5.9/10
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Free Birds (2013)

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Two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history, and get Turkeys off the Thanksgiving menu for good.

Director:

Jimmy Hayward

Writers:

Scott Mosier (screenplay), Jimmy Hayward (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Owen Wilson ... Reggie (voice)
Woody Harrelson ... Jake (voice)
Amy Poehler ... Jenny (voice)
George Takei ... S.T.E.V.E. (voice)
Colm Meaney ... Myles Standish (voice)
Keith David ... Chief Broadbeak (voice)
Dan Fogler ... Governor Bradford (voice)
Jimmy Hayward ... Ranger / Leatherbeak / President / Hazmats / Additional Voice Talent (voice)
Kaitlyn Maher ... President's Daughter (voice)
Carlos Alazraqui ... Amos (voice)
Jeff Biancalana Jeff Biancalana ... General Sagan / Hazmats / Additional Voice Talent (voice)
Danny Carey ... Danny (voice)
Carlos Ponce ... Narrator / Alejandro (voice)
Robert Beltran ... Chief Massasoit (voice)
Lesley Nicol ... Pilgrim Woman (voice)
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Storyline

After years of fruitless warning of his farmyard brethren of the coming Thanksgiving doom, Reggie the Turkey finds himself spared as the annual Pardoned Turkey. However, Reggie's easy life is disrupted by Jake, a fanatic turkey who drags him along with the insane idea of going back in time to make sure turkeys are not part of the first Thanksgiving. Through foolhardiness and luck, the pair manage to take an experimental time machine to do just that. Now in 1621 at the Plymouth colony, Reggie and Jake find themselves in the middle of a turkey clan's struggle for survival. In doing so, their preconceptions of the world and themselves are challenged forever in a conflict from which the world will never be the same. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On Nov. 1 hang on to your nuggets See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some action/peril and rude humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Turkeys See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,805,237, 3 November 2013, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$55,750,480

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$110,387,072
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the end, Jake (Woody Harrelson) is carrying a chicken and a duck, and warns the turkeys about a "turducken". A "turducken" is a boneless chicken stuffed in a duck that is stuffed in a turkey. See more »

Goofs

The rifles used in the movie by the Pilgrims are percussion cap rifles which were not produced until after 1807. See more »

Quotes

Reggie: I was thinking, hypothetically, wait, do you know what that word means?
Jenny: No, but I can imagine a scenario where I might.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a scene during the credits where Jake returns holding a duck and a chicken under both of his arms. When asked by Reggie why he returned, Jake's response is, "Have you heard about the turducken?" See more »

Connections

References Angry Birds (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Up Around The Bend
Written by John Fogerty (as John C. Fogerty)
Performed by Social Distortion
Courtesy of Swing and Swagger, LLC
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Falls into the "not that bad but could have been much better" category
1 December 2013 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Free Birds is not really a good or great film, nor is it terrible. If there was a word to sum it up it would be mediocre. Is it the worst animated film of the year? No, that dishonour goes to Sir Billi(which was billed as Sean Connery's comeback!). Is it the best? Again, no, that's so far been between Monsters University and Despicable Me 2(have high hopes for Frozen, and that is looking like that will be even better than these two). Free Birds does have a few things that came off well. The animation has some nice bright colours and attention to detail(though the character designs could have been smoother in places), the soundtrack is catchy, the scene with the hunters destroying the turkey's nest is indeed tense and the voice acting has the right amount of zest and energy, Woody Harrelson is almost unrecognisable and is clearly having fun, Amy Poehler should do voice acting more often because she is born to do it and Owen Wilson brings some distinctive quirkiness as well(if at times on the one-note side). George Takei while bringing dignity to his part is very underused though, and it does feel like a waste. There are a lot of flaws as well unfortunately. The script lacks crispness and wit and has an overkill of turkey jokes that are both contrived and dumb, some gags are stretched out to pointlessness while the slapstick is heavy on predictability and over-broadness and light on fun and invention.

With the target audience too, children may enjoy it if they understand the humour but it is likely to go over the heads of adults. If that is the case, considering that Free Birds is a family film(NOT a kids' film) the film only does half its job well, if children are not amused it's a failure. Where I was, the reception from both children and adults were largely the latter, but then again it will be different with you. The story is well-intended but is far too simple- even for a family film- and predictable, while it also doesn't do anything with the time travel idea(which had great potential) that comes at the expense of the humour, which very little hits the mark really. The message is good if clumsily and heavy-handedly incorporated(likewise with the few emotional parts that were more manipulative than heartfelt), and there's no better about the characters unfortunately who suffer from flat personalities(some like Jake irritating too) and dealt with far too simplistically to the extent we know little about them. Non-US viewers may also find that because the film is so rooted in American customs and their early history that that is a further reason why the humour is likely to be lost on them. In conclusion, the potential and intentions are there, and it is not as bad as others have said- because the animation, music and voices are good and one scene came off well- but it was lacking in a lot of areas- mostly the humour and the story- and had a lot of wasted potential(doing little with the time travel idea and under-using George Takei). Despite how this sounds, it isn't terrible but rather mediocre, and this is not being said with vehemence but with a heavy heart from a 21-year old animation fan(to avoid over-generalising that defending of panned family films are prone to). 4/10 Bethany Cox


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