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Willard Tweedy, or better known as Mr. Tweedy, is the secondary antagonist of DreamWorks' fourth full-length animated feature film Chicken Run, which is also Aardman's 1st feature film and Pathe's first animated feature film.
He is Mrs. Tweedy's abused husband who helps her run the farm and is often sent to check on the chickens. While more reasonable, he can also be as violent as his wife to due his desire to please her as much as possible.
Mr. Tweedy is a bumbling, clumsy, obstinate, pertinacious and ill-tempered individual. He is dominated by his abusive wife named Melisha Tweedy, whom he is in terror of due to her verbal abuse and sometimes physical outrages against her husband. There is certainly no love lost between the two of them (though at a random moment in the film, Mr. Tweedy does call his wife by the term of endearment "love", indicating that there may be some love between them, though not much). Mrs. Tweedy treats him more as if a servant than an equal partner and repeatedly undermines his self-worth, as well as references to his ancestors as poor worthless nothings. Meanwhile, Mr. Tweedy resents her and only lets her get her way because he is too loyal to call her out until the end.
While he is generally absentminded, Tweedy is rather "simple, not stupid" instead of outwardly dumb. It was this lack of wits that allowed him to understand that the chickens were actually very plotting and organized whereas his wife disregarded them as "the most stupid creatures on this planet". Tweedy appears to have more mechanical skills, as he was able to rebuild the pie machine himself, albeit with some complications initially.
He also appears to have a genuine dislike for the chickens that he usually farms, as he shouted aggressively towards the onlooking hens after he trapped Ginger in a coal bin, similar to a prison warden demoralizing his inmates who attempted an escape. He is also shown to be especially disparaging and contemptuous towards Ginger, the leader of the flock as she repeatedly embarrassed him in front of his wife and likely caused the abuse to get worse. This grudge was evident when he vengefully chose her to demonstrate the pie machine, claiming "I've got a score to settle with you.". Despite his obnoxious and abusive nature, he eventually turned out to be a happy and calm man when in a pleasant mood. He also shows that he can stand up to his wife, but only after becoming fed up with her abuse.
Mr. Tweedy wears a dark green shirt and dark green pants, a brown vest, a yellow dress shirt, and a blue scarf around his neck. He also has a tan hat and black boots. He is also has short brunette hair and has brown eyes. He is also short and slightly overweight, compared to his wife who is taller and thinner.
In 1950s Northern England, Mr. Tweedy has always obeyed Mrs. Tweedy's orders, no matter how unreasonable or foolish they may seem. This is despite him somewhat resenting her for her horrible treatment.
Of course, Mr. Tweedy suspects the chickens are planning to escape the farm, but Mrs. Tweedy refuses to believe it, insisting that chickens are far too stupid to possess such intellect. Needless to say, Mr. Tweedy was proven to be right, as the chickens do attempt to escape the farm.
During the climax of the film, Mr. Tweedy learns that the chickens have stolen many of his tools to create an aircraft to escape, but they just tie him up. He attempts to stop them from going airborne by knocking out the ramp, but faints after almost being knocked out by their airplane. Mrs. Tweedy would later deal with the chickens, but she ends up falling into the pie machine, causing it to explode.
Mr. Tweedy manages to untie himself and evade the destructive explosion, and as he returns, he sees Mrs. Tweedy covered in gravy and their factory destroyed. He then berates her for not listening to him about the chickens in the first place, but this only makes Mrs. Tweedy angrier at him as she attempts to shout at him. Finally having had enough of this, Mr. Tweedy pushes the door down on Mrs. Tweedy, much to her shock. It's unknown what happened to Mr. Tweedy afterwards, but it's assumed that he may have moved off the farm and started a new life on his own and had to find a new job, since both him and his wife are poor and lost everything; including their house. One could also argue that given that he went as far as to push a door onto her, they finally got a divorce, or at the very least, separated.
Mr. Tweedy guarding the fence to the chicken coops.
Mr. Tweedy spotting Ginger who got out of the fence.
Mr. Tweedy grabbing Ginger as he's confronted by his wife.
Mr. Tweedy being told by his wife to deal with Ginger.
Mr. Tweedy glaring at Ginger.
Mr. Tweedy taking Ginger to a box.
Mr. Tweedy about to throw Ginger in the box.
Mr. Tweedy locking Ginger in solitary confinement.
"Now that be a lesson to the lot of you! No chicken escapes from Tweedy's farm!"
"This is what we'll be doing now, Mr. Tweedy."
Both Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy's management on their chicken farm, as well as chicken farm itself somewhat equivalent with typical prison (or rather super-maximum security prison) for humans in real life than normal real-life chicken farms for the following reason:
Fences around Tweedy's family are covered with barbed wire in a similar manner with real-life prisons.
It is said that all chickens are must lay eggs properly as well as never did any attempt to escape or punished via either locked within coal bin or death penalty via butchering. This somewhat similar to the real-life prison where all inmates must obey the rules within the prison or receiving severe punishment.
Mr. Tweedy's job, along with his hounds in the movie is also comparable with security guards in real-life prison, while Mrs. Tweedy herself on the other hand, is comparable with prison wardens.
Ironically, in real life, chickens will voluntarily stay near farms without fencing, even if they end up slaughtered, as selective breeding had removed their fear of humans.
Mr. Tweedy is the only human male full-length Aardman animated movie antagonist who speaks with a Northern English accent, While Victor Quartermaine from Wallace and Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, who speaks with a received pronunciation, and Lord Nooth from Early Man, who speaks with a French accent.
His first name, "Willard", is never mentioned in the film.
Mr. Tweedy carries a double barrel shotgun throughout the film when he patrols the farm. However, he hardly ever uses it.
While it is unclear whether Mr. Tweedy pushed the heavy barn door on Mrs. Tweedy on purpose or accidentally, the initial depiction of the scene had Mrs. Tweedy insulting him for his incompetence after he tells her that she should have listened him about the chickens, leading Mr. Tweedy to get angry and push the door to get back on her. The scene was edited, most likely because these actions are not in-character for Mr. Tweedy, but even in the final cut it can still be seen that Mr. Tweedy has his hands near the door when it falls, either implying he deliberately pushed it or he was reaching to stop it falling. Either way, he does show that he dislikes his wife's treatment of him even if he didn't show it until the ending.
Eric Idle, John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson, Danny DeVito, and Joe Pesci were all considered to voice Mr. Tweedy before the late Tony Haygarth was cast.
According to the tie-in book Cutting Loose: Behind the Fences at Tweedy's Farm, after the chickens escaped the farm, Mr. Tweedy and his wife moved to Scotland and started a seaweed farm. In another tie-in book called Chicken Pies For The Soul, it is said that the reason Mr. Tweedy is suspicious of the chickens was because his Uncle Jimmy was killed by a big rooster named Brute.