Chicken Run : Nugget Dawn director Sam Fell , producer Leyla Hobart and Aardman co-founder Peter Lord presented footage and new images at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival .

Described as a thriller in the vein of Mission: Impossible , the threat this time around is large-scale farming and the demand for chicken nuggets.

Fell explained, speaking of the antagonists:

“They had to be bigger and meaner” and speaking of the film he added that it is: “a Bond film, but with chickens”.

Lord noted that the premise, like in Chicken Run, works because it has a:

“Dark and dramatic concept, taken seriously and then filled with jokes”.

Hobert agreed that comedy is inherent in pairing these characters with a similar premise, and compared lead character Ginger (voiced by Thandiwe Newton ) to Ripley in James Cameron ‘s Aliens , not only for her reluctant heroism but also for her maternal role in that film.

The film will debut worldwide on Netflix on December 15th .

The synopsis:

Having narrowly escaped the Tweedys’ farm, Gaia has finally found her dream place: a peaceful island retreat for the entire chicken coop, away from man-made dangers. When she and Rocky give birth to a chick named Molly, the happy ending seems complete. But on land, the entire fowl race faces a new and terrible threat. For Gaia and her gang, the longed-for freedom may be at risk, but this time they will stop at nothing!

The clips

The first clip shown at the panel is set on the island, glimpsed at the end of the first film, a pastoral scene in which the hens have built a village and given life to self-sufficient agriculture.
The directors jokingly call her “Chicken Wakanda” due to her idyllic nature and isolation. Concept art and design sketches show a village hall, chickens growing giant carrots, and using saws to slice cucumbers.

In the second clip, the characteristic British sense of humor comes through a little more. The discourse in Gaia’s town hall about how the villagers must hide is intertwined with a series of escalating visual gags: with panicked hens devouring snacks or accidentally knitting bad luck into the scarves they’re working on.

The third clip shows a glimpse of the farm where the chickens must sneak in to save Molly ( Bella Ramsay ), Gaia’s daughter. And here is how the comparison with James Bond, mentioned by the director, becomes evident: the farm is a large base that recalls, with its egg-shaped silos, the volcano quarry of Agent 007 – You Only Live Twice, while the he elegant hilltop home is reminiscent of the mid-century modernist design of Elrod House from Fall for Diamonds.

A combination of techniques

The size of the village was quite challenging for a stop-motion production.

Fell ‘s team used some recent technologies to help with the design, such as Gravity Sketch VR used to model the village in 3D. This allowed for scale to be understood, and, Fell noted , allowed them to have a sort of stage layout that they usually wouldn’t have, starting directly from the storyboards.

“We are not purists,” Fell added , noting how the combination of traditional construction techniques and methods with new technologies, such as animations and backgrounds in computer graphics and VR technology.

The cast:

The voice actors of the original version are: Thandiwe Newton (Westworld) and Zachary Levi (Shazam) respectively replace Julia Sawalha and Mel Gibson as the voice actors of Gaia (Ginger) and Rocky. Bella Ramsey voices headstrong daughter Molly, who sports an old-fashioned personality and completes the family trio in this new chapter of the story.

Joining them: Jane Horrocks (Baba), Imelda Staunton (Tantona) and Lynn Ferguson (Von), who are joined by the new voices of Josie Sedgwick-Davies (Frizzle), David Bradley (Cedrone), Romesh Ranganathan (Frego), Daniel Mays (Piglio) and Nick Mohammed (Dr. Fry).

Directed by Sam Fell (Flushed, ParaNorman), the screenplay is the work of Karey Kirkpatrick, John O’Farrell and Rachel Tunnard . Peter Lord, Carla Shelley, Karey Kirkpatrick and Nick Park return as executive producers. Steve Pegram (Arthur Christmas) and Leyla Hobart are producers.