CHICKEN LITTLE, 2005
Starring: Zach Braff, Steve Zahn, Joan Cusack
After ruining his reputation with the town, a courageous chicken must come to the rescue of his fellow citizens when aliens start an invasion.
Ordinarily, I end up getting annoyed at Hollywood when they make a movie version of something and then put a weird twist on the source material. For instance, I can already tell I'm going to HATE the upcoming "Battleship" movie... taking a beloved boardgame and turning it into an alien invasion movie? Something about that just rapes my childhood. In "Chicken Little", they took the classic fairy tale and spun it into an alien invasion film. The difference here is that they did it really REALLY well and the outcome is an epic animated film that had me busting a gut laughing so hard!
One morning in the small suburban town of Oakey Oak, Chicken Little (a child chicken who is very short, very scrawny, and wears enormous glasses) rings the school bell and frantically tells the town to run for their lives, because the sky is falling! This causes fear and chaos among the townsfolk until they realize the sky isn't falling and confront Chicken Little to find out what happened. He tells them that an octagonal section of the sky fell on his head while he was sitting under a tree. When he goes to show them the piece that fell on him, it's nowhere to be found. Chicken Little's embarrassed dad informs everyone that it must have just been an acorn, and the town laughs at Chicken Little, deeming him to be crazy.
One year later, everyone in the town treats Chicken Little as if her were a leper. His only friends are Runt of the Litter (an obese piglet, and one of the "three little pigs"), Abby Mallard (the ugly duckling) and Fish out of Water (a walking, mute fish who's head is in an helmet filled with water). Even Chicken Little's father avoids Chicken Little. Abby suggests Chicken Little talk to his dad about it, but instead, Chicken Little joins the baseball team, despite his puny size. In the big game, Chicken Littler miraculously hits the ball into the outfield. It was an easy triple, but Chicken Little is determined to make it the game winning home run, and barely touches home plate before being tagged by the ball. His team wins the championship!
That night, an octagonal section of the sky falls into Chicken Little's bedroom and it turns out to be an electronic device that changes it's appearance to blend into its surroundings. Chicken Little calls his 3 friends over to investigate. When Fish presses a button on the device, it rises into the sky, taking Fish with it. The other 3 chase after it and discover it's part of a UFO. They go inside and rescue Fish. Chicken Little tries to warn the town about the aliens, but the UFO flies away before they arrive. The townsfolk again ridicule Chicken Little, but the UFO has left behind an infant alien.
The following day, swarms of UFOs return to the town, causing havoc and chaos as the parents of the alien child that was left behind search for their baby. Chicken Little and his friends must get the alien child back to its parents before the town is destroyed.
Yeah, I thought the story of "Chicken Little" sounded crazy too at first, but then I watched the movie and it has since become one of my favorite animated films! There are things in Chicken Little that can be found humorous by children and adults alike. I, for one, was actually crying from laughing so hard in certain scenes. This animated film is hysterical while also having elements of a drama (like the rift between Chicken Little and his father, and the shy crush Abby Mallard has on Chicken Little). The voice acting is perfect (I can't think of a better cast), and the story is definitely unique and interesting despite being zany... but hey, it's a cartoon! It's allowed to be zany.
"Chicken Little" is a lesser known Disney movie that sadly didn't do so well at the box office, but still one that should be checked out. It's good enough, in my opinion, to be classed among other recent Disney classics like "Wall-E" and "The Incredibles", despite Pixar not being a part of it.
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