This family comedy may rewrite the history books, usually a red-card offence, but in this instance we're going to turn a blind eye.
That's because Early Man is charming, cheerful and a lot of fun. It's a classic underdog sports film that doesn't try to invent the wheel. Instead, it shows how prehistoric man invented football (or soccer, if you prefer) more or less by accident.
It then leaps forwards through time to arrive at the uneasy transition period between the Stone and Bronze ages.
Here we're introduced to our heroes, a ragtag tribe of cavemen who are about to have their happy-go-lucky lives disrupted by a villainous lord with a lust for copper and a love of the beautiful game.
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Moving at pace, we quickly find our motley heroes very literally in the game of their lives against Lord Nooth's all-star footy players. Football may be a game of two halves but you don't have to be an expert to pick the outcome of the match.
Although Early Man sticks to the fundamentals of the sports genre, it still finds plenty of space for imaginative and inventive play. It's often delightfully silly - a giant dinosaur duck plays a prominent role - and no gag is too groan-inducing to leave on the bench. But it's so good natured and fun that you can't help but get caught up in the action.
Aardman's stop-motion animation remains as dazzling as ever. The life they give their Plasticine creations is astounding and the joy at seeing their craft cannot be overstated, especially in this day and age of CGI animation. Seeing the frequent thumbprints left by animators is a brilliant reminder of the love, patience and humanity these guys pour into their work.
The story sticks solidly to formation but an abundance of witty wordplay and sensational sight gags ensures that Early Man will be relished by sports fans of all ages.
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Maisie Williams, Tom Hiddleston
Director: Nick Park
Running time: 89mins
Rating: PG (Coarse language)
Verdict: Sticks to the fundamentals of the sports genre but is filled with imaginative and inventive play.