Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget

About Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget Film

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is a 2023 British stop-motion animated comedy film directed by Sam Fell from a screenplay written by Karey Kirkpatrick, John O’Farrell, and Rachel Tunnard, based on a story conceived by Kirkpatrick and O’Farrell. A sequel to Chicken Run (2000), the film was produced by Aardman Animations and stars the voices of Thandiwe Newton, Zachary Levi, Bella Ramsey, Romesh Ranganathan, David Bradley, Daniel Mays, Jane Horrocks, Imelda Staunton, Lynn Ferguson, Josie Sedgwick-Davies, Peter Serafinowicz, Nick Mohammed, and Miranda Richardson. It tells the story of Rocky and Ginger who lead a rescue mission when their daughter has been abducted to a highly-advanced poultry farm run by their old enemy Mrs. Tweedy.

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget had its world premiere at the 67th London Film Festival on 14 October 2023, and was released by Netflix on 15 December 2023. The film received positive reviews from critics.

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget Film


Since the chickens escaped from Mr and Mrs Tweedy’s Farm, they have settled in an idyllic sanctuary on an island in a lake, where they can live happily, safe from humans. Ginger and Rocky start a family with a hatchling named Molly. The rats Nick and Fetcher visit periodically with supplies.

Molly grows into an adventurous 11-year-old, whom Ginger and Rocky try to protect from the outside world. The appearance of trucks and construction on the mainland concern Ginger that another chicken farm is being built, and with her more cautious perspective as a parent, she leads her community in better hiding themselves.

Molly’s curiosity draws her to sneak away to the mainland, where she is saved from being run over by a teenage chicken named Frizzle. The two friends stow away on a truck full of chickens being taken to Fun-Land Farms, which looks appealing to them. Ginger and Rocky form a search party with chickens Babs, Bunty, Mac, and Fowler; they give chase and find that the “farm” is a highly-advanced poultry processing plant bristling with security systems.

Inside, Molly and Frizzle find an expansive amusement area, where the other chickens – all wearing numbered electronic collars – go on rides, play games, etc. Rocky impulsively catapults into the compound, inadvertently activating various security systems, giving Ginger and the others the info they need to infiltrate. They are joined by Nick and Fetcher, who are separated from the others, but meet up with Rocky.

Molly and Frizzle discover that the collars turn the other chickens into carefree idiots when activated. Frizzle is caught by the facility’s scientist Dr Fry and given a collar; Molly leaves, promising to come back for her.

Ginger reunites with Molly, and learns in horror that her nemesis Mrs Tweedy is running the operation alongside Dr Fry, her new husband. The collars serve to suppress the chickens’ fear, to make tastier chicken nuggets for Reginald Smith, a fast-food chain businessman looking for new food items. Mrs Tweedy captures Ginger and puts a collar on her, which she resists unsuccessfully, but Rocky intervenes and Molly frees her. The hens, rooster, and rats are reunited in a corn silo, which they escape by turning it into popcorn. Molly mourns the fate of Frizzle, prompting Ginger and the others to turn back and help the other chickens as well.

Mrs Tweedy orders Dr Fry to start production of chicken nuggets, beginning a struggle for the remote control that brainwashes the chickens, between Mrs Tweedy and the team of Rocky, Ginger, and Molly, while the rest of the rescue squad try to hold back the chickens marching mindlessly into the processor. The chicken trio win the fight, sending Mrs Tweedy into the machine to be breaded like a chicken nugget, while the whole population of chickens and the rats escape in a truck. Mrs Tweedy tries to stop them, but Fowler knocks her into the compound’s moat, where she is stopped by the facility’s security, as the site explodes from the chickens’ sabotage.

The chickens return to the island, and their life returns to normal, now with Molly and Frizzle doing aerial reconnaissance for chicken farms on the mainland, and the chicken crew liberating those they find.


  • Thandiwe Newton as Ginger, a British chicken and Rocky’s wife
    • Archive recordings of Julia Sawalha as Ginger in the first film are used in flashback sequences
  • Zachary Levi as Rocky, an American former circus rooster and Ginger’s husband
  • Bella Ramsey as Molly, the daughter of Ginger and Rocky
  • Imelda Staunton as Bunty, a cynical chicken and former champion egg-layer
  • Lynn Ferguson as Mac, a Scottish nerdy chicken who is Ginger’s assistant
  • David Bradley as Fowler, an elderly rooster and former RAF mascot
  • Jane Horrocks as Babs, a dimwitted chicken who is adept at knitting
  • Romesh Ranganathan as Nick, a cynical scavenger rat
  • Daniel Mays as Fetcher, a comical rat who is Nick’s partner
  • Josie Sedgwick-Davies as Frizzle, a chicken who Molly befriends
  • Peter Serafinowicz as Reginald Smith, the owner of the Sir Eat-a-Lot chain of restaurants
  • Nick Mohammed as Dr. Fry, a scientist at Fun-Land Farms who is Mrs. Tweedy’s second husband
  • Miranda Richardson as Mrs. Melisha Tweedy, the chickens’ former owner who now seeks revenge


After completing Chicken Run in 2000, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the CEO of DreamWorks Animation and one of the film’s executive producers, proposed to Aardman Animations the idea of making a sequel. However, Aardman declined as they felt unready to make a sequel as well as its employees feeling exhausted after completing the original film and instead moved on to different projects. Since then, ideas and talks of a sequel floated around for years until numerous crew members of the first film agreed to continue the story.

A sequel to Chicken Run was reported in April 2018 with Aardman Animations, StudioCanal and Pathé set to produce. DreamWorks had no involvement due to ending their partnership with Aardman after the release of Flushed Away in 2006. Sam Fell directed, with Paul Kewley producing. Fell was approached by the film’s original co-director Peter Lord in 2016 at a party and convinced him to return to Aardman to direct the sequel. The original Chicken Run writers Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell returned to write for the sequel. Aardman co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton served as executive producers as well as the film’s original co-director Nick Park.

On 16 October 2019, the film officially began pre-production. Because very few props and models from the original film survived after being destroyed in a warehouse fire in 2005, Fell and his team resorted to use reference photos from the original film’s making of book. Aardman said that Mel Gibson was not asked to return as Rocky. In June 2020, Fell released more details about the sequel, which would follow from the ending of the first film, where the chickens have settled into their new safe area. Molly, the chick of Ginger and Rocky, begins to outgrow the area, just as word of a new threat to the chickens arrives. In July 2020, Julia Sawalha, the voice of Ginger in the first film, revealed Aardman’s intention to recast her role, saying her voice now sounded too old, and commented “I have officially been plucked, stuffed & roasted”. The decision was met with widespread criticism with some finding the decision ageist.

Principal photography commenced in early 2021. In January 2022, Zachary Levi, Thandiwe Newton, David Bradley, Romesh Ranganathan and Daniel Mays replaced Gibson, Sawalha, Benjamin Whitrow, Timothy Spall and Phil Daniels as the voices of Rocky, Ginger, Fowler, Nick and Fetcher, while Jane Horrocks, Imelda Staunton and Lynn Ferguson reprised their roles as Babs, Bunty and Mac from the first film, with the film’s title revealed as Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget. Bella Ramsey, Nick Mohammed and Josie Sedgwick-Davies voiced three new characters, Molly, Dr. Fry and Frizzle, respectively. In September 2023, it was announced that Miranda Richardson would reprise her role as the voice of Mrs. Tweedy and that Peter Serafinowicz also joined the cast as Reginald Smith, a “slightly bemused businessman”.


15 December 2023

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