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Early Man (2018): The caveman movie that shows the birth of football

1:40 AM IST 03/02/18
Early Man Premiere
The latest movie from Aardman Animations is a stop-motion film that focuses on the beginnings of football at the dawn of time

Early Man is the fourth feature-length film to be directed by Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park, and is set at the dawn of time, where football helps bring a group of cavemen together.

Park always had wanted to make a caveman story, but to make it unique compared to other movies or animations, he introduced football into the plot.

"Well I guess a lot of ideas start with sketches and, you know, I've always loved the idea of a Stone Age movie," Park told Goal.

"And I was doodling as a lot of ideas start with just doodles in sketchbooks. And I remember, you know, the typical caveman with a club. And I started thinking about sport, you know, rounders or baseball. And then I started to think what if a bunch of lunkhead, idiotic caveman had to - for some reason - play a game and then football came in.

"What if they couldn't use their fists any more or their hands and their clubs and stone axes and had to learn a game? I started getting into the whole idea of how the Brits invented football and the whole tribal aspects to the game. Also, very positive how it is a very civilising force in the world as well."

Goal takes a look at one of the most unusual - and most entertaining - movies about the beautiful game ever made.


Early Man is a new take on a classic tale - where caveman Dug (Eddie Redmayne) and his pet wild boar Hognob are forced to battle enemy Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston) to save their home.

Dug and Hognob get help from a Bronze City resident called Goona, who is played by Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams.

They must unite their tribe to defend against Lord Nooth, with football serving as the one thing that can bring all the cavemen together! We won't give away too much else about the film, as you will just have to watch it!

Early Man Cast, Crew, Directors & Producers

Early Man features some of Britain's top actors including Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne as the lead, Gloden Globe winner Tom Hiddleston as the villain, as well as the likes of Timothy Spall, Maisie Williams and Miriam Margoyles.

The animated comedy also includes a number of comedians in its cast, with Johnny Vegas, Richard Ayoade, Mark Williams and Rob Brydon all involved.

Like all of Nick Park's films, it is produced by Aardman Animations, and was co-written by Mark Burton, who also worked with Park on Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Character Actor
Eddie Redmayne Dug
Tom Hiddleston Lord Nooth
Maisie Williams Goona
Timothy Spall Chief Bobnar
Richard Ayoade Treebor
Selina Griffiths Magma
Johnny Vegas Asbo
Mark Williams Barry
Gina Yashere Gravelle
Simon Greenall Eemak
Richard Webber Grubup
Rob Brydon The Message Bird
Kayvan Novak Dino
Miriam Margolyes Queen Oofeefa

Early Man Reviews

Early Man has received mostly positive reviews from film critics, who praised the film's use of humour and simple storytelling to appeal to a broad range of audiences from children to adults.

Publication Rating Review
Daily Mail 5/5 "Early Man is a joy."
Guardian 4/5 "Its straightforward storytelling and gentle humour still work a treat."
Independent 3/5 "There's no single shot, movement, joke, or line of dialogue that seems wasted."
Little White Lies 3/5 "An eccentric little film..often very funny."
Radio Times 4/5 "Early Man finds a place somewhere at the top of Aardman's evolutionary tree with Chicken Run and Shaun the Sheep."
Variety N/A "Early Man is as charming as they come."

Early Man Soundtrack

The soundtrack of Early Man is mostly compositions from Harry-Gregson Williams and Tom Howe, but does include some well-known tracks including the Kaiser Chiefs' 'I Predict a Riot' as well as new songs by The Vamps and New Hope Club.

Number Track Artist
1 Good Day New Hope Club
2 Hope The Vamps
3 Tiger Feet New Hope Club
4 I Predict a Riot Kaiser Chiefs
5 Dug's Theme Original Soundtrack
6 Prehistoric Prologue Original Soundtrack
7 In the Valley Original Soundtrack
8 Meet Dug Original Soundtrack
9 Meet the Tribe Original Soundtrack
10 Rabbit Ambush Original Soundtrack
11 Bronze Attack Original Soundtrack
12 City of Bronze Original Soundtrack
13 Dug in Bronze Land Original Soundtrack
14 Stadium Chase Original Soundtrack
15 The Ancestral Call Original Soundtrack
16 The Message Bird Original Soundtrack
17 Giant Badlands Duck Original Soundtrack
18 Stealing Footballs Original Soundtrack
19 She Shoots, She Scores Original Soundtrack
20 Challenge the Champions Original Soundtrack
21 Harp Escape Original Soundtrack
22 They're Not a Team Original Soundtrack
23 Message from the Queen Original Soundtrack
24 Foul Play Original Soundtrack
25 Revelations in the Mine Original Soundtrack
26 Royal Game Day Original Soundtrack
27 Forfeiture and Humiliation Original Soundtrack
28 Do it for the Valley Original Soundtrack
29 The Final Game Original Soundtrack
30 Chief is Down Original Soundtrack
31 Hognob in Goal Original Soundtrack
32 Mousing Around Original Soundtrack
33 Trophy Presentation Original Soundtrack

Related Movies

Fans of Early Man are definitely sure to enjoy some of Park's other films - for which he has won four Academy Awards. Chicken Run was nominated for Best Picture - Musical or Comedy at the 2000 Golden Globes, but was overlooked at the Oscars. The award for Best Animated Feature Film did not start until 2002. Despite this, is the highest-grossing stop-motion film of all time.

Aside from Aardman Films, the 2009 movie Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of the most popular stop-motion features. It was director Wes Anderson's first animated film, and features an all-star cast including George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Bill Murray.

Related Movie Year
Chicken Run 2000
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit 2005
Flushed Away 2006
Arthur Christmas 2011
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! 2012
Shaun the Sheep Movie 2015
Fantastic Mr. Fox 2009

Early Man trailer

Early Man's official trailer was released online on September 7, 2017, providing a two-minute preview of the film. The trailer lays out the plot of the film, introducing the key characters and provides a few laughs along the way - giving you a tease of the full-length movie, which has a running time of 1 hour 40 minutes.

Watch Early Man online

Early Man is currently not available for streaming anywhere online as it only is getting a general release in cinemas on Friday, January 26.

However, some of Park's older films including Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit are currently available to stream via Netflix in the UK and Ireland.