Netflix's new no.1 movie drops to 79% on Rotten Tomatoes – as sequel divides fans

Chicken Run Dawn of the Nugget is a flyaway success, but drops to 79% on Rotten Tomatoes as sequel has divided fans

Chicken Run Dawn of the Nugget
(Image credit: Aardman / Netflix)

As we enter the final stages of 2023, feeling all festive, Netflix has a new no.1 movie that's a clear contender for being the streaming service's high-flying winner over the holiday season. Except, after chalking up a decent initial Rotten Tomatoes rating, this sequel has dropped to 79% at the time of writing – and could continue to tank, despite racking up the most views. 

That's because Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget – which arrives 23 years after the 2000 original, so we've been waiting decades for it – is a sequel that's truly divided fans. Why? The reasons are myriad, but a big part of some people's distaste over the second movie is that the main characters have been recast (Rocky is now played by Zachary Levi, not Mel Gibson; Ginger is now played by Thandiwe Newton, not Julia Sawalha). 

I think it's largely going to be about context: if you've never seen the original movie then Chicken Run: Dawn on the Nugget will be an isolated experience where you have no point of comparison. In that light it's entertaining enough – and kids will be entertained. But if you have seen the original – which, fortunately, is also available to watch on Netflix (it's no.8 in the Children category at the time of writing) – then personally I have no doubt that the delivery, the feeling, the comedy even, is just miles away from what the original hit. 

I was kind of surprised to see the Aardman studio name attached to Dawn of the Nugget, which also created the original Chicken Run (along with Wallace & Gromit, among many other successes), but the overall team isn't the same. The sequel's director, Sam Fell, is best known for his work on Flushed Away, The Tale of Despereaux and other animated capers. The original Chicken Run was directed by Aardman founders Nick Park and Peter Lord. 

One thing I am really pleased about is that Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget does continue with Aardman's admittedly arduous work ethic of hand animating its characters. This is a labour of love, and while it sometimes looks too polished in the sequel, I've got a lot of respect for the art. It's worth watching both flicks to see how far along the practices have come in that area of discipline. 

Whether you're a fan of the Chicken Run sequel or not – and fans really are divided, with some calling it 'soulless', but others 'loving it' (cited from contrasting Rotten Tomatoes audience reviews) – there are plenty of other picks on the best streaming services right now. Indeed, check out T3's best blockbuster movies to stream this Christmas, for example, or if you're feeling like watching the best badly-rated Christmas movies then there are 5 must-watch crackers to consider there too. 

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor at He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone too (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech and audio aficionado his beat at T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a tech stone unturned he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.