Shaun the Sheep: The Complete Series Blu-ray Review: A Cracking Collection of Agricultural Mayhem

Just in time for your last-minute holiday shopping needs, Shout! Factory has released a new Blu-ray box set of the entire run of the beloved animated TV series, Shaun the Sheep. If you’re not familiar with the character, he’s a spinoff from Aardman Animation’s bedrock property, Wallace & Gromit, first appearing in their 1995 short film, A Close Shave. His own long-running series finds him living on an idyllic English countryside farm with other sheep, a canine comic foil, and a clueless old farmer.

Shaun is an especially clever sheep, always searching for ways to make farm life more fun and enlisting the help of his generally dull but willing fellow sheep to accomplish his goals. He butts heads with the farm’s gruff but harmless dog, basically a sentry assigned to derail any shenanigans, so much of the humor is derived from Shaun outwitting his overseer. He also has to stay two steps ahead of the farmer, a genial and bumbling oaf who never seems to figure out Shaun’s brilliance.

The show is beautifully animated and makes especially clever use of its virtually speechless format. Since the animals don’t “talk” to each other, the animators are especially adept utilizing facial expressions and exaggerated actions to convey character intent. Only the farmer really has a speaking voice, with the voice actors for animal characters called on solely to provide charming vocal effects. This makes the show universally accessible, as well as drastically reducing the need for subtitles and dubs for non-English territories.

To clarify, the new set includes all 170 seven-minute episodes (series 1-6), as well as the two half-hour specials, The Farmer’s Llamas and The Flight Before Christmas. Bonus features also include all Mossy Bottom shorts and Championsheeps shorts, making this a fully comprehensive collection of all starring TV appearances of Shaun. However, the set does NOT include the two feature-length movies, Shaun the Sheep Movie and Farmageddon, so completists will need to hang on to their discs for those entries in the franchise. 

Technical specs follow the original broadcast parameters of the show, with all episodes presented in 1080p HD widescreen (1.78:1) video, but varying audio details. Episodes 1-40 have DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 sound, while the remainder of the run and all specials and shorts are bumped up to full 5.1 surround. 

With nearly 20 hours of content spread across seven discs, there are more than enough farm hijinks to satisfy any fan of the series, Aardman productions, or general animated comedies. It’s a delight to have all of the episodic content in one package, especially in Blu-ray format.

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Steve Geise

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