Chicken Little Review
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Disney has cornered the market on animated fairy tales—especially the grand and magnificent ones, with elegant princesses and handsome princes and happily-ever-afters. But, from time to time, they’ll try giving a familiar fairy tale an unexpected twist—as in 2005’s quirky take on the classic Chicken Little story.

Chicken Little (voiced by Zach Braff) is the laughingstock of the town of Oakey Oaks. A year ago, the scrawny teenage chicken raced to warn everyone in town that the sky was falling, but no one believed him—not even his dad (Garry Marshall). Since then, he’s been trying to think of a way to redeem himself.

Once Chicken Little finally finds a way to make his dad proud of him, it happens again: something falls from the sky and hits him on the head. Instead of telling his dad (who won’t believe him anyway), he goes to his best friends: Abby “Ugly Duckling” Mallard (Joan Cusack), Runt of the Litter (Steve Zahn), and Fish out of Water. Their investigation leads them to an invisible spaceship—and a possible plot to destroy Earth.

  
 
You won’t find Chicken Little on a whole lot of favorite-movies lists—because it’s not one of Disney’s best. The story is certainly odd, mashing aliens and talking animals into a strange little tale that Mother Goose never would have concocted (at least not without a bit of chemical assistance). It’s random and scattered, filled with scenes that have little or nothing to do with the actual story. Along the way, you’ll find yourself distracted by karaoke numbers (with Abby and Runt rocking out to the Spice Girls) and dodge ball games—as well as an entire season of baseball.

Not only is it short on story, but it’s also short on smarts. Like its title character, Chicken Little tries just a little too hard to be cool—from its choices in music to its dialogue (i.e.: “Oh, snap!”)—and its humor relies just a little too much on bodily functions.

Still, Chicken Little does have its moments. Anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider will be able to relate to poor Chicken Little, a lovable loser who can’t even get the support of his own dad (who, incidentally, is such a horrible father that it’s sometimes depressing). He’s like an animated teenage chicken version of Woody Allen (complete with the glasses). He’s joined by other lovably quirky characters, too—especially Cusack’s Abby and the ever-enthusiastic Fish.

It isn’t a must-see—and it definitely isn’t a timeless Disney classic—but Chicken Little will still entertain kids with its silly sense of humor, its cute, underdog story, and (perhaps best of all) its wild 3D animation. And that alone makes this unconventional fairy tale a decent pick for a rainy Saturday afternoon.


Blu-ray 3D Review:
The 3D animation is actually one of the best things about Disney’s Chicken Little. It’s definitely gimmicky—with everything from laser beams to dodge balls flying out of the screen—but it makes the film fun to watch.

The new Blu-ray 3D release of Chicken Little also includes Blu-ray and DVD versions of the film, both of which come complete with plenty of extras: music videos, games, and much more. On the Blu-ray disc, you can choose to watch the film with an additional audio commentary or the filmmaker Q&A track, which gives you the opportunity to choose from a list of questions, which are then answered by director Mark Dindal and producer Randy Fullmer. You’ll also find eight deleted scenes (with optional filmmaker introductions), a Space Invaders-like game, and a bunch of original DVD extras (including a making-of feature).

The 3D disc may not come with any extras, but the features on the set’s other two discs make up for it. So, once you finish watching the film in 3D, be sure to pop the other discs into your player, too.

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