November 14, 2005, Epoch Times
A classic fable spurs Disney’s latest animated motion picture
Disney’s “Chicken Little” is the company’s first foray into homegrown digital animation – absent Pixar Animation Studios. The immense potential in combining Disney magic with such a beloved tale is an exciting prospect. The end result, however, may leave audiences diving back into their DVD collections for another look at “Finding Nemo,” instead.
Still reeling from the embarrassment of the “sky is falling” incident, Chicken Little is desperate to make his father proud and become known for something other than being that “crazy little chicken.” He gets his chance when an alien invasion hits Oakey Oaks. The story is comical and entertaining as the adventure ensues and is peppered with a unique cast of characters and even some 70’s disco.
Buck Cluck, Chicken Little’s father and the highlight of the film, is portrayed by the lovable Garry Marshall. A widower and former town sports star, he is coping with his expectations of his son and the challenges of being a single parent. The father-son relationship is a major theme of the film.
The supporting cast is made up of an entourage of familiar names including Foxy Loxy and Turkey Lurkey, as well as Abby Mallard (The Ugly Duckling), Runt of the Litter, and Fish Out of Water. Each is unique in his or her own way, but all seem a bit unusual. Foxy Loxy, a female, is the star of the baseball team and an intimidating school bully; Turkey Lurkey, the male town mayor, prances through scenes and displays a high-pitched voice; Runt of the Litter, a male friend of Chicken Little, is scared of everything and is an apparent Barbra Streisand fan. Abby Mallard, Chicken Little’s female friend, seems courageous and to have all of the answers. In fact each female character seems empowered and each male fraught with inadequacy.
Chicken Little, himself, is an endearing character played by Zach Braff. Throughout the movie this little chicken, despite immense pressure from his father, his peers and the townspeople, remains true to his values and endures. This is a positive message for the film and one that could lead to fruitful discussions between parents and children.
“Chicken Little,” however, falls short of what audiences have learned to expect after enjoying “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo,” “Toy Story,” and the like. Children will likely laugh and be entertained, but the story-line fails to really grab the audience and the odd choices of music and character traits leave the film feeling a bit disjointed. Perhaps it would be more entertaining to dig up the original story of Chicken Little and wait until this version is released on DVD.