Mossy Bottom Farm is not your typical rural British farm. The reason is not so much that the Farmer never talks (often just making the occasional grunting noise), or that his dog and majordomo Bitzer is expected to behave in ways that a farm hand often fails at (i.e., taking care of the farm animals, fixing sheds and doing domestic chores). You visit because it’s the home of Shaun the Sheep who navigates his life amidst a flock of fellow sheeples so perfectly.
The reason that Shaun’s cartoon adventures are so entertaining is that, despite being a sheep, he still manages to do the kind of things that most humans would have trouble with — be that creating art, finding ways to get more food from inside the farmhouse, going sky-diving or pulling practical jokes on Bitzer. It helps that Shaun takes full advantage of the fact that he can stand on two legs and use his hands to get the job done when necessary, despite not having opposable thumbs.
For the uninitiated (new viewer, that is), everything seen is animated using stop-motion capabilities or more modern techniques which simulate the effect of physical characters placed in physical settings and moved so as to create the illusion of being animate. This effect gives a more “organic” look that avoids the cold and sterile feeling that so often is brought to you by pure CGI. But ultimately it’s the characters and what they do that keeps you watching, and in Shaun you have one smart sheep, in Bitzer one loyal dog and in the Farmer, one clueless human that becomes a perfect foil more times often than not.
Both Seasons 3 and 4 are provided in widescreen with Dolby Digital stereo sound. Colors are bright and attractive and the effort at making the characters both easily understandable as well as likable shines through in every episode. Plus as each episode comes in at around 7 minutes, the total number of episodes for both seasons totals a massive 50. Perhaps as a result this is the reason why there are no extras provided on the 4 DVDs as is often the case.
Shaun the Sheep Seasons 3 & 4 may be the most entertaining DVD you can buy. Besides being fun to watch the first time, giving it a go a second time lets you look at how it was all put together, which makes it even more entertaining (notice how Bitzer’s watch disappears whenever he goes on four legs). It’s suitable for children of all ages, but what’s more important is that it’s fun to watch. So pop in the disc and meet Shaun the Sheep.