Movie Review: Chicken Little

What do you do if you have a reputation for running around crying “Wolf! Wolf!” at anything that moves? More specifically, what if everyone thinks you’re a total loon because you ran around screaming “the sky is falling!” when it’s obvious to everyone that the sky is right where it always was, and you were just set off by having an acorn land on your dome? Pretty embarrassing, huh?

This is the position that Chicken Little finds himself in at the beginning of Disney’s new computer animated feature film starring none other than the little chicken himself (voiced by Zack Braff).

“This epic tale,” according to Disney’s press notes, “presents a whole new twist to the classic fable of a young chicken who causes widespread panic when he mistakes a falling acorn for a piece of sky.”

Given his checkered past, Chicken Little is determined to redress his previous mistakes and restore his reputation as a solid, level-headed citizen, when – wouldn’t you know it?! – a real piece of the sky actually does land on his head! Now, what the heck is a young chicken to do?

Suspense, intrigue, chaos and plenty of laughs should ensue when Chicken Little and his band of misfit cohorts – Abby Mallard (aka, the Ugly Duckling), Runt of the Litter and Fish Out of Water – try to avert catastrophe and save the world, without sending everyone into another tailspin.

Whether they succeed in this venture remains to be seen, as the film was not ready for viewing at press time; however, it may be of some interest to know that Disney needs a hit out of this film. Given the disappointing box office of their last two animated features (Treasure Planet and Home on the Range), and the uncertainty as to whether Disney will continue it’s successful partnership with Pixar Animation Studios, which has yielded a string of computer-animated hits (Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles), it is vital for the company to prove that it can make successful computer-animated features on its own. So there is a lot riding on Chicken Little’s back. But, as the PR material states, “When it comes to saving the world, it helps to be a little chicken.”

The movie, which opens Nov. 4, is rated PG.

– Philip Murphy

More Movie Reviews of new and recent releases.