. Tweedy Hanging On to the End of the Light String

The End Credits: Chicken-and-Egg Debate


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z