Aardman, Animated Movies, Blu-ray/DVD, Reviews, Studios

[Blu-ray Review] ‘Early Man’

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Aardman’s Early Man is now available on DVD and Blu-ray! With over a half an hour of behind the scenes bonus features, Aardman fans are not going to want to miss this look into one of the UK’s most beloved animation studios.

The Story

Early Man tells the story of Dug, a young caveman whose tribe who has been isolated from the rest of the world. Dug, his pig Hognob, and the other cavemen of his tribe, living in isolation, have not progressed nearly as far as the rest of the world.

One day the rulers of a far more modern Bronze Age city enter their valley and claim it for themselves in order to mine its resources. Through a series of misadventures, Dug and his tribe challenge the city to a game of football, or soccer, for Americans. If Dug’s tribe wins the game, they will be given control of their valley, but if they lose, they’ll be put to work in the mines beneath it.

The Film

Like most Aardman films, Early Man is very British, which might have a bit to do with why it didn’t fare very well in America. However, as someone who grew up on a steady diet of British programs, thanks to our local PBS station, I found it absolutely hilarious. Plenty of the dry wit that British comedy is known for, mixed with classic wordplay and silly gags, as is staple in all Aardman films.

Something I wasn’t originally expecting from the film was how very sports centered it is. However, as someone who does not even come close to calling themselves a sports fan, I found that that didn’t make it any less enjoyable at all for me. It was obvious that the writers at Aardman loved football, and I have no doubt that there were plenty of jokes that went over my head, but the classic Aardman wit was still front and center.

Blu-ray Extras

This set comes with almost 40 minutes worth of extras that are a must watch for any Aardman fan. These featurettes give you a great look behind the scenes of the company, and show off a bunch of production highlights including the creation of the models and sets, the process of animation, and the voices behind the characters. There’s even a tour of the Aardman studio, and the stars of the film, Eddie Redmayne, Maisie Williams, and Tom Hiddleston, are front and center in just about everything.

Before the Beginning of Time

Massaging the Funny

The Valley Meets the Bronze

Hanging Around Aardman Studios 

Final Thoughts

All in all, I absolutely loved this movie. Early Man was pure Aardman, very British, and just charming and hilarious all around. If you are a fan of Aardman’s other films, or you’re a sports fan, a football fan, or you just love stop-motion animation, I highly recommend this set.

Purchase Links

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About Jonathan North

Jonathan North is writer, photographer, video editor, and animation fan from Iowa. He studied advertising and design at Iowa State University, and also has degrees in multimedia and art. His favorite movie is Fantasia, and his favorite cartoon is Gravity Falls. Or maybe Steven Universe. He can’t decide. You can find more of his work on his blog, as well as his YouTube channel, where he reviews all manner things, including (almost) every version ever of Alice in Wonderland. His favorites are the 1999 version starring Tina Majorino, and of course, the 1951 Disney version. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, @jonjnorth.