Catch the DVD of Chicken Run

by Jacquie Kubin

Chicken Run, directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park. © DreamWorks Pictures.
With additional materials including a behind the scenes look at stop-motion animation, the Chicken Run DVD is now available. © DreamWorks Pictures.

When the characters of Wallace & Gromit were introduced in 1992 (A Grand Day Out), creator/director Nick Park added a new chapter to stop-action animation history. Winning Academy Awards for Best Short Animated Film [The Wrong Trousers (1994) and A Close Shave (1996)], it is a question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, when Park was targeted, along with Peter Lord, to bring Chicken Run to stop-motion animated life."I think that Jeffrey Katzenberg, in his earlier Disney years, had seen and was impressed by Nick and Peter's work and the style of animation," says Kelly Sooter, head of domestic home video for DreamWorks Pictures. "Over the years he has been looking for a project that would work within this animation style." In addition to a fun bit of filmmaking, the Chicken Run Special Edition DVD includes bonus footage featuring Lord and Park's commentary, two behind-the-scenes featurettes, trailers, bios and production notes. The additional material gives a great look at the behind the scenes process of stop-motion animation. "The directors see the value of the bonus material and we got a tremendous amount of support from them in the development of this extra material," Sooter says. "It is an opportunity to extend the movie beyond the theatrical release, and allows the animator to take the property to the next level. The level of enthusiasm is exciting because we get to work with the animators and they get to be creative in a whole new way." In addition, the DVD can be popped into a computer for two interactive games, desktop icons, chicken pets and screensavers.

Jacquie Kubin, a Washington, DC-based freelance journalist, enjoys writing about the electronic entertainment and edutainment mediums, including the Internet. She is a frequent contributor to the Washington Times and Krause Publication magazines. She has won the 1998 Certificate of Award granted by the Metropolitan Area Mass Media Committee of the American Association of University Women.