Chicken Little

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Movie Review by Ania Kalinowska

Starring (voices of): Zach Braff, Garry Marshall, Joan Cusack, Steve Zahn
Director: Mark Dindal

There are as many versions of the Chicken Little story as there are ways to cook chicken. They all share a gaggle of cute-sounding animals whose fates differ in endings depending on divine intervention. I still choose the logical account of Chicken and his mates being eaten for dinner as the best, but of course in a movie that expects us to love and remember the characters, this will hardly suffice.

The body of the story, however, is the same nearly everywhere. It orbits around the sky falling on Chicken Little’s head, followed by a frantic scramble to go and tell the king. Of course if you left it at that, this 2005 film adaptation wouldn’t have enough footage to last 5 minutes!

So Disney, nearly desperate enough to bring on Humpty Dumpty, stretches it out as much as a hair-thin plot can be stretched out. A town is built. We meet Chicken Little’s pa. Time is killed by dodge ball and baseball games. Our little hero gets bombarded with modern psychological relationship issues. Aliens are added. The sky does, indeed, fall.

All these things are amusing, but not engrossing for anyone over the age of eight. While the references to popular culture make their mark during the film, they are not ingenious or memorable enough to laugh about afterwards. Dangerously light on virtually anything logical, CHICKEN LITTLE barely manages to scrape through on the entertaining voices of its cast and the immaculate detail of its animation. Its brevity (clocking only around 80 minutes) is worth a positive mention.

The 3D edition does liven up the experience. The details are truly fine and fantastic, and weirdly enough don’t feel over the top. The vibrant colours help create the brilliant depth that the story itself lacks. Disney’s first computer animated attempt is pretty good in its technical capabilities. If you have the chance, take your kids to see the 3D version, you will surely score as a parent.

While CHICKEN LITTLE isn’t infested with a cinematic equivalent of the Bird Flu virus, it’s not exactly a very healthy poultry either. Ultimately, the experience that this film provides is like petting the neighbour’s dog. It’s difficult to make it your own.

3 out of 6 stars