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|“||They're chickens, you dolt! Apart from you, they're the most stupid creatures on this planet. They don't plot, they don't scheme, and they are NOT ORGANIZED!||„|
|~ Mrs. Tweedy to her husband Mr. Tweedy.|
Melisha Tweedy, better known as Mrs. Tweedy, is the main antagonist of DreamWorks' 4th full-length animated feature film Chicken Run, which is also Aardman's first feature film and Pathe's first animated feature film. Mrs. Tweedy makes her home at an unknown chicken farm. She is Mr. Tweedy's abusive wife and boss, and Ginger's arch-nemesis.
Mrs. Tweedy is a tall and slim woman with long, dark brunette hair pulled back into a tight bun at the top of her head. She also has blue eyes, as well as periwinkle eye-shadow. She is a lot taller than her husband.
In the film, she is seen with two outfits. In her typical daily outfit, she wears a burgundy dress with an upright collar, a black brooch at the throat, black muck boots, red gloves that occasionally go up to her forearms, and sleeves rolled up to her elbows. She also wears a sheer pantyhose, because in this outfit she has the legs colored in a tan brown darker than her nude white skin. Her second outfit seen is her nighttime pajamas, pink slippers with yellow wool socks, a pink dressing gown and a pink bath cap. In both outfits, she keeps her hair tied.
|“||D'oh! Stupid, worthless creatures! I'm sick and tired of making minuscule profits.||„|
|~ Mrs. Tweedy expressing her hatred for the chickens for the low profits that she is having.|
Mrs. Tweedy is an extremely selfish, greedy, ruthless, manipulative and hot-tempered woman who only uses the chickens to get money, which her family is very low on. She is always looking for a chance to abuse her husband and the chickens, and despite her temper, she is occasionally shown to be quite clever and intellectual - she is the one who comes up with the idea of buying a pie machine to use to make more profit from the chickens.
She is specifically impatient and temperamental with her husband, shown when she is contemplating buying the Pie Machine, and when the Pie Machine is broken. It is also demonstrated that she and her husband have a quarrelsome disagreement on many things — when Mr. Tweedy is attacked by the chickens, he abusively calls to her "The chickens are revolting!", and she (writing on a clipboard at that time) says to herself, "Finally something we agree on."
However, she did not know he did not mean revolt in the context she was thinking of. She is also shown to be a very tough and resilient woman who is possibly happy with the idea of murdering the chickens, displayed with the evil smile that she gave to the chickens that she selected for slaughter during Roll Call right before they were killed. She is also very abusive, defamatory, argumentative and opprobrious towards the chickens, her husband, and possibly also her dogs, as they are shown to be afraid of her. She is, however, capable of displaying some mild affection to her husband when she views things as going her way, as she flirtatiously pinched his behind while watching the chickens gouge themselves on the extra food meant to fatten them up.
Mrs. Tweedy rarely shows any emotion other than disgust or anger. It is fairly safe to say that she is also a deranged, obsessive and psychopathic person based on her behavior. Despite her truly diabolical and sinister nature, Mrs. Tweedy was also very careful to craft her public image in a pleasing light, as shown by billboards advertising her pies, which portray her as a smiling and motherly woman rather than the stoic and uptight person she really is. She also has a curious habit of never calling Mr. Tweedy by his first name, even though they share the same last name as they are married. Instead, she constantly calls him "Mr. Tweedy".
In the 1950s in the United Kingdom, a chicken named Ginger (the main heroine of the film) makes several unsuccessful attempts for her and her fellow chickens to escape from Mrs. Tweedy's farm in Yorkshire, England. As it turns out, Mrs. Tweedy runs the farm like a concentration camp, forcing the chickens to lay eggs to sell for profit and killing those who fail to lay any eggs for a week. As the year goes by, Mrs. Tweedy discovers that profits are constantly going down due to low amounts of eggs being laid. Her husband Mr. Tweedy correctly suspects the chickens are "up to something" due to their attempts to escape, but Mrs. Tweedy brushes this off, believing that they (apart from Mr. Tweedy) are the most stupid creatures on the planet. After seeing a magazine showing an ad for a pie machine, Mrs. Tweedy decides to get it to turn all of her chickens into pies in a bid to increase her profits.
After ordering the machine, Mrs. Tweedy and her husband attempt to kill Ginger in their machine in order to test it, but are thwarted when a visiting American rooster named Rocky rescues her and clogs the gravy sprayer, sabotaging the machine. The chickens begin to prepare their ultimate escape plan, creating an airplane out of their coops to fly off the farm. In the meantime, Mrs. Tweedy forces Mr. Tweedy to fix the machine. After the repairs are done, Mrs. Tweedy orders Mr. Tweedy to fetch all of the chickens then turns the machine all the way up to "MAX". However, Mr. Tweedy finds out that most of his tools were stolen by the chickens for their plan, but he is attacked by the chickens and tied up and pinned underneath one of the coops. He tries to warn Mrs. Tweedy about this, but she ignores him, unaware of what is going on.
Just as Ginger is about to set up the ramp to help the airplane fly off, Mrs. Tweedy tries to stop her with her axe, finally seeing what's really going on. Fortunately, Rocky (who left until he saw an advertisement for Mrs. Tweedy's Chicken Pies) returns and uses his bike to knock Mrs. Tweedy unconscious, accidentally throwing the axe in the air. Mrs. Tweedy came to and sees the axe land right next to her neck, making her pass out again due to the shock. With that in mind, Rocky and Ginger set the ramp before escaping with the other chickens in their plane.
However, Mrs. Tweedy wakes up and goes off in hot pursuit of the escaping chickens by grabbing onto the dragging rope. Now insanely mad, she climbs herself up to stop the plane, even if it means endangering her own life. Fortunately, Ginger tricks Mrs. Tweedy into cutting the rope with her axe, and she falls through the barn window and lands headfirst in the safety valve of the pie machine, causing it to explode due to the overwhelming gravy pressure, destroying much of the barn as her farm is coated with gravy.
After the explosion, Mrs. Tweedy finds herself covered in gravy and still stuck in the safety valve, despite having survived the explosion. As the chickens have finally escaped from the farm, Mr. Tweedy (having untied himself and barely escaped the explosion unscathed) berates his wife for not listening to him about the chickens in the first place. This only enrages Mrs. Tweedy, but before she can lash out at her husband for his incompetence, he, who has finally had enough of her abusing pushes over the heavy barn door on her, finally getting back at her and releasing himself from her influence. It remains unknown whether Mrs. Tweedy was killed or just severely injured by the impact of the door falling down on her.
Powers and Abilities
Despite being a farms-woman with a keen business sense, Mrs. Tweedy carries a hatchet that she uses to behead chickens. She manages to wield it surprisingly well in battle. Additionally, she is a rather cunning and strong woman, being most of the brawn and brains involved at the farm. Mrs. Tweedy is also capable of chasing the chickens down to the point where she was precariously dangling by a thread high above the ground, carrying her axe in her teeth.
- Her being really taller than average can be understood only comparing her with Mr. Tweedy and the circus chief, the only other humans seen in the entire film, which they are both shorter than Mrs Tweedy and they are also men.
- Both Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy's management on their chicken farm, as well as the farm itself, is somewhat equivalent with the 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 similar manner with real life prisons. It's said that all chickens must lay eggs properly as well as to never did any attempt to escape or punished via either locked within coal bin or death penalty via butchering.
- This is somewhat similar with real-life prison where all inmates must obey the rules within the prison or receive severe punishment. Mr. Tweedy's job, along with his hounds in the movie also comparable with security guards in real-life prison, while Mrs. Tweedy herself on the other hand, is comparable with prison wardens.
- It should be noted that even if Mrs. Tweedy managed to kill Ginger and get to the chickens and the rats, she would crash the plane and kill both her and the rest of the chickens from falling from great height. She was blinded by her own greed and rage to ever even realize her and the chickens' potential downfall.
- Her real given name "Melisha" is likely a play on the word "malicious", another word associated with evil, Also it is derived from the Greek word for "queen bee", for her dominant behavior towards to her husband Mr. Tweedy, and the combination of the three feminine names "Melissa", "Alicia", and "Felisha".
- She is the first DreamWorks Animation antagonist to be a female, being followed by Eris from Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, Fairy Godmother from Shrek 2, and Dr. Zara from Abominable.
- She is also the first villain in an Aardman Animation movie, as Chicken Run was Aardman Animations' first animated movie. She is followed by Victor Quartermaine in Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, The Toad in Flushed Away, Alexandrina Victoria Hannover in The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists!, Trumper in Shaun The Sheep: The Movie, Lord Nooth in Early Man and Agent Red in A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.
- She is the first Aardman character to be a female antagonist, being followed by Piella Bakewell from Wallace and Gromit: A Matter Of Loaf and Death, Alexandrina Victoria Hannover from The Pirates! Band of Misfits and Agent Red from A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.
- She and her husband Mr. Tweedy are the third Aardman characters to be a human antagonist, since Mr. Hugh from Stage Fright (1997) and Angry Kid from Angry Kid, will be followed by Victor Quartermaine in Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Piella Bakewell in Wallace and Gromit: A Matter Of Load and Death, Alexandrina Victoria Hannover in The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists!, Trumper in Shaun The Sheep: The Movie, Lord Nooth in Early Man and Agent Red in A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.
- She is partially inspired by Nazi prison wardens of the second world war. This is evident in the movie as well, as the chicken farm is frequently portrayed as being a prisoner of war camp due to the fact that Chicken Run is confirmed to be a parody of The Great Escape.
- Her violent, rude and dominant behaviour against Mr. Tweedy suggests an abusive relationship where (unlike most cases and the common consensus), the woman is the abuser. In fact, in the last scene of both her husband is seen to finally rebel against her.
- Glenn Close, Cathy Moriarty, and Kathleen Turner were all considered to voice Mrs. Tweedy before Miranda Richardson was cast.