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.
Young Chicken Little (Zach Braff) throws his small town into panic by claiming the sky is falling. Unable to find the piece of "sky" that hit him, he earns the town's scorn. A year later, outcast Little tries to redeem himself by joining the baseball team, helping to win a crucial game. Later that night he is hit on the head again and discovers that the "falling sky" is actually from a UFO. Now, Little must convince the skeptical town that an alien invasion is about to happen.
- 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.
- Executive Meddling: The original storyline was gonna be about Chicken Little who was originally a girl suffering from paranoia who, as a result, caused several panic outbreaks in her hometown. In an attempt to reduce her anxiety, she went to a summer camp known as Camp Yes-You-Can where she met her friends who were the same as in the final product. Chicken Little and her friends then discovered that the sheep who ran the camp were wolves in disguise who were plotting to eat all of the students, Chicken must not must face her fears to become a hero, but must prove her dad she can make him proud. However, the storyline was rewritten to Chicken Little being a male to save his hometown from aliens and to cash in on the "Fractured Fairy Tale" trend popularized by Shrek, but failed poorly.
- 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. In fact, he was shown to be tolerable in the deleted scenes and the scrapped early storyline.
- Not only that Buck is unlikable, but Foxy Loxy, Goosey Loosey, and Mayor Turkey Lurkey are also unlikeable 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.
- Despite being advertised and appearing on the movie cover and is one of the most likable characters, Morkubine Porcupine is a useless character who only says a few little words and nothing more than just a marketing gimmick.
- Some of the characters are too similar to other characters from other media. For example, Chicken Little is way too similar to Dib Membrane from Invader Zim, both are hated and laughed at by the entire town, try to warn everyone that they’re in danger but fail, have involvement in aliens, and embarrassed fathers.
- While not bad in particular, the animation looks mediocre at best, especially by Disney standards, even if it was Disney's first fully CGI film without Pixar's involvement
- The character designs are also pretty poor as well.
- 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 the other fowl into 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, hell, one deleted scene pointed that out!
- Before the movie started in theaters, there is a cringeworthy "Turn off your Phone" PSA with Chicken Little dancing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIVnvLuZkS8
- Poorly executed story, as it uses science fiction elements that are out of place in the original story, as mentioned above.
- The movie has some noticeable plot holes, such as the aliens not noticing Kirby running around during their invasion of Oakley Oaks or when Chicken Little gets his big hit in the baseball game, by the time he heads for home, the game is tied. If he is called out, it wouldn't be the big tragedy it's played out to be, they would still have a chance to win in later innings.
- 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, Runt yelling "Is Darth Vader Luke’s Father?!" when they meet Kirby, 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)", which was used in the alien invasion scene.
- 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.
- Speaking of the "sky piece", Chicken Little says that the piece of the sky was shaped like a stop sign. Later, the panel only has six sides, and he still says it's shaped like a stop sign. Stop signs have eight sides.
- Some trailers spoil scenes for the movie, like when they spoiled the scene with Chicken Little kissing Abby.
- The baseball tournament scene was honestly 15 minutes of pure filler.
- The movie doesn't provide it's standard politically correct message. Of course, the best player on the baseball team is a girl (Foxy Loxy). Of course, a girl (Goosey Loosey) beats up and humiliates the boy (Chicken Little). And of course, the character with the most redeeming social value is physically unattractive (Abby Mallard).
- Since this is Disney's very first CGI-animated movie without Pixar's involvement, the movie suffers some continuity errors, including:
- During the first alien scene, the aliens creating a crop circle in the corn field. However, the corn field is unchanged in all other scenes.
- When Chicken Little is holding Kirby after they and his father were zapped by the spaceship above them, they reappear inside the spaceship, you can see Buck is holding Kirby not Chicken Little.
- Foxy dumps out a bag of acorns to make Chicken Little trip. When he falls, the acorns are all around him. However, when he gets back up, the acorns are now gone.
- 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 Chicken Little accidentally drinking Fish's water during training, the baby bunnies in the opening scene, the introduction of Runt of the Litter, and Runt raging over a soda machine. It also has a hilarious 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 the 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.
- Although cringeworthy, Chicken Little’s Dance was kinda funny and pretty cute.
- 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 pretty 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.
- Morkubine Porcupine, despite being completely useless, is one of the best characters in the film, because his lines are kinda funny and he is not even a jerk.
- The deleted scenes and scrapped early storyline and concepts are much better than the final product, as they were less mean-spirited, heartwarming, sad, interesting, and also kinda dark.
Chicken Little received mixed-to-negative reviews from 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 because it’s made by Walt Disney Animation Studios.
- 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 considered for the role of Chicken Little.
- Holly Hunter, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jodie Foster, Geena Davis, and Madonna were considered for Abby Mallard.