Shaun the Sheep

Shaun the Sheep
Genre Comedy
Clay animation
Created by Richard Starzak
Based on Characters
by Nick Park
Developed by Richard Starzak
Alison Snowden
David Fine
Directed by Richard Starzak
Christopher Sadler
Voices of Justin Fletcher
John Sparkes
Theme music composer Mark Thomas
Opening theme "Life's a Treat"
Ending theme "Life's a Treat (Instrumental Version)"
Country of origin United Kingdom[1]
Original language(s) English
No. of series 5
No. of episodes 150
36 (shorts)
1 (special) (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) For Aardman Animations:
Miles Bullough
David Sproxton
Peter Lord
Nick Park
For BBC:
Michael Carrington
Producer(s) Julie Lockhart (series 1)
Gareth Owen (series 2)
John Woolley (series 3 and 4)
Running time 7 minutes
Production company(s) Aardman Animations
Westdeutscher Rundfunk
Original network CBBC
Picture format 16:9 Widescreen PAL (576i) (2007)
16:9 HDTV (1080i) (2009–10, 2013–2014)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release 5 March 2007 (2007-03-05) – present
Related shows Timmy Time
External links

Shaun the Sheep is a British stop-motion animated television series, a spin-off of the Wallace and Gromit franchise. The series stars Shaun, a sheep previously featured in the 1995 short film A Close Shave and in the Shopper 13 short film from the 2002 Wallace and Gromit's Cracking Contraptions series, and his madcap adventures around a small farm as the leader of his flock. Having first aired in the UK on CBBC in March 2007 and broadcast in 180 countries globally, the series consists of 150 seven-minute episodes. The fifth series contains 20 episodes and has been aired in the Netherlands from 1 December 2015 until 1 January 2016.[2][3][4]

The series inspired its own spin-off, Timmy Time, which follows the adventures of Shaun's small cousin and is aimed at younger viewers. A feature-length film, titled Shaun the Sheep Movie, was released theatrically in 2015. A 30-minute film, titled Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer's Llamas, was aired as a 2015 Christmas TV special. Series 5 is due to begin airing in the UK on Monday 5 September 2016.


Shaun, an unusually bright and clever sheep, lives with his flock at Mossy Bottom Farm, a traditional small northern English farm. In each episode, their latest attempt to add excitement to their dull mundane life as livestock somehow snowballs into a fantastic sitcom-style escapade, most often with the help of their fascination with human doings and devices. This usually brings them into conflict—and often into partnership—with the farm sheepdog Bitzer, while they all are simultaneously trying to avoid discovery by the Farmer.


The show was produced by Aardman Animations, and commissioned by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR),[5] a constituent member of the consortium of German public-broadcasting institutions ARD. It has aired on CBBC in the UK from 2007 onward.

Each seven-minute episode is entirely shot in Aardman's distinctive stop-motion animation style. The comedic tone is a combination of slapstick and classic silent comedy, similar to that used in the Wallace & Gromit shorts. In this series, there is not much spoken dialogue at all, even from the human characters; simple grunts, bleats, pointing, sighs, mutterings, words, and similar wordless inflections are all used to indicate each character's moods and motives. There are also no readable words in any episode, although "Bitzer" can be seen on a dog bowl, and—in series four--"Mossy Bottom Farm" on a gate, in the original English-language title sequence. All other signage, such as on a pizza box or a bus stop, is replaced by an illegible scrawl and a picture.

Shaun the Sheep's first appearance was in Wallace & Gromit's third short feature, the Academy Award winning A Close Shave, as the youngest member of a flock of sheep Wallace and Gromit work to save from being turned into dog food. He was named Shaun as a pun on the word "shorn" after he was accidentally subjected to Wallace's automated sheep shearing machine. This early version of Shaun shows a hint of his characteristic human-like bravado—among other things, wearing a sweater knitted from his own shorn wool—and he proves to be a major help in saving the day.

At the end of this short, Shaun and the entire flock are seen living with the duo; Shaun later made a brief cameo appearance in the "Shopper 13" episode of Wallace & Gromit's "Cracking Contraptions" web series. No official explanation has been given for the flock's later transfer to the farm.

Although the original series is silent aside from sound effects, a Hindi-dubbed version seen on Nickelodeon India was redone with scripts and dialogue.[6]


Series director Richard Goleszowski at Canterbury's Anifest 2008 with models of a generic sheep, Bitzer, Timmy, and Shaun.

Main characters

Other characters


The first two series consisted of 40 seven-minute episodes each, and the third 20 episodes. The fourth series debuted on 3 February 2014.[7] The fifth series aired in ABC Australia in January 2016. A series of 15 1-minute 3D shorts were released on Nintendo's Video service for the Nintendo 3DS between March and June 2012.[8] The Nintendo shorts will be released in early 2016 on the official Shaun the Sheep YouTube channel under the name "Mossy Bottom Farm Shorts".[9] Another series of 21 1-minute sports-themed shorts, named Championsheeps, aired on CBBC during the Summer of 2012.[10]

Series Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 40 5 March 2007 (2007-03-05) 14 September 2007 (2007-09-14)
2 40 23 November 2009 (2009-11-23) 17 December 2010 (2010-12-17)
3 20 25 February 2013 (2013-02-25) 21 March 2013 (2013-03-21)
4 30 3 February 2014 (2014-02-03) 19 December 2014 (2014-12-19)
5 20 5 September 2016 (2016-09-05) 18 November 2016 (2016-11-18)

Television special

A half-hour television special based on the television series, titled Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer's Llamas, premiered on BBC One on Boxing Day 2015.[11]


Reviews of the series were consistently positive. Harry Venning of "The Stage" found "characterisation charming and the animation superb. All this before even a mention of how funny and splendidly slapstick the script is."[12] The Guardian noted that the series "hits the four-to-seven-year-old age group smack in the eye."[13] Gareth Owen, the producer of the series, said Shaun the Sheep is aimed at viewers "aged four to seven, though in reality, the age range is four to 87", as the series became popular among all different age-groups.[14]
Charles Arthur wrote "classic Aardman style that leaves me laughing out loud."[15]


Award Category Recipients and nominees Result
British Academy Children's Awards[16] Animation in 2010 Gareth Owen, Richard Webber, Chris Sadler Won
British Academy Children's Awards[17] Animation in 2014 Richard Starzak, Jay Grace, John Woolley Won
British Academy Children's Awards[18] Animation in 2015 John Woolley, Steve Box, Lee Wilton Nominated
International Emmy Awards[19] Kids:Animation Pending
British Academy Children's Awards[20] Animation in 2016 Pending

References to popular culture

As with the series' parent show Wallace and Gromit, there are many allusions to other aspects of popular culture and movies such as Star Wars, The Lion King, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, The Matrix, and Pulp Fiction. These include:


Timmy Time

Main article: Timmy Time

Beginning in 2009, Aardman Animations produced a spin-off CBeebies series aimed at pre-schoolers, based on Timmy's own small adventures as he attends preschool for the first time and learns how to interact and play with a variety of young animal friends.[22]

Other media


Main article: Shaun the Sheep Movie

Aardman developed a feature film Shaun the Sheep Movie,[23] written and directed by Richard Starzak and Mark Burton, which was financed by French StudioCanal,[24] which was released on 6 February 2015. The film received very positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 99% of critics have given the film a positive review.[25] The film opened to $3.2 million in the UK and grossed $22 millon in the UK and $106 million worldwide[26]

On 14 September 2015, StudioCanal announced it is working with Aardman on a sequel.[24] On 25 October 2016, Aardman announced that pre-production on the film, titled Shaun the Sheep Movie 2, will begin in January 2017.[27]

Video games

On 16 June 2008, D3 Publisher of America, which had previously published a game based on Aardman's 2006 film Flushed Away, announced that it would also release a video game based on Shaun's escapades. The Shaun the Sheep game was developed by Art Co., Ltd exclusively for Nintendo DS, and was released in autumn 2008.[28]

A second game for Nintendo DS, titled Shaun the Sheep: Off His Head, was released on 23 October 2009, exclusively in Europe.[29]

The Shaun the Sheep web site is also home to several Flash-based games, including Home Sheep Home,[30] which is also available at the iOS App Store for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.[31]

The first game for Nintendo 3DS, titled Shaun the Sheep: Championsheeps was released in December 2015.[32]

On June 2016, an event course called Shaun's Mossy Mole Mischief, released on the game Super Mario Maker, alongside with Shaun's costume.[33]


On 9 March 2011, Shaun the Sheep made its live theatre début in Shaun's Big Show.[34] The 100-minute-long musical/dance show features all the regular characters, including Bitzer, Shirley and Timmy.

In 2015, Shaun starred in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs pantomime at Bristol Hippodrome.[35]

Shaun the Sheep Experience

In 2015, a family attraction based on Shaun the Sheep, called "The Shaun the Sheep Experience" will open at Lands End, rebranded "Lamb's End" for the duration of the attraction. It will feature original sets, models, and characters from many Aardman productions. Using green screen technology, guests will be able to "star" in a scene from the show, as well as meet other characters from the Aardman filmography including Wallace and Gromit, as well as Morph.[36]


On 26 September 2013, the International Rugby Board and Aardman Animations announced that Shaun and other characters from the franchise would be used in a merchandising programme to promote the 2015 Rugby World Cup to children.[37]

In 2015, Shaun the Sheep appeared as the face of the "Holidays at Home are Great" directive. In the advert, seeing the Farmer going away, Shaun and the flock decide to have their own holiday around the UK before the Farmer got back.[38]

Shaun in the City

Shaun in the City sculpture by Cath Kidston, London

In 2015, Shaun the Sheep starred in two public charity arts trails to raise money for sick children in hospitals across the UK. Organised by Wallace & Gromit's Children's Foundation in collaboration with Aardman, Shaun in the City saw 50 giant artist and celebrity-decorated sculptures of Shaun appear in London in the spring, before a further 70 appeared in Bristol throughout the summer.[39] All 120 sculptures were auctioned in October 2015, raising £1,087,900 for Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal and Wallace & Gromit's Children's Charity.[40]

Shaun the Sheep Land

Shaun in the city sculpture ''Ram of the match''

A Shaun the Sheep theme park, titled Shaun the Sheep Land was opened at Skånes Djurpark in Sweden in early Summer 2016.[41]


Region 2 (Europe)

DVD name # of episodes Release date
Shaun the Sheep: Shape Up With Shaun (8 Baa...rilliant Adventures!) 8 12 September 2007
Shaun the Sheep: Off The Baa! (8 Woolly Adventures!) 8 12 November 2007
Shaun the Sheep: The Box Set! (Includes Shape Up With Shaun (8 Baa...rilliant Adventures!) & Off The Baa! (8 Woolly Adventures!) DVD's) 16 12 November 2007
Shaun the Sheep: Saturday Night Shaun (Fleece Is The Word!) 8 10 March 2008
Shaun the Sheep: Abracadabra 8 20 October 2008
Shaun the Sheep: Wash Day 8 17 November 2008
Shaun the Sheep: Triple Pack (Includes Saturday Night Shaun (Fleece Is The Word!), Abracadabra & Wash Day DVD's) 24 17 November 2008
Shaun the Sheep: The Complete First Series 40 17 November 2008
Shaun the Sheep: Spring Lamb 8 29 March 2010
Shaun the Sheep: Two's Company 8 6 September 2010
Shaun the Sheep: Party Animals 8 8 November 2010
Shaun the Sheep: The Gift Set (Includes 3 DVD's: Spring Lamb, Two's Company & Party Animals) 24 8 November 2010
Shaun the Sheep: The Big Chase 8 4 April 2011
Shaun the Sheep: We Wish Ewe A Merry Christmas 8 3 October 2011
Shaun the Sheep: The Complete Second Series 40 3 October 2011
Shaun the Sheep: Spring Cleaning 10 7 April 2014
Shaun the Sheep: Shear Heat 10 21 July 2014
Shaun the Sheep: Christmas Bleatings 10 3 November 2014
Shaun the Sheep: Flock To The Floor 10 26 January 2015
Shaun the Sheep: Picture Perfect 10 30 March 2015
Shaun the Sheep Movie 1 Movie 1 June 2015
Shaun the Sheep: Complete Series 3&4 Boxset 50 24 October 2015
Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer's Llamas 1 Special + 15 Shorts 8 February 2016
Shaun the Sheep: Pizza Party[42] TBA 13 February 2017

Region 1 (U.S. and Canada)

Blu-ray discs

Region B (Europe)


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  2. "Shaun the Sheep Season 5". YeloTV. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
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  15. Arthur, Charles (20 March 2007). "Roll over, Pixar – Shaun the sheep's here to tickle your funny bone". Charles Arthur. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
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  21. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  22. Loveday, Samantha. "Timmy Tales". Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2009.
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  24. 1 2 Hopewell, John (14 September 2015). "'Legend,' 'Shaun,' Smash Benchmarks for Studiocanal". Variety. Archived from the original on 15 September 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
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  33. "Costume Mario". Super Mario Wiki.
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External links

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