Chicken Little

 
Directed by: Mark Dindal
Written by:Steve Bencich, Ron Friedman
Starring: Zach Braff, Garry Marshall, Don Knotts, Patrick Stewart, Amy Sedaris, Steve Zahn, Joan Cusack, Wallace Shawn, Harry Shearer
Released: January 1, 2006
Grade: C+

I had fun trying to pick out which stars were voicing which characters.  That’s about as much enjoyment as I extracted from Chicken Little.  When you compare it against some of the great Disney animations, you’ll understand why I think this film deserved a direct-to-video release.

Standing atop the school’s belltower, Chicken Little sees a piece of the sky fall to the ground.  He rings the bell to warn everyone but when no evidence can be found, Little finds himself the laughing stock of the town.  They even make a comedy movie in his honour.  Thus begins a quest for Chicken Little to find the truth and clear his name.  What was it that fell from the sky and how can he convince people that he’s not crazy?

The cute characters are a talkative bunch but they don’t offer much.  They are boring.  Don’t expect much from the plot either which includes a silly alien invasion.  One of the characters admits this is a rip-off from War Of The Worlds.   I can’t speak for the kids who will see this film but I have to wonder whether they will be confused by these alien creatures.  It didn’t make much sense to me.

Chicken Little is the first fully computer animated film to have been produced in-house by Disney.  It is also unique in that there are two different versions currently showing in theatres – one in 2-D and the other in 3-D.  The 3-D movie is only screening at the Birch Carroll & Coyle Chermside cinema here in Brisbane and I’m a little disappointed to say that you have to pay $2 extra to see it.  Are the 3-D glasses worth this much?  I don’t think so.

The 3-D novelty doesn’t disguise the very thin plot.  Kids might swallow it but I’d rather have more substantial films such as Toy Story, Chicken Run, The Incredibles and Spirited Away in my own DVD collection.   Trailers for Chicken Little have been screening for months and the traditional Disney marketing blitz has been on in earnest.  I even received a free novelty key-ring with my medium coke and popcorn combo.  Why can’t they spend less on advertising and more on scriptwriting?