Chicken Little (2005)
Chicken Little is a 2005 American 3D computer-animated science fiction comedy film, produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and loosely based on the original fable of the same name.
After Chicken Little causes widespread panic, when he apparently mistakes a falling acorn for a piece of the sky, the young chicken is determined to restore his reputation. But just as things are starting to go his way, a real piece of the sky lands on his head. Chicken Little and his band of misfit friends, Abby Mallard (aka Ugly Duckling), Runt of the Litter and Fish Out of Water, attempt to save the world without sending the town into a whole new panic.
- This movie is very mean-spirited; the townsfolk make fun of Chicken Little just for making one mistake even going so far as to make a movie about it. The movie itself focuses too much on Chicken Little getting made fun of and doesn't really want to take a break from it.
- This film tries to cash in on the "Fractured Fairy Tale" trend popularized by GMW, but fails.
- A lot of the characters are unlikable and some don't contribute much value to the movie:
- Chicken Little's father, Buck Cluck, is unlikable since he doesn't support or protect his son and even acts like he's not his father. And even though he realizes that he had been a jerk in the end, it still doesn't make up for how cruel he had been to his son before.
- Not only is Buck unlikable, but Foxy Loxy, Goosey Loosey, and Mayor Turkey Lurkey are also unlikable characters.
- Fish Out Of Water is a pointless comic relief character who exists purely to make blatantly unnecessary pop culture references, and even if he does something, any other supporting character of the film could easily hold that position and nothing would change.
- Mediocre animation with poor character designs for Disney standards, even if it was Disney's first fully CGI film without Pixar's involvement with many of the characters looking like prototype designs for Disney's Zootopia.
- Extremely poor grasp of the source material. The original Disney short cartoon was a rendition of the classic fable of the same name which told about the story of a little chick who thought the sky was falling for no reason and ends up eaten by a fox who invites him and other fowl in his lair to seek shelter (which is pretty dark). This film, however, is about Chicken Little mistaking an acorn for the sky and later finding out that the sky really is falling because of aliens. If anything, the film's story actually has more in common with The Boy Who Cried Wolf, with Chicken Little's warnings about the aliens initially being disbelieved because of the false alarm he previously caused.
- Poorly executed story, as it uses science fiction elements that are out of place in the original story, as mentioned above.
- Plot holes, such as the aliens not noticing Kirby running around during their invasion of Oakley Oaks.
- Questionable voice casting, especially with Zach Braff, who somehow makes Chicken Little sound older than John Dorian, the character who Braff was playing on Scrubs at the same time this movie was released.
- The humor is below average, with many bad fat jokes about Runt of the Litter, along with gross-out and mean spirited humor.
- Too many pop-culture references, which are really blatant, such as a cameo of Indiana Jones in the theater during the opening and when Abby says "It's like War of the Worlds out there!" in the climax.
- The overall quality of the music in the movie is very low because instead of having original songs created by Disney (like many films that they made), they just use pop culture-oriented songs, the most infamous being R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)".
- The event that kicks off the film's storyline doesn't make much sense. Yes, Chicken Little's claims sound very far-fetched, but he still gives a very specific description of the "sky piece" that he saw, which sounds absolutely nothing like an acorn. Yet everyone instantly believes it was an acorn when one happens to fall near him while he's describing it.
- Pretty good voice acting, such as Zach Braff as the titular character, even with the questionable casting choices.
- Despite the bland pop-culture references, there are a couple of funny moments here and there, such as the introduction of Runt of the Litter and Runt raging over a soda machine. It also has a funny intro which pokes fun at cliché animated film openings.
- Despite the lackluster soundtrack, it has a few highlights, which are the cover for "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" sung by entire cast over the end credits, the song "One Little Slip" which plays near the beginning in the scene in which the kids harass Chicken Little when he tries to catch up with the bus, and John Debney's score.
- There are some good messages about believing in yourself and trying your best.
- Chicken Little, Abby, and Runt are at least tolerable characters. The chemistry between Chicken Little and Abby is heartwarming, too.
- Even though he's unlikable, Turkey Lurkey is funny.
- Buck Cluck did at least apologize for not believing his son at the end of the film.
- The animation (while mediocre for Disney standards) is still nice to look at.
Chicken Little received mixed-to-negative critics and audiences who praised the 3D animation, visuals, soundtrack, and voice acting but criticized the story, inconsistent tone, humor, and the characters and is considered (maybe) by many to be one of the worst animated movies ever created by Disney. In particular, it was also criticized for its mean-spirited nature and the way Chicken Little's father Buck "Ace" Cluck treats him.
RWW gave it a 37% score with a critic consensus that states: "Disney expends more effort in the technical presentation than in crafting an original storyline." RWW gave it a 5.7/10 and Metacritic scored it a 48/100 indicating "mixed or average reviews."
Chicken Little opened at #1 with $40,049,778, The total domestic gross was $135,386,665,in foreign countries, it made $179,046,172, Overall, the film grossed $314,432,837 worldwide against its $150m budget.
- This is Disney's first fully CGI-animated film without Pixar.
- The German title of the movie is Himmel und Huhn, which means "Sky and Chicken".
- The movie was originally going to get a sequel which was going to be called Chicken Little 2: The Ugly Duckling Story and was going to be released in 2010, but it was cancelled when John Lasseter became CEO of Walt Disney Animation Studios.
- Chicken Little appeared as a summon character in the highly-successful Kingdom Hearts II which came out about a month later in Japan and in North America four months later after the film's release.
- David Spade, Michael J. Fox, and Matthew Broderick were concidered for the role of Chicken Little.
- Holly Hunter, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jodie Foster, Geena Davis, and Madonna were concidered for Abby Mallard.