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Ridiculed by the animal inhabitants of the peaceful Oakey Oaks community for his absurd notion that the sky is falling, the well-meaning young chicken, Chicken Little, promises to prove everyone wrong. However, one long year later, there's still nothing on the horizon to justify Little's fears--when, out of the blue--the humiliated boy finally stumbles upon a real piece of evidence. Is Chicken Little and his loyal band of outcasts really on to something big this time?Written by
When Chicken Little is called into the baseball game, the cat character sitting next to his father, Buck Cluck, is identified in the subtitles as a Cheetah and yet has no spots. Later on in the movie, he does appear with spots. See more »
Now, where to begin?
[shaft of light and pixie dust]
How about "Once upon a time"?
[screen suddenly goes black]
How many times have you heard that to begin a story? Let's do something else.
I got it. I got it. Here we go. Here's how to open a movie.
[opening to The Lion King]
No, I don't think so. It sounds familiar, doesn't it to you?
[...] See more »
The Sky fell all right, but The Story was already a shattered mess
There have been many, many movies that Disney has put out that I've had a high desire to see "succeed". All in all, most Disney animated movies that have made it to the big screen in the more modern cinema history of, say, from "Beauty and the Beast" all the way up to "Lilo & Stitch" and "Brother Bear", have done that. Perhaps some are only a financial success, like "Treasure Planet", but certainly they were popular enough with one group of moviegoers or another to have a good box office take.
Unfortunately, "Chicken Little" is not a success.
In pooling my thoughts to review this movie, I am so highly disappointed that good animation is its only high mark. In this pivotal point in the history of The Walt Disney Company, where its relationship with Pixar is still on the rocks while a new president is stepping up, I wanted this movie to be a smashing success. I wanted this to be the movie that starts another Golden Age revolution, where it is possible that Disney takes the top spot in producing awesome animated movies.
I fear that there aren't many good storytellers left at Disney Feature Animation, and there didn't seem to by any present for the making of "Chicken Little". The story itself, chronicling the tales of the title character proving to his community that he is not a failure, was a good enough premise. Though it wasn't executed well at all. Instead of solid, premise-building scenes where it's main characters interact well with others (and get the audience laughing along the way), we get a sappy, melodramatic mini-soap with voice actors who don't have a good script...followed immediately by, more times than I'd care to recall, potty humor gags. Judging by the audience of my screening, made up of at least 40% little kids, only they found that funny.
With so many 3D animated movies coming out recently, like "Madagascar", "Robots" and "Valiant", all released this year, many companies are trying to prove their movie-making chops to us movie-goers. They can make a very beautiful looking movie, with wonderfully rendered characters that can move so fluidly and realistic...but the very vital element of sharing a good story is missing in action. It's my belief that a great story without great animation will be a much better movie than one that looks great, but has a weak story. Though, both elements are what made Pixar's "The Incredibles" an Oscar-contending, $265 million hit. Computer animation is, indeed, not the shoe-in, cure-all solution to a great movie.
To boot, "Chicken Little" has a weak soundtrack, composed mainly of songs that were popular at one time or another...to the pre-teen-aged crowd. Instead of beautiful, original, fully-composed songs like "A Whole New World" in "Aladdin" (or anything close to it), we are treated to Spice Girls' "If You Wanna Be My Lover" (complete, by the way, with karaoke subtitles). Unoriginal and highly annoying.
Having sufficiently railed on the movie, it is my belief that the corporate suits in charge of financing Feature Animation have more blame for the steady decline in their movies than anybody working under them. It seems they think they know what makes a successful movie, over-riding many decisions of the animators and storytellers--those who are still at Feature Animation--who have proved they can make great movies. I believe said pencil pushers are what made last year's "Home on the Range" fail, critically and financially.
All in all, I believe "Chicken Little" is a failure that I define as hot having a good story to match its sweet computer animation. In Disney's quest to prove that they are still the Best of the Best, movies like this will prove to the world that they are merely the best of the rest. And we all know that it's not the Disney we grew up on and cherished.
"Chicken Little" gets 4 of 10 stars
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