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Sheep & Wolves is a 2016 Russian computer-animated film directed by Andrey Galat and Maxim Volkov, and produced by Wizart Animation of The Snow Queen fame.

The film centers around Grey, a foolish wolf who, in an attempt to change himself, ends up transforming into a sheep after drinking a potion.

A sequel titled Sheep & Wolves: Pig Deal was released in 2019, in which Grey and his friends have to defend their home from rival wolves, while Grey grows into his new leadership position.


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Sheep & Wolves contains examples of:

  • 0% Approval Rating: The only reason nobody opposes Ragear when he steps forth to be leader is because they fear him.
  • A Handful for an Eye: Ragear does this to Magra right before killing him.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Grey turns into a sheep, unbeknownst to him until after he drank the potion.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason Shia warms up to Grey while he was a sheep is because he recognizes him as the wolf who spared his life.
  • Big Bad: Ragear, so very much.
  • Big Brother Instinct: As their friendship grows, Grey and Shia come to love each other like brothers over the course of the movie, and as such, Grey will always come to Shia's rescue when the little lamb is in danger.
  • Celestial Deadline: Grey learns that the potion he took will become permanent on the noon of the third day if he doesn't take the cure for it. Doesn't help that Grey learns this on the aforementioned third day.
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  • Character Development: Part of Grey's personal growth is to stop clowning around and learn to apply his potential as a leader.
  • Cool Big Bro: Shia comes to look up to Grey as a fun and reliable big brother figure, despite knowing all along that he's the wolf who spared him at the start of the film. When Grey is kicked out of the herd and branded as a traitor, Shia is the only one who still believes in him and refuses to think he could be evil.
  • Dirty Coward: On top of being the main villain, Ragear is also a coward who relies on making others fear him in order to gain respect.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Played with. Grey understood what Bianca meant when she said she wanted him to 'change' (she meant figuratively) and was willing to carry out her wish , but he's doing it for the sake of getting back together with her rather than wholeheartedly maturing. What's more, if his taking one of Marlene's potions is any indication, he's also willing to take short cuts in order to 'change' for her.
  • The Dreaded: Ragear revels in being feared by the other wolves. Even his bio says he believes being feared is most important to him
  • For the Evulz: Ragear seems to hunt sheeps solely to amuse himself than feeding himself. Even if he hunts for food he surely has no need to be so sadistic.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Downplayed. While it's not played for drama, Grey has a tough choice between heading to the mountains where the cure for the potion lies and heading in the opposite direction to warn the sheep and prepare them for their war with the wolves.
  • The Gadfly: Grey is this in the beginning, mostly towards Ragear. Deconstructed when Bianca believes Grey favors being a prankster over taking the next step in their relationship.
  • The Hero: Grey.
  • Hidden Depths: Grey indeed does have leadership skills, he just never bothered to use them, at least not until later in the movie.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Magra acts unfazed by the fact that the potential candidates for leader of the pack is the cruel Ragear and the goofball Grey. Averted. As it turns out, Magra knew from the start Ragear would not be a fit leader. In fact, the reason he even let Grey compete is because he'd rather a prankster like him lead the pack than someone who would reign with an iron paw.
  • Humiliation Conga: For a while after Grey turns into a sheep, he only ends up causing himself further hurt and humiliation in desperation to transform back.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Shia says something along the lines of this to justify why the sheep should save the wolves from drowning.
  • Inflating Body Gag: Grey, having drunk potions in a last-ditch effort to try and turn himself back to normal, briefly inflates like a balloon only to have yet another great fall shortly after.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Grey and Shia become close friends during Grey's time as a sheep, with the former being the latter's Cool Big Bro.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ziko. He's paranoid and treats everything with suspicion. Regardless, he does have his fellow sheep's best interest at heart.
  • Karmic Death: Ragear falls to his death in the end, very fitting for one who stole his way to power by throwing the previous leader Magra off a cliff.
  • Karmic Transformation: Although Grey isn't particularly mean, his transformation into a sheep is karma for the prejudice against sheep he shares with the other wolves. Not to mention his latest prank that set off the plot had to do with him dressing as a sheep.
  • Killed Off for Real: Magra gets killed by Ragear.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: As a sheep, Grey finds himself unable to resist eating grass. Not long after, when he tries to so much as lick a frog to invoke his carnivorous appetite, he's instinctively disgusted.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: During their attack on the sheep's village, the wolves run right into their trap, which proves to be even deadlier than the sheep anticipated - nearly drowning the entire pack. Ragear in particular was the leader and instigator of this entire attempted slaughter, and he had previously murdered his own pack leader to seize control of the wolves, so he especially has this near-death experience coming.
  • Motor Mouth: Moz, without question.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Grey is suitably horrified to discover from Bianca that his impulsive and short-sighted decision to 'change himself', disappearing for a few days as a ram, set off a chain of events that led Ragear to kill Magra and usurp his leadership of the pack.
  • Nice Girl: Lyra. She's kind enough to take in Grey when she finds him in the sheep village.
  • Noble Wolf: Grey starts out as a cocky and immature prankster at the start of the film, but he grows to be quite noble after his Character Development as a sheep, as a stark contrast to the villain, Ragear. By the final act, Grey proves himself to be heroic, headstrong, courageous, loyal, brotherly, and a wise leader, honoring the traditions of his pack and Magra's wise principles about respecting all life, while also forging his own path and taking the pack in a new direction by declaring peace between the sheep and the wolves.
  • Oblivious Transformation: It takes a considerable while for Grey to realize the potion has changed him into a sheep, until he runs into Ragear and his mooks.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Grey calls out the sheep on all their personal flaws so he can sever ties with them.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: When he feels he doesn't belong with the other sheep, Grey invokes this by calling out the entire sheep village on each of their flaws, from Ziko's paranoia, to Baron being a seagull who thinks he's a sheep, to Moz being unable to tell Lyra how he feels.
  • Retirony: Magra has the intention to retire and pass on his role as leader. However, Ragear pushes him off a cliff later on.
  • Save the Villain: During the climax, Grey and the sheep manage to successfully trap the wolves who are trying to kill them inside a cave - except, due to an oversight, the trap works a bit too well and the cave starts to immediately fill up water, meaning the wolves will drown. If the sheep let the wolves expire, all their problems will go away, and there's a good argument to be had that the wolves have earned their fate by trying to wipe out the defenseless rams for sport (Ragear in particular deserves it for a being a murderer of his own kind). However Grey doesn't feel anywhere near comfortable going that far, especially since his former packmates are his family and most of them aren't complete monsters like Ragear, and Shia feels the same way - so the two of them manage to convince the others to show mercy to their attackers.
  • The Sociopath: Ragear. A cruel and possibly psychotic wolf who likes to hunt more for fun than for food and who arrives to kill his pack leader and plans to start a massacre of innocent sheeps simply for his own joy.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: When Grey finds he no longer has a place with wolves or sheep, and the latter cast him out as a wretched dangerous traitor, he angrily cuts all ties with them and resigns himself to being the bad guy, nothing more than an evil wolf. Shia, having befriended him throughout the movie despite knowing his true species, refuses to believe he could be evil, and sure enough, Grey's decision doesn't last long. As soon as Grey discovers the wolves are going to kill all the sheep, he races back to save his friends.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: At the climax, Grey chooses to forgo fetching the cure for the potion to save the sheep village. Later, when he figures he's too late, Bianca brings it to him in the nick of time.
  • Those Two Guys: Skinny and Hobbler.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Ragear still goes after Grey and Shia, despite the latter two saving him and other wolves from drowning in the cave.
  • The Usurper: Ragear is eager to take the position of the wolf village's leader. So much so that he kills Magra.
  • Way To Break It Hero: Bianca tells off Grey when he explains he changed into a sheep for her. Because of his absence, it has unwittingly lead to Ragear killing off Magra and usurping the throne.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Grey could've killed Shia out in the field, but he spared the young sheep's life instead.
  • Would Hurt a Child: During the climax, Ragear grabs Shia and threatens to kill him.

"Sheep & Wolves: Pig Deal" contains examples of:

  • The Atoner: After Skinny realizes he was a fool to side with Gark, and the brutish alpha wolf serves him his just deserts, he does whatever he can to make it up to Grey and save their friends from being killed.
  • Be Yourself: Marlene and Simone invoke this trope during the eleventh hour to sway the dark wolves, who have become disillusioned with Gark, over to their side. Over the last year, with the freedom and acceptance that Grey's leadership has brought them, their peaceful community has become a place where sheep and wolves can make great self-discoveries and be whatever they choose to be, without the limitations and societal pressures of having to conform to whatever role their species traditionally dictates they fill.
  • Big Good: After bringing peace to sheep and wolves in the previous film, Grey has become this trope to all the animals in his community: they all look up to him, respect his judgment as their leader, turn to him for guidance, and have spread his reputation across the land. Grey’s character arc in the film involves him worrying about whether or not he can actually live up to their expectations for him as a leader.
  • Big Bad: The dark wolves are the antagonists of the film, but their vicious, obsessive Bad Boss Gark is the true threat, and the only one who’s shown to be nearly irredeemable.
  • The Bully: Gark fits this trope to a tee. He’s a bigoted social darwinist who believes it’s his right as a wolf and an alpha to stand on top of weaker prey animals, but he hardly treats memebers of his own species any better - whether he’s trying his best to destroy Grey and his pack for being species traitors, or phsyically and verbally abusing his subordinate packmates whenever they remotely displease him.
  • Category Traitor: The dark wolves certainly see Grey and his pack as traitors to their kind for bucking the natural order and living in peace with sheep. In fact, Gark’s whole motivation in the film for targeting Grey is his bigotry towards prey animals and disgust towards his fellow alpha wolf for ‘lowering himself’ to their levels, wanting to either teach him a lesson or make an example out of him to other wolves.
  • Darker and Edgier: Aesthetically, the dark wolves serve as a darker and edgier breed of wolves compared to Grey’s pack (who have reformed and become friendlier lupines by this point), being bigger, stronger and more disciplined than them with darker fur coats. However, when it comes to their personalities, it’s actually only Gark who’s meaner, more vicious and more intense than most of the other wolves we’ve seen in this series.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Played with. Gark isn't above killing off both the sheep and the wolves that sympathize with prey. But he will not abide traitors who turn on their own kind, even if that kind is the very people he's out to kill.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The dark wolves always seem to be one step ahead of Grey’s pack throughout the film, because as Ziko discovers, they have an inside man on their side: feeding them information and sabotaging Grey’s efforts. During the climax, it’s revealed to be Skinny, who hated having to live with sheep and wanted their society to return to the strict, segregated state it used to be in. However, he underestimated Gark’s intentions and immediately gets backstabbed himself when the rival alpha makes it clear he’s going to kill all his friends, something Skinny did not want, prompting him to pull a Heel–Face Turn back to Grey’s side out of desperation.
  • Foil: Thuggish Big Bad Gark serves a villainous foil to crafty Big Good Grey, as an example of what a bad leader looks like compared to a good one. Grey loves the wolves and sheep who turn to him for guidance; he constantly worries about whether or not he's good enough for his position and if he'll be able to protect them, since he has their best interests at heart; he believes in tolerance and acceptance; he's speedy and he likes to rely on his wits; and he likes to rally the collective strengths of his community to get a job done as a united front. Gark has no love and respect for anyone other than himself; he arrogantly believes his strict Social Darwinist approach to life is the best one and he will not tolerate anyone disrespecting him or disobeying him; he thinks of men as thugs or faceless grunts more than any sort of family; he muscles his way through life with sheer raw power and brute strength to assert himself since he values it over any other skill; his Fantastic Racism makes him very controlling and bigoted towards people who have absolutely nothing to do with him; and he's ultimately willing to cut his pack loose without a second thought at the end after they mutiny, since he only ever saw them as an extension of his own might and reputation anyway, trying to take on Grey's whole pack alone.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Like Grey’s pack in the first film, all the dark wolves except for Big Bad Gark are able to be talked down by Marlene (who they had befriended and discovered their sensitive sides with throughout the film), since they’re tired of fighting battles they aren’t fully invested in for their controlling, abusive Jerkass boss. The rebellious dark wolves merge with Grey’s pack by the end of the film, leading happier, more fulfilling lives as a result.
  • Heroic BSoD: Grey undergoes several examples throughout the film, since he already had doubts about being the leader of his pack and a community of sheep, before Gark beating him down and humiliating him, Skinny’s constant sabotage, and the threat of all his friends being wiped out by rival wolves because of his own failure, destroys what little confidence he had.
  • Karmic Transformation: Gark is a bigoted bully of an alpha wolf who hates prey animals for being weak, and hates Grey’s pack even more for lowering themselves to their standards, making it his mission to make an example out of them. After suffering a Villainous Breakdown, he refuses to admit defeat and relinquish his obsession, so he guzzles downs some of Marlene’s magic potion to gain super strength so he can crush them all, only to wind up turning into a meek, harmless prey animal himself against his will - exactly the sort of thing he hates. He’s no longer a threat to our heroes: having lost his strength and lost his authority over his pack, who have all rebelled against him. Compared to the Big Bad of the previous film though, who straight-up died, Gark got off easy, and by the final scene of the movie, he seems to have resigned himself to his fate and found a bit of a silver lining as a pig.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Three examples. Skinny spends most of the movie sabotaging Grey’s attempts to save everyone from the dark wolves, since he’s turned traitor and joined their side. Except when he sabotages Ziko’s fort, putting everyone in danger, things go horribly wrong and Skinny himself is nearly crushed to death by the collapsing structure when his leg gets pinned by debris, before his friend doubles back to save him. Later, when Skinny shows his true colors as a traitor, Gark immediately stabs him in the back and has him imprisoned with Grey, now that he no longer needs him. Finally, Gark makes one last attempt to kill Grey and his friends by downing Marlene’s magic potion, hoping to gain super strength and crush them all, and winds up suffering a Karmic Transformation instead into the sort of thing he hates.
  • Make an Example of Them: Gark aims to either run Grey's community out of town, humiliate them, or straight-up kill them to send a message to other wolves (traitors in his eyes) who would dare to buck the laws of nature.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: It's implied that Gark being a such Jerkass Bad Boss constantly is part of the reason why Marlene is able to easily sway the dark wolves into betraying him and joining Grey's pack by the end of the film, when she offers them the chance to be free to express themselves and become more than just faceless, macho foot soldiers.
  • Mook–Face Turn: The dark wolves turn against Gark and become their own men when Marlene helps them realize joining Grey's side is a much option in the long run for everyone involved.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: As stupid and selfish as Skinny’s actions were throughout the film, he only wanted a return to the strict dynamic of predator and prey from the first film, and he thought the dark wolves would step in and restore that. It never occurred to him that Gark would try to kill all of his friends out of spite, and he’s suitably horrified when he realizes that’s exactly what’s going to happen thanks to him preventing all of Grey’s countermeasures.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: As a stronger fighter, Gark overpowers Grey and humiliates him early in the film when they first meet. During their rematch in the climax, Grey gains the upper-hand for a long time, using his wits and speed, until Gark suffers a Villainous Breakdown and subjects Grey to a brutal pummeling for revenge.
  • The Mole: Skinny turns out to be a traitor who had been feeding information to the dark wolves throughout the film, and sabotaging Grey’s efforts to defend the community from them.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: As an arrogant, brutish alpha wolf who’s a social darwinist, Gark has trained his men to be rough, tough, resilient, athletic, disciplined and opportunistic: a formidable fighting force, capable of crushing anyone they need to. So he is quite annoyed to find Marlene encouraging them to branch out with their interests and discover there’s more to them than just raw, brute strength. Over the course of the film, some of the men discover a love for some rather feminine hobbies without shame, like knitting for fun. After he’s been turned into a pig for an indefinite amount of time, Gark finally caves and tries out knitting himself, and he seems to like it.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: After Skinny’s true nature is revealed and Gark has gotten what he needs from him, he promptly double-crosses him in return, because one, he knows Skinny would never be onboard with his true plans for Grey’s pack, and two, Skinny has shown himself to be a traitor and Gark hates traitors about as much as prey animals and prey sympathizers.
  • Savage Wolves: Like the Big Bad of the previous film, Gark is a great example of a savage wolf villain. He’s a bully who treats everyone poorly, no matter what species they are; a brute who thinks he can power his way through life relying on raw strength and toughness; a bigot who hates prey animals and prey sympathizers to an obsessive level; a social darwinist who believes his status as a rough and tough alpha allows him to walk all over weaker animals; and a Bad Boss who treats his own subordinate packmates like trash, who’s sole motivation for doing what he does to Grey and his pack is his own hatred and brutality. He even goes so far as to try to kill other wolves along with sheep out of spite, just to satisfy his arrogance and desire for revenge.
  • The Social Darwinist: As a bully and a brute among wolves, Gark firmly believes that might makes right. He pushes his packmates to be in the best condition as fighters - drilling them to be rough, tough, ruthless and resilient - and he firmly believes that wolves standing on top of weak prey animals as their food source to be exploited, exerting their dominance as the greater species, is the natural way of life that must never be blasphemed. In fact, the only thing Gark hates more than meek prey animals are prey sympathizers like Grey who go against his worldview.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Gark doesn’t think very highly of his subordinate packmates, who often seem to care more about goofing off or protecting their own hides than carrying out his orders.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Gark was already a bullying Jerkass to begin with, but he seems to undergo a bit of Sanity Slippage throughout the film, as Grey and his friends continue to stand up to him and outsmart him, while he steadily loses his iron grip over his packmates. During the climax, when Grey takes back control and seems to be on the verge of beating him, he snaps completely. When Grey delivers a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to him about how pathetic his bigotry is, and how his social darwinist ideology is ultimately unsustainable, Gark proceeds to deliver the most vicious No-Holds-Barred Beatdown in the film to him. And when his pack mutinies against him, officially turning the tide in Grey’s favor, he madly decides to guzzle down Marlene’s magic potion - presumably so he can try to beat them all to death. Luckily, the potion had been contaminated by Skinny at that point, and his plan backfired.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: After Skinny realizes what his actions have done and what Gark is going to do to all his friends, he switches side again and teams up with Grey to save everyone - and despite the others being quite rightly angry with him, he's eventually welcomed back into the herd / pack.

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