Over the past few years, Aardman Animation has been working away on Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, the sequel to the 2000 animated comedy Chicken Run. We’re keeping track of everything you need to know about Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, including the plot, cast, trailers, and, most importantly, the Netflix release date, which is expected to be in December 2023.
Directed and written by Sam Fell (Flushed Away, ParaNorman), the screenplay for the Chicken Run sequel was written by Karey Kirkpatrick, John O’Farrell, and Rachel Tunnard and is based on the characters created by Peter Lord and Nick Park.
Aardman Animations and Pathé have once again worked together to bring the stop motion to life. The project was first announced in April 2018 with Netflix attached to distribute the movie in June 2020.
Production on the feature film began in 2019, with it concluding in April 2023.
Before we dig into the rest of the preview, here’s the official trailer for Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget:
When is the Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget Netflix release date?
At the Annecy Film Festival in 2023, Netflix officially confirmed that the movie will be released globally on December 15, 2023.
Speaking at the festival debuting the date and new pictures, director Sam Fell said, “It’s great to be back at Annecy, especially to share a first look at Aardman’s new baby – Dawn of the Nugget. We’ve poured every bit of technical and creative know how we’ve learned over 40 years of filmmaking into her. She’s a chip off the old block from an amazing predecessor – we love her to bits and are so excited to show her to the world.”
Before the official confirmation, we got word in April 2023 that a tie-in book description stated the movie would be released in December. The book still up for pre-order is called Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget Crochet: 10 loveable characters to make.
Ahead of the Netflix release date, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget will make its debut at the BFI Film Festival on October 14th, 2023, at the Southbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall.
What is the plot of Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget?
The synopsis for Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is courtesy of Aardman Animations;
“Having pulled off a death-defying escape from Tweedy’s farm, Ginger has finally found her dream – a peaceful island sanctuary for the whole flock, far from the dangers of the human world. When she and Rocky hatch a little girl called Molly, Ginger’s happy ending seems complete. But back on the mainland, the whole of chicken-kind faces a new and terrible threat. For Ginger and her team, even if it means putting their own hard-won freedom at risk – this time, they’re breaking in.”
In new images released in September 2023, it’s been revealed that Mrs Tweedy (who seemingly blew up in the first movie) would return for the new sequel.
Fell commented on the return of Mrs Tweedy:
“They say a movie is only as good as its villain and Ginger’s nemesis, Mrs Tweedy is one of the all-time greats. Now she’s out to take industrial-scale revenge on all chicken-kind with the Dawn of the Nugget. We’ve had so much fun working with Miranda Richardson to transform Melisha Tweedy into the ultimate 1960’s super-villain. Miranda has a unique understanding of drama and comedy, making you laugh while scaring the pants off you in the exact same moment. Also rounding out our fantastic cast is Peter Serafinowicz playing Reginald Smith, a slightly bemused businessman visiting Mrs Tweedy’s giant nugget factory. It takes a particular kind of comic genius to play the foil to Miranda Richardson’s hilariously frightening archvillain. Peter pulls it off with effortless finesse.”
The movie has a runtime of 97 minutes.
Who are the cast members of Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget?
Some brand new cast members will be replacing some of the original cast;
- Thandie Newton replaces Julia Sawalha as Ginger
- Zachary Levi replaces Mel Gibson as Rocky
- Daniel Mays replaces Phil Daniels as Fetcher
- David Bradley replaces Benjamin Whitrow as Fowler
- Romesh Ranganathan replaces Timothy Spall as Nick
Cast members reprising their roles;
- Imelda Staunton as Bunty
- Jane Horrocks as Babs
- Lynn Ferguson as Mac
Introducing new cast members:
- Bella Ramsey as Molly
- Josie Sedgwick as Frizzie
- Nick Mohammed as Dr. Fry
In September 2023, alongside the announcement of Mrs Tweedy’s return, it was revealed Miranda Richardson, who voiced the character in the original, would return to reprise the role.
In addition, Peter Serafinowicz has been cast to voice Reginald Smith, described as a humorless businessman and, along with Tweedy, poses a new and bigger threat to chicken-kind.
Why have some cast members been replaced?
In a surprising turn of events, in July 2020, Julia Sawalha announced that she would not be reprising her role as Ginger as the studio opted for a younger actress instead. Producers of the movie notified Julia’s agent that the decision to replace her was because her voice now sounds “too old” despite the fact they never gave her an opportunity to do a voice test for the role. The re-casting of Julia was criticized heavily, with many accusing the producers of being ageist.
No reason was given for the recasting of Mel Gibson, however, given the actor’s controversial reputation, it’s not hard to see why the producers would opt for a new actor to take on the role of Rocky. It’s also not been made clear why Timothy Spall and Phil Daniels have been replaced as the voices of Nick and Fetcher.
Game of Thrones and Harry Potter actor David Bradley replaces Benjamin Whitrow as the voice of Fowler as the actor passed away at the age of 80 in September 2017.
Are you looking forward to the release of Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget? Let us know in the comments below!