‘Early Man’ Is Centered on the Rediscovered Origins of Football

Aardman Animations Latest Offering Doesn’t Quite Hit the Mark

Early Man is centered on the rediscovered origins of football, or soccer as we Americans call it, spanning eons of prehistory adroitly, as only a movie coming out of England might imagine it. And as only Aardman Animations could create it. The home of the Wallace and Gromit stop-motion shorts, Aardman and its creator-in-chief Nick Park have a whimsically bulgy-eyed view of life, one replete with double entendres and puns to amuse the parents and stagey “oops!” moments to enrapture the youngsters. Park has an exceptionally deft hand when it comes to critters — first indulged in Creature Comforts — and it manifests this time in the character of a messenger pigeon that steals the show whenever it flaps in. The joys of the Gromit hero stories were such that parents would be loath to leave and that a child would never ask to out of restlessness. Regretfully, though Early Man took zillions of pains-taking hours to make, it would have worked better if shorter.

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