Transcript of "Chicken Run Opening Scene Analysis"
Opening Scene Analysis
• The very first shot is of the moon. This instantly implies the
genre and sets the tone of the film: the shot is very typical of
the horror movie genre of films from the 20th century (which is
also when the film is set).
• The first shot pans down across to where Mr Tweedy and his two dogs are
walking. The view of the fence surrounding the farm closely resembles the
prisoner-of-war films which inspired the film itself. There is almost no sound
and the music is quiet and mysterious to effect. He has dogs with him, most
likely for protection, with fierce expressions, showing the mood of the scene.
• Match-on-action shot of Mr Tweedy’s hand checking the lock on the
gate. This suggests that he does not want anything or anyone getting
in or out, and that he may be hiding something.
• Cut to an extreme low-angle close-up of his feet walking away. We
never see his face in the first part of this sequence. This creates a
sense of mystery as to who he is. It could mean that he is the main
antagonist of the film because of this.
• A figure emerges and tries not to be noticed. This further suggests the first
character we see (Mr Tweedy) is the antagonist since a character wants to
hide from him, but we still don’t fully understand why the figure is hiding
from him. There is mystery surrounding the figure as well as we cannot see
(yet) who it is.
• Foot emerges before the rest of the body, suggests the figure is nervous of
• The water tower in the background connotes a guard tower in a
typical prisoner-of-war film, so again there is reference to films
such as ‘The Great Escape’ which the film closely parodies,
and also that there is a greater force on Mr Tweedy’s side.
• The shadow (Ginger) makes a run for it, again trying not to be
• The way the dog hears Ginger first suggests the danger is
nearer; she is about to be caught.
• Ginger is nearly caught; an example of a ‘false alarm’ where
we believe the character has been caught but hasn’t.
• Match-on-action shot shows her frustration as she digs.
• Shot of the spoon being thrown back onto the floor; she is
forced to leave everything but herself behind.
• We are misled to believe she is safely across and all the danger
is over, but in the next shot more chickens arrive.
• These two shots echo the previous shots of Ginger running
across, so the risk of danger is repeated.
• Cutting between the two actions of the chickens trying to
escape and the dogs running towards them; again this shows
frustration and pressure for the chickens and a sense of danger.
The sound and music both add to this effect by suddenly
increasing dramatically, rising as the dogs near.
• The sound and music have now increased to their full
volume as Ginger turns to run.
• We finally see the face of the character we saw at the
beginning, albeit for two brief seconds. The camera
zooms in sharply on his triumphant expression.
• Short, sharp cuts between shots, as well as the camera
following the dogs, creates a feel of speed and shows the
impact of the chase.
• Ginger stops and turns back in this shot; she has nowhere to
• Shot-reverse-shot between Ginger and the dogs is
used to show she is trapped. The camera also backs
away with Ginger; there is a slow zoom out on this
shot of the dogs closing in.
• The dog eating the gnome head (that Ginger tries to force them
away with) shows her helplessness and what is destined for her.
We don’t see the impact of the head being eaten, implying
• Close-up shot of her head, slowly panning in. The
attention is on her terrified expression, as the camera
zooming in slowly shows how her ‘doom’ is coming
nearer and nearer.
• Both Ginger and the dogs turn at the light from behind
her. The lighting has changed and is like a light ‘from
heaven’ as if Ginger is being called or summoned, as
if everything has already happened. The music has
also stopped suddenly.
• Cutting back to the curious faces of the chickens. There is no
music and very quiet sound; everyone has stopped to look,
creating suspense of what they are looking at.
• The camera pans up revealing the true main
antagonist, with a short piece of dramatic music for
this shot. Her height suggests she is dominative over
all the other characters, since tall characters
• She even dominates over Mr Tweedy, who no longer
has the same power or authority we believed he had
before. The dogs also show terrified looks. Mrs
Tweedy’s anger is expressed by her fierce eyes and
her arms on her hips.
• Ginger is thrown into a coal bunker as punishment, a
spoof on the bunker where prisoners spend the night
in prisoner-of-war films. She also plays the same
activities to pass the time later in the film. The music
adds to the reference, echoing drums in a military
• Mr Tweedy’s P.O.V.; showing that because he is taller he
dominates over the prisoners (the chickens). Shot-reverse-shot
is used so that we can see the expressions from both Mr
Tweedy and the chickens, and the way they contrast (they are
terrified (of him), he is furious (at them)).
• The camera pulls out and reveals the location where almost all
of the film (except for the last scene) is set. Both this and the
final piece of dialogue now reveal properly that the film is set
on a farm.
• The title is shown. The font (albeit in italics) is similar to the
title on the poster for ‘The Great Escape’.