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4 out of 5 stars
Chicken Little
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 8, 2005
I do not have kids, I saw the trailers of this movie and thought I wanted to see it. The other night we were out to dinner with friends and we went out to see it with them and we laughed almost from beginning to end.

This has to be one of the best animated movies in years. It even starts, in a way, making fun of some of the great movies that came before. The story is appealing to any kid, or grown up for that matter, who ever struggles not being popular or understood. There are lessons about perserverance, friendship, hard work to overcome a handicap, powerful lessons for kids and big kids alike. The characters are all in high school, so the dynamics of being popular and fitting in and being a success are all there.

One of the things that got me was how quickly the time went, I laughed so much throughout the whole thing that the movie was over in minutes, seemingly.

Unlike some of the previous releases, there are no inuendos, and the adult humor is clean stuff that only the adults would laugh at not even Bugs Bunny adult humor. Even the music was tame, no heavy hip hop during and after the movie. It was something anyone could take their kids to and even buy when the DVD comes out. I am putting this on my wish list, first time for me to order a cartoon movie. I just think it is a movie that does not have crass borderline things in it.

Some may say that the teasing of the weak or unpopular in the movie is a negative, however, it is all with positive results with friendships being strengthened and the unpopular overcoming things and hanging together.

I have my favorite scenes, but I do not want to spoil this for anyone, the last scene will make you laugh and laugh when they make a movie about what Chicken Little and the gang did. The reflections and allusions in the movie are so on target. Disney hit a home run in this movie. A must see for young and old. The whole family needs to see this together.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2006
Format: DVD
The Disney studios dropped traditional animation. It is, for historical reasons, very sad and this is definitely the end of an era for animation, and cinema in general.

I must say the trailer for Chicken Little did not make this movie very appealing. We took our 4 year old daughter to see it and all enjoyed it after all. The humour is upbeat, no doubt modern, but never trivial or vulgar. The characters play much better than expected (the fish is a truly classic but effective cartoon character) and even though the storyline probably does not go any further than the average"Goof Troop" tv episode, the dialogues and the action surely deliver good entertainment.

For animation fans, which I am, I don't think we should try to compare Chicken Little with a Pixar film for it would not live up to that but still, this one comes highly recommanded.

Unlike some of the dreamworks 3D flicks, Chicken Little has a heart and you can feel that the animators and directors really have a good appreciation and understanding of animation.

A certain heritage and tradition of American animation lives on throught this movie.

Seeing that Disney scored at their first attempt at 3D animation is a relief, now let's wait for their next release to confirm the hopes.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 30, 2011
Format: DVD
Well this is one of those rare instances where the plethora of mediocre reviews littering the internet were invaluable at lowering my expectations going in. To be honest, I liked this one far, far more than I expected to based on popular consensus alone. I think the reason for this is due in part to the simple fact that I've done the old fable turned modern CG film many, many times in the past and can attest to how horribly wrong it can all go (try any of the Unstable Fables, Happily N'ever Afters and so on).

What we have here is a cutesy CG piece that by no means pushes the animation envelope (even for 2005 standards) that works off the tried and true formula of decent narrative rather than retina-popping visual appeal.

Zach Braff voices the title character; the resourceful little chicken of popular myth who sends the town into a panic when he rings the bell in the school tower while announcing that the sky is falling. Unable to find the piece of the sky that he saw fall, his father Buck Cluck (Garry Marshall) is naturally humiliated and tells his son to lay low for a while. Chicken Little abides by his father's wishes, and, in effort to follow in his father's footsteps, even joins the baseball team at school. Unfortunately just as it seems that things are okay between the father and son's strained relationship, another piece of the sky happens to fall (directly onto Chicken's head no less). The poor diminutive fowl is reluctant to even attempt to explain it a second time considering he hadn't even lived down his first lapse in judgment.

Chicken Little in the company of his best friends Abby Mallard (Ugly Duckling (Joan Cusack))) and Runt of the Litter (Steve Zahn), discover that sections of falling sky are in fact panels from a UFO being piloted by alien beings with a plan of total global domination.

Naturally he is unable to get anyone to believe him after his earlier humiliation but impending invasion waits not for the reconciliation of the boy who cried wolf, oh wait wrong fairy tale!

Like The Wild, Valiant, and Bolt, Chicken Little represents that period where Disney and Pixar's relationship was quite strained and "the Diz" was doing all they could to prove to the public (and to themselves) that they could pull off a computer-generated masterpiece without the help of Pixar.

Did they succeed with Chicken Little? Actually the answer to that one is a surprising yes. Not that this one raises the bar by any means; it can just as easily be viewed as committing no major gaffes either. What's here is a charming little piece that actually (and rarely) takes a fairy tale base and turns it into a modern-day adventure with a fitting homage to films like War of the Worlds.

Additionally impressive here is the humor, which actually relies upon well developed characters and solid scripting over visual gags or (ahem DreamWorks) sexual innuendos. In fact the film, like most Disney animated pieces, earns the G-rating and manages to pack some pretty intense sequences into the generally restrictive criteria. The world consists entirely of personified animals and casting Don Knotts as the jittery turkey mayor, Wallace Shawn as the canine school principle and the duo of Fred Willard and Catherine O'Hara as the alien couple proves that Disney's knack for selecting appropriate vocal talent was never in jeopardy.

Rather than take itself too seriously, Chicken Little keeps things light by integrating an incredibly rich in-film soundtrack that bounces all over the spectrum: everything from a catchy ditty written specifically for the film by the Bare Naked Ladies to the requisite It's the End of the World as We Know It (REM) during the alien invasion sequence. Other gems include an impromptu karaoke session to the Spice Girls' If you Wanna Be My Lover and the Bee Gees Stayin' Alive as character motivation (heck even the credit roll begins with a pretty funny rendition of Elton John's Don't go Breaking My Heart).

Living legend Hans Zimmer is responsible for the film's scoring so soaring highs, creepy lows and perfectly appropriate mood settings are a given.

In all the gags work with varying degrees of success: Runt of the Litter being a big Barbra Streisand fan will likely be lost on the vast majority of the intended audience but the Indiana Jones segment, for example, is fantastic stuff.

While the general opinion seems to label Chicken Little as a failure (or at the very least a failure in living up to its expectations), I tend to consider this, the first fully computer generated feature film produced in-house by Disney, a thoroughly enjoyable experience from beginning to end with just enough charm to appeal to viewers of all ages.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
POST-PRODUCTION 3D (converted from 2D to 3D)

My ratings are based mainly on the QUALITY OF THE 3D, not the video content.

There are about 31 out of screen effects that extend about 10% of the way, from the screen to the viewer but many of them are quick. An additional 11 effects made it to 25%.

The 3D is somewhat inconsistent from scene to scene. A few scenes looked great but most lacked in-screen depth, being shallower than in most animated 3Ds. Many times the background was flat and the cardboard cutout syndrome is obvious regularly. This is one of the earlier conversion attempts (2005) and it shows.

The film itself had some LOL moments and IMO the 3D even though flawed does add to the viewing experience.

Active Glasses Users: Near the end of the film crosstalk was evident 4 times. (on my system)

MY 3D RATING = GOOD (poor, fair, good, very good, excellent)

Note: As far as the percentages go, everyone's eyes are different. What I see at 25% you may see at 15% or 35%. To fully realize how far something is out of the screen for you, pause on an effect and direct a partner with an extended finger to the tip of what you are seeing. You may be surprised.

Click on `See all my reviews' for the lowdown on other 3Ds
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Well, I just saw it. And I wasn't really impressed. So, yeah, in my opinion, this one's a three star effort - but barely. CHICKEN LITTLE is borderline fun and, certainly, one can't help but appreciate and admire the professional craftsmanship that went into it. It's decidedly a rich, visual feast. But, you know what, it left me cold. CHICKEN LITTLE is ultimately a lightweight animated film in need of a heart and funnier comedy. For my money, it doesn't hold a candle to modern classics such as the great Pixar flicks (TOY STORY 1 & 2, FINDING NEMO, THE INCREDIBLES). True, I was ambivalently amused at times, but the only moment where I really had a good chuckle was when Abby and Runt were karaoke-ing to the Spice Girl's "Wannabe."

Here's the good and the bad. The pluses of the film are the very slick, good looking animation, the vibrant colors of the film, the movie within the movie at the end where the awesome Adam West lends his voice, and the two sidekick characters: the ever ebullient, happy-go-lucky Fish Out of Water and the insecure giant hog Runt of the Litter. The movie's minuses include the boring and, frankly, crappily executed songs, the over-the-top father and son theme (I felt I was pounded relentlessly over the head with the father/son issue, not to mention Abby the Ugly Duckling's incessant prattling about Chicken Little needing closure with his dad), the lack of "oomph" in the writing, and, to be honest, Chicken Little himself. I can't pinpoint it but I ended up not really caring all that much for the lead character. Maybe the abrasive voice work of Zack Braff has something to do with it. Also, when Chicken Little chose to not tell his dad the truth when he encounters the space ship fragment the second time (and the proof was right there in his room), I promptly slammed my hand on my forehead and growled. I mean, c'mon...

So this marriage of a kid's fable with an H.G. Wells classic kind of works...I guess. It's just that, in more capable hands, this definitely would've come out as a superior product. The strained broad humor, the forced After School Special moments, and the outdated references (who says "Oh, snap!" anymore, by the way?) did not at all endear this film to me. So, as it is, CHICKEN LITTLE is a guarantee to delight the tots over and over, which is all to the good if what you're looking for is something to divert the young 'un. But, as an adult or even an older child, you'll probably be able to tolerate CHICKEN LITTLE just exactly only once.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
The kid's fined this enjoyable but not as much. 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 viewers 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.

This 3D animated movie also presented itself with "Madagascar", "Robots" and "Valiant", that same 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.

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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
There was a time in the not so distant past when I looked forward to most animated features. With the resurgence of Disney starting in the late 80's through the dominance of Pixar, a new boon in the animated age was begun. And many of the products that rolled out were instant classics. Now some years later, there are a plethora of animated features being released yearly geared toward the kiddie market. But, as in most things, having more options doesn't equate to having better choices.

Thankfully, "Chicken Little" isn't one more "talking-animals-out-of-their-element" pictures! It's an odd blend of sci-fi with the Chicken Little story. So, I give it credit for a bit of originality in its concept--but, sadly, it's only intermittently funny.

On a scale ranging from the dreadful, completely misguided "Valiant" to the sublime, smart and clever "Finding Nemo"--you'll find "Chicken Little" smack in the middle. It's sweet and entertaining enough for the little ones, but not nearly smart enough to engage a grown up audience. A likable cast including Zach Braff, Don Knotts and Joan Cusack with an occasional chuckle elevate the somewhat staid material to 3 stars. KGHarris, 10/06.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
On my recent trip to my in-laws for Christmas, I got the opportunity to see quite a few movies with my nieces and nephews. Chicken Little was on the DVD player, so I had the opportunity to watch it.

Chicken Little is Disney's first fully rendered computer graphics animation, throwing in its hat to compete with the Pixar folks (who once worked with Disney, but no longer). Now that these kinds of movies have become ubiquitous--see any movies about talking fuzzy animals lately?--there's actually a standard to compare these films. Unfortunately for the competition, Pixar has set the bar very high.

We all know the story: the eponymous Chicken Little (Zach Braff, he of Scrubs fame) is outside playing when a piece of the sky hits him on the head. Freaking out in grand fashion, Chicken Little proceeds to tell everyone that the sky is falling. Only it isn't, and Little kind of looks like a fool, because he overreacted. It wasn't actually a piece of the sky falling, you see. And thus we have a simple fairy tale similar to the boy crying wolf: Don't overreact to potentially bad news, or people won't believe you when there IS bad news.

That's the first five minutes of Chicken Little.

Moving forward in time, we see that Chicken Little has it rough. His mom is nowhere to be found, and his exasperated dad, Buck Cluck (Garry Marshall), tries to keep up with his son's eccentricities. A huge geek, Chicken Little suffers a host of indignities that life throws at him (nearly getting run over, getting pummeled in dodgeball, losing his pants, the list goes on and on) but Little overcomes them with cheerful ingenuity. Facing the thousand cuts of school along with Little are his friends Abby Mallard AKA the Ugly Duckling (Joan Cusak), the very fat pig known as Runt of the Litter (Steve Zahn), and the weird Fish Out of Water (Dan Molina). Their arch nemesis is Foxy Loxy (Amy Sedaris).

All Chicken Little really wants to do is make his dad proud. So he joins a baseball team and, like a typical feel-good coming-of-age sports parable, makes the winning play and earns the love of friends, family, and the community. It's like a film within a film.

Then the sky falls again. Finally, Chicken Little switches to the actual plot: a War of the Worlds-style invasion by aliens. Of course.

So what exactly is wrong with an underdog character overcoming an alien invasion, the prejudices of the community, poor past judgment, and did I mention an alien invasion?

TOO ADULT. Whereas the Pixar films speak to both adults and kids, Chicken Little talks down to kids and throws in stupid slapstick that feels pointless, just to keep the little ones entertained. Then it adds in awkward adult scenes in parts where it doesn't make sense. Do we really need a romance (and a kiss!) between Abby and Little? Or Runt singing, "If You Wanna Be My Lover"? Worse, many of the in-jokes are very dated.

TOO UGLY. Pixar characters are undeniably cute, be it a fish, a car, an ant, or a toy. Chicken Little is an ugly little toad; his feathers look like spines, his eyes are beady, and he has a tiny beak for his massive head. Runt is grossly overweight, Abby is literally an ugly duckling, Fish Out of Water is completely nuts...these are not characters you readily connect with. Braff's voice acting goes a long way in making Little a likable character, but it takes awhile.

TOO SCI-FI. I actually liked this movie a lot, once I realized it was a riff on War of the Worlds. How often do CGI cartoon characters run screaming from aliens? Okay, they did it in Jimmy Neutron too. The problem is that Chicken Little switches abruptly from a cute morality play to terrifying invasion scenario that involves characters getting zapped out of existence. They all turn out to be okay later, of course, but it sure as heck looks like the aliens killed the cute characters.

That said, my niece and nephews watched it twice. All three of them (my twelve-year-old nephew, seven-year-old niece, and my three-year-old godson) loved it. So perhaps where Chicken Little fails in its pseudo-appeal to adults, it succeeds with the kids. Or maybe they just like to see a fat pig run from alien tripods.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2005
"The sky is falling!" or is it? Chicken Little is a movie that takes the known story and giving it a little alien's twist, that will sure entertain the audience and makes the #1 movie in america. There is Chicken Little, the little one of the pack who is smart but is never believed in by his father. There is Abby, the ugly duckling who knows what she talks about and is smart. There is Runt, the person who makes a joke out of everything and can sing. There is Fish, the fish that has a tank over his head. All of them teams together to solve the crime of Oakey Oaks, where the sky is really falling.

It is a real fast pace movie. It intoduces all the characters in the beginning. The middle and the end focuses on all the action, witch includes going into a space ship, and the town getting invaded by Aliens. This is probably the number one movie of the year, and probably the best animated movie flick. It is so funny, the comedy is hilarious.

Movie of the year, you should go watch it. I highly recommend it.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2006
Format: DVD
I took my 7 year old son and 5 year old daughter to this movie thinking it was going to be a boring kids movie. Boy was I surpised when I laughed just as much as my kids, may be more. There was adult humor and songs from my past that went right by them but was very funny to me!
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