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Chicken Little (G)

Release Date: November 4th, 2005 by Walt Disney Pictures.
The Voices: Zach Braff, Garry Marshall, Don Knotts, Patrick Stewart, Amy Sedaris, Steve Zahn, Joan Cusack, Wallace Shawn, Harry Shearer, Fred Willard, Catherine O’Hara, Dan Molina.
Directed by Mark Dindal.

BASIC PREMISE: Chicken Little (Braff) tries to prove that the sky is really falling in his town.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: There’s enough amazing visuals and abundant energy to make this a highly entertaining film. The first inventive scene makes fun of traditional ways of prefacing an animated film. The next scene, part of the sky falls and hits Chicken Little on his head, but nobody witnessed it, the townspeople, including his father (Marshall), think he’s crazy and even end up making a movie about him. The rest of the film, Chicken Little encounters more supernatural events and sets out to uncover the source along with his quirky friends, Ugly Duckling (Cusack, Runt of the Litter (Zahn), and Fish Out of Water (Molina). The most hilarious-looking character happens to be Runt of the Litter, especially when he tries to run. Fish Out of Water is also quite funny while Chicken Little just remains adorable throughout. The plot is predictable and meanders at times, but there’s enough going on onscreen to hold your interest. Also, it’s very fun to point out all of the references to other movies, including Indiana Jones, War of the World, E.T., and Shrek. Although there’s no donkey to provide most of the humor like in Shrek, there are plenty of hilarious satirical details that come by at you so quickly that they require a second viewing, such as a magazine called Cosmopoultry . The soundtrack includes many fine oldies that boost a lot of energy. The real pleasure, though, is watching the stunning 3D animation. For example there’s the use of “squash and stretch”, which borrows from 2D animation to make the movements more life-like and also helps to bring out the personality of each character through their facial expressions.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: The relationship between Chicken Little and his father is surprisingly poignant at times. Despite that his father doesn’t believe him, he still loves and cares about him. Just as Ugly Duckling says, what they need is closure to heal their relationship. In other words, they should openly talk to one another.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Predictable, occasionally meandering, thin-plot.


THE BOTTOM LINE: Although sporadically funny with a wafer-thin plot, there’s enough stunning animation and plenty of fun characters to make it an irresistibly entertaining ride.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run), especially in Disney Digital 3-D.

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