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Chicken Run: Dawn Of The Nugget - What We Know So Far

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In June 2000, Ardman Animations and DreamWorks teamed up to release "Chicken Run," and the stop-motion animation world was irrevocably changed for the better. The 84-minute masterpiece in family-friendly cinema raked in nearly a quarter of a billion dollars at the box office, just shy of five times its budget. More importantly, the tale of the escape of Ginger and the rest of the flock at Tweedy's Farm with the help of Rocky, the American rebel rooster, endeared itself to the collective consciousness and became a repeatable entertainment experience for generations of viewers over the following years.

Over two decades later, the liberated colony of egg layers will return to the smaller silver screen via Netflix's upcoming film "Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget." The movie will re-hatch all of the fun of the original experience, and it looks like it'll even be taking the stakes up a notch. Here's everything we know so far about the soon-to-be-streaming poultry palapalooza.

When will Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget be released?

Those eagerly looking forward to the return of Ginger, Rocky, and the rest of the intrepid crew from Tweedy's farm have already had a lengthy wait for a sequel. "Dawn of the Nugget" was announced way back in 2018 after years of production company disputes. Even at that point, the original film was nearly 20 years old. Once the film had been brought out of postponement purgatory, it still took five years (interrupted by a pandemic) for the production process to unfold. Now, viewers won't have to wait much longer. "Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget" is officially slated for release in the fall of 2023.

The currently agreed-upon date of release is November 10, 2023. Assuming this remains unchanged, that would mean the long-awaited "Chicken Run" sequel would arrive in everyone's Netflix queues just in time for the holiday season.

What is the plot of Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget?

Those familiar with "Chicken Run" may be scratching their heads at the thought of a sequel. After all, didn't the overworked laying hens from Tweedy's Farm end up in paradise at the end of the film? They got their happily ever after. What's left to tell? Of course, Hollywood is always ready to pump out a sequel story that introduces new problems and raises the stakes in a way that brings viewers back, and "Dawn of the Nugget" is no exception.

The sequel will start after Ginger and company's escape from captivity. While in their idyllic new home, the hen hero and her beau, Rocky, will hatch a chick named Molly. As the chickens enjoy their new-found freedom, though, new troubles will come a'knockin in the form of a threat to the entirety of chicken-kind.

The extent of this threat isn't clear (although, after the chicken pie escapades of the first film, we're willing to bet it has something to do with chicken nuggets). The film's official synopsis simply reads, "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!" Whatever that threat may be, we suspect some epic fresh-pecked heroics are in store.

Who is starring in Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget?

"Chicken Run" didn't have what one might call an A-list cast. On the contrary, Mel Gibson and Julia Sawalha headlined, and there were a few splashy additions, like Timothy Spall's Nick the Rat. By and large, though, the big-wig names were few and far between. The sequel is going in the opposite direction, with a sprawling ensemble cast of recognizable names — most of whom are replacing beloved fan-favorite voice actors from the original film.

Most notably, both Gibson and Sawalha have been recast, with Zachary Levi and Thandiwe Newton taking their places, respectively. David Bradley will also fill in the larger-than-life shoes of Fowler, and Daniel Mays and Romesh Ranganathan will fill in for the black-market business rats Fetcher and Nick.

Along with these voice replacements, "Ted Lasso's" Nick Mohammed will be voicing the movie's antagonist, the sinisterly named Dr. Fry. Bella Ramsey (of recent "The Last of Us" fame) will also be playing the fresh-hatched role of Molly, while Josie Sedgwick-Davies will be voicing the role of Frizzle, an aptly named frizzle chicken, survivor of Dr. Fry's lab, and leader of her fluffy-feathered kind. Imelda Staunton and Jane Horrocks will be reprising their roles as Bunty and Babs, and Lynn Ferguson will return as Mac.

Who is directing Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget?

"Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget" has been in capable hands since day one. The director, Sam Fell, is a veteran of the animation and entertainment industries. The film professional is already known for his work on classic movies like "The Tale of Despereaux," "ParaNorman," and "Flushed Away."

The Oscar-nominated director is backed by a stellar team of creative talent as well. Karey Kirkpatrick ("Smallfoot," "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy") and John O'Farrell ("Chicken Run," "Hoodwinked") came up with the story. Kirkpatrick is also one of the show's executive producers — a lengthy list that includes "Wallace and Gromit" and "Shaun the Sheep" creator Nick Park. While the replacement of so many of the original cast of voice actors is a little unnerving, the talent behind the scenes is more than enough to ensure that the sequel has a chance to spread its wings and fly.

Is there a trailer for Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget?

As of late April, "Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget" did not have an official trailer yet. There's no rhyme or reason when it comes to trailer releases. However, animated films often have trailers out well before this point. With the film just months away from dropping on Netflix, there's little doubt that something will surface soon.

Once a trailer does drop, it will give viewers their first look into a post-Tweedy's Farm world, where some chickens run free...and others are destined for the fryer. While the movie will presumably only be available on Netflix, the trailer should be available for general audiences. It will be one of the studio's primary attempts to lure viewers back to the faltering streaming service as it once again goes to the deep wells of animated nostalgia to attract an audience.

Where to watch Chicken Run

"Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget" isn't far away. But there are still several months to wait until it's available to streamers. For those who can't wait until the fall for more daring escapes and feathery rescues — as well as anyone who wants to brush up on their knowledge of the sentient chicken stop-motion animation universe after a twenty-plus-year hiatus — there are a few options.

The movie is also available to rent or purchase on multiple sites. Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, and Vudu all have "Chicken Run" on demand. Typically, the cost to rent is a few dollars (usually around $4), while purchasing the movie is $15. If the one film isn't enough, there's also Nick Park's entire "Wallace and Gromit" and "Shaun the Sheep" universes to explore.

What will Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget be rated?

"Chicken Run" was a fun film for all ages, and the family-friendly element will likely continue into the sequel. With that said, there will obviously be plenty of parents wondering if they can keep their young'uns of all ages in the room while they stream the new movie. 

Unfortunately, this early in the process, there isn't any solid data about the rating of the new film. The information should be forthcoming further into the post-production process, but until then, we can go off the original movie for some insights.

"Chicken Run" was rated a nice, clean "G." That's right. Not even parental guidance was recommended. Regardless of whether the new movie sticks to that truly family-friendly standard or ups the ante to a "PG" rating, chances are — despite the undomesticated nature of its characters — this will be a thoroughly domesticated movie as far as inappropriate content is concerned.