Movie 46: Chicken Little

chicken little

I couldn’t sleep last night and so I put on Chicken Little. I’d love to say that it gave me less nightmares but holy freaking “are you kidding me Disney?”

There is literally one thing I liked in this movie- Chicken Little is kind of a cute design.

ChickenLittle

I hate doing negative reviews.  I’m not trying to dog on films.  I have done my best to be positive but I didn’t like this movie at all.  It makes me want to go back and be nicer to The Aristocats…

Chicken Little is Disney’s first 3D completely computer animated film.  They were trying to compete with Pixar and Dreamworks (especially Dreamworks with this one).

And boy did it fail.  It is the lowest rated movie on rotten tomatoes in the entire Disney Canon.

The Story-

I don’t want this review to be super mean spirited but that would be appropriate given the tone of this movie.

Basically the story is Chicken Little see’s the sky is falling and he warns the town.  They panic (why would a town panic if a little kid said something like that. Is he like the Dali Lama of the town?  Why not just ignore the brat?).

Everyone hates him for getting them worked up including his father.  And this father is an awful character.  He hates his son.  That’s his complete purpose in the story- to be embarrassed and ashamed of his son and to communicate the shame quite clearly repeatedly.

dadHe is the villain of the movie but it doesn’t seem to get that.  I guess it thinks the aliens are the villain or maybe the town? I have no idea.  But the father is so terrible to his son.  He literally hangs his head in shame and tries to deny knowledge of said son in front of the the whole town!  Why doesn’t he ask one question of his son?  Maybe try to see why he persists with stories that are causing him such harm?  Surely there is a reason.

So Chicken (I guess that’s his first name) goes to school and hopes to please his father.  There we get introduced to his troop of loser friends.

Disney-Chicken-Little-FriendsThey all have names that are supposed to be funny if you are 5 like the fish out of water is named Fish Out of Water, or the duckling is named Ugly Duckling.  Or this is really funny the giant pig is named Runt of the Litter…  Ha, ha, ha, ha…

There’s also scenes where we see supposed ‘sight gags’.  This is a joke in the background which is meant to be subtly funny and they can be. The Simpsons uses them all the time (a theater sign or name of a store could be funny in the background) . In chicken Little they have a guy using a goat to clip his lawn.  Ha, ha, ha, ha.  That’s not funny.

Or we get a fish driving around in a fish car.

fish carWhat will he do to get out of the fish car?  Roger Ebert once said  ‘a car has never made a movie funny’ and that is so true.  Props of any kind are not inherently funny.  It’s what the comic or movie does with said prop that makes (or doesn’t make) the joke.  When it doesn’t work it is just confusing.  Why are they doing that?

So we get a long painful dodge ball scene and then Chicken decides to join the baseball team (and we haven’t had any reference to the sky falling for some time) because his father was the big hero.  He trains and the big game comes with every tired big game cliche ever included in a baseball movie.  It makes Casey at Bat from Make Mine Music look subtle… And yet everything had been so awful for the poor cluck I wanted him to have his moment.  But even that is ruined and made more an achievement of luck than any kind of real accomplishment from Chicken Little.

ChickenLittle baseball

The other thing I wonder about is why aren’t there any other chickens?  I mean I assume they are all vegetarians in this movie so why aren’t there lots of chickens and they are roughly around the same size.  Surely there would be other chicken close to CL’s size but wouldn’t that be a problem given his name is Chicken?

But I’m way overthinking this movie, way overthinking…

So CL is the hero after the game, even to his dear old Dad.  But then he see’s the sky falling again.  Turns out they are aliens who can replicate the earth with the tiles of their spaceship.  Should CL risk telling the town again after his new found fame?  Again, why does anyone care about this one little kid in their town?  I mean for a character who is repeatedly ignored at school, the adults sure care what he thinks and says.

But the people panic and come but the aliens are invisible again with the tiles so Dad is shamed again and everyone hates CL but his 3 friends. I mean the people in this town are really mean.   But the aliens have left a stowaway baby alien.  The alien design is pretty unique.. I will give it that.

alienSo then we get our 3rd part of the movie where everyone realizes CL was telling the truth but the aliens are attacking to get their baby back.  People get zapped, Dad and CL reconcile way too easily and it turns out the aliens aren’t really bad guys but just misunderstood cool dudes (groan…).  Plus, the music during this scene is REM’s ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It’.  Is that supposed to be funny? Don’t get me wrong.  I love the song but I HATE IT when movies tell you how to feel and nothing does that more than that kind of music cue.

So now CL is the hero and the story is over.

Movie Review/Conclusion-

Want a point by point 17 minute rehashing of why this movie is an ‘animated atrocity’ check out this video from Animation Atrocities youtube series. 

.   Major language warning but he is right!

I might be willing to give this movie a pass as junk but it is so mean-spirited.   It will do nothing for your kids imagination or creativity.  The story is awful and it will make them fear being alone not standing up for yourself.  Basically CL only gets love once he is proven right.  That’s a great lesson for kids.  The Dad says he loves him regardless- hogwash.  Say that when you were hiding your face in shame as your son tried to defend himself.  It teaches the opposite of acceptance.  That people will be judgmental unless you are 100% perfect.

But all of that wouldn’t matter much if it was clever.  Instead it is so lazy and didn’t even make me laugh.  Not one time and believe me it tries A LOT!

Roger Ebert once said about a film  “this movie was not preferable to 1 hour and 45 minutes of looking at a blank wall” 

There you go.  That’s Chicken Little.  I would rather stare at a blank wall for 81 minutes.  In fact, I may go and do that for a bit.

Overall Grade- F  I’m calling it.  Worse than Dinosaur.  I agree with Rotten Tomatoes.  Worst movie in Canon. 

Oh and I almost forgot- there is an entire verse of a Spice Girls song sung by a character which I guess is supposed to be funny?  Just cringe inducing to me.

Oh and a strange reference to Indiana Jones at the beginning.  Why have one image of a human in the movie?  And Indiana Jones?  It doesn’t make sense.

 

indiana jones

22 thoughts on “Movie 46: Chicken Little

  1. Dinosaurs is worse in my book, because at least there is some creativity in Chicken Little…it is a tight race to the bottom, though.

    But you know what? There is actually a lot I like about the movie. I like the father and son interactions (I don’t think that the father hates his son, he just does want him to be safe and happy and can’t communicate this particularly well, while the son is unable to communicate what really troubles him), I like all the details which went in the backgrounds, I like the totally off-the wall story which I certainly didn’t see coming…all this would be enough for me to excuse the stupid puns. But what breaks the movie for me is that it is so unpleasant overall.

    I think it boils mostly down to the character of Foxy. The mean girl part is way overdone and her “punishment” in the end the stuff for nightmares. I have serious issue with the fact that it is portrayed as okay to brainwash her to be nice AND put her in a relationship with a guy she despised beforehand. The unfortunate implications in this one are mind boggling.

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    1. I forgot about that. Totally bizarre! It really is so unpleasant.

      You are far kinder than I am. It actually seemed kind of lazy. Like if they just took the jokes a little bit farther it would have been an actual joke. Like don’t just have a character pretending to be King Kong. Have them rescue someone or I don’t know do something funny. Just to reference something is like what Scary Movie or Date Movie do. It isn’t a joke.

      The Dad seemed ashamed of his son to me and never said ‘boy you are looking cute today’ or some small compliment. It was all so negative. Merlin in Finding Nemo is constantly worried about his son and wants him to be safe and happy but it is all in a very manic likable way. This is just so critical.

      To make matters worse the various segments feel episodic to me. The baseball part is never really mentioned again. The sky falling is dropped for long periods. It feels like a show on Nicktoons or whatever the current version is called. Like a Jimmy Newtron or something.

      Dinosaur was pretty painful too. Can I have co-worsts?

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      1. It’s just enjoyable. It’s stupid, but I dunno…I like all the puns and humor in the movie.

        I don’t go to theaters much; this was actually the 2nd film I ever saw in theaters, so maybe I have a nostalgic feeling to it too.

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      2. Fair enough. I have dumb comedies I like say Napoleon Dynamite but at least that is about nice people. The Dad was just so judgmental, the whole town really that it was hard for me to like it as a stupid movie.

        But that’s just me. I get what you are saying.

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  2. Sometimes, you need to dog the hell out of a movie, and you will be hearing me dog a lot about the next few films (including this one). Chicken Little is a mess. A lot does not make sense, plot points are abandoned almost instantly, the characters are extremely flat and unlikable (including Chicken Little), the humor is horrible, and there is no effort put into it other than to make 2 year olds laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. When it deserves it, it deserves it. It would be one thing if it wasn’t so unlikable. Everyone is such jerks that it’s exhausting.
      The humor on Chicken Little is really at a Date Movie, Epic Movie, Scary Movie level. Just having something ‘look funny’ isn’t enough. There has to be a real joke.

      You are totally right about the plot too. We spend all the time on the dodge ball and then never hear about it again. And then the baseball and then it’s done. And then alien story. All done badly . All boring and crass and mean.

      It really sucks. Look forward to reading your vent session. We are in this together!!😉

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  3. Honestly, I’d switch grade places between this and Home On The Range and give this one the D- and Home son The Range the F. Are they both bad. For the most part, yes. Still, I thought it was a little better than Home On The Range in my book even though most people think otherwise. Anyway, feel free to let me know your thoughts on that.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed! I give this one a hair up for there being a couple, if not few, funny parts. Oh, and no offense if you didn’t like it, but I liked the remake of “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” that the characters performed during the credits.

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      2. Don’t ever have to worry about offending me. It’s just an opinion. As valid as anyone else’s. Chicken Little didn’t get one laugh out of me. Most of the jokes felt unfinished like the punch line never really made it. The only thing I liked about it was I thought Chicken Little was pretty cute.

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    1. win some you lose some. Still love Disney and they have the best track record of any studio. The fact that 40 movies got an average grade or higher with 22/54 getting an A grade is pretty amazing.

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