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Chicken Little

Chicken Little (2005) Movie Poster
  •  USA  •    •  81m  •    •  Directed by: Mark Dindal.  •  Starring: Zach Braff, Garry Marshall, Don Knotts, Patrick Stewart, Amy Sedaris, Steve Zahn, Joan Cusack, Wallace Shawn, Harry Shearer, Fred Willard, Catherine O'Hara, Patrick Warburton, Adam West.  •  Music by: John Debney.
       After Chicken Little causes widespread panic--when he mistakes a falling acorn for a piece of the sky--the young chicken is determined to restore his reputation. But just as things are starting to go his way, a real piece of the sky lands on his head. Chicken Little and his band of misfit friends, Abby Mallard (aka Ugly Duckling), Runt of the Litter and Fish Out of Water, attempt to save the world without sending the town into a whole new panic.

Trailers:

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Review:

Image from: Chicken Little (2005)
Image from: Chicken Little (2005)
Image from: Chicken Little (2005)
Image from: Chicken Little (2005)
Image from: Chicken Little (2005)
Image from: Chicken Little (2005)
Image from: Chicken Little (2005)
Image from: Chicken Little (2005)
Image from: Chicken Little (2005)
Image from: Chicken Little (2005)
Image from: Chicken Little (2005)
It seems that since about 1996, critics have been ready to say that Disney animation is dead. I remember reading mighty harsh reviews about "Pocahontas" (sorry guys, it's not a bad movie. maybe not historically accurate, but if that's what you're after from an animated movie where people break out in song, then your issues go beyond what I can discuss.) I also remember reading about how "The Emperor's New Groove" was going to kill the Disney name (forgetting that it is one of the funniest movies Disney had made in a long time). In fact, I'm of the opinion that Disney feature animation hasn't made one out-and-out stinker. "Home on the Range" is certainly a far cry from "Beauty and the Beast", but taken on it's own terms, it's still a light, colorful, fun cartoon.

Which brings me to "Chicken Little". I did lament the decision by Disney executives to kill their traditional animation department. I felt that it was a knee-jerk decision based on numbers and not rational thought. The only thing that made me somewhat hopeful for "Chicken Little" was the pedigree of the people involved in making it. Needless to say, the advanced commercials for the movie did little to ignite any further desire to see it. Well, I'm happy to report that, despite reports to the contrary, the sky hasn't fallen at Disney. While "Chicken Little" is no where near the studios glory days, it's far superior to the dreck that most other animated studios put out (excluding Pixar, of course).

The plot begins simply. Chicken Little is paying the price for the whole "sky is falling" incident. Very few people, including his father, believed him before and he is taunted by all but his closest friends. Like many family films, animated and otherwise, the main point is a familiar one, a child's bond (or lack thereof) with a parent. However, the plot of Chicken Little takes an unexpected turn when the sky literally does fall. The commercials for the movie have made no secret of the fact that this involves alien life-forms, but the filmmakers did a good job of keeping the meat of the story (not to mention most of the best jokes) out of the advertising. I won't expound on the story, only to say that it's mainly an excuse for a cavalcade of jokes (some better than others) and a quite funny spoof of "War of the Worlds".

The movie is colorful in a way that somehow seems to allude many non-Pixar computer animated films and has a very game voice cast that is willing to give their all for a laugh. It has the same "everything, including the kitchen sink" feel that "The Emperor's New Groove" had and ends up being just as entertaining. Sure, overall it's just a frantic, pop-culture laden comedy, but the jokes are (mostly) very funny, so the worst that can be said is that the movie lives up to it's modest goals of entertainment.

It's not the best of Disney, but it's also far from the worst and it does make me curious what the next step for the Mouse House will be. If they could only get back the balance of humor, technique and heart that they once had, the critics might have to start eating some serious crow.


Review by elispaul from the Internet Movie Database.