Chicken Little

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Rating: G

Starring:
Zach Braff as Chicken Little (voice)
Garry Marshall as Buck Cluck (voice)
Don Knotts as Mayor Turkey Lurkey (voice)
Patrick Stewart as Mr. Woolensworth (voice)
Amy Sedaris as Foxy Loxy (voice)
Steve Zahn as Runt of the Litter (voice)
Joan Cusack as Abby Mallard (voice)
Wallace Shawn as Principal Fetchit (voice)
Harry Shearer as Dog Announcer (voice)
Fred Willard as Melvin – Alien Dad (voice)
Catherine O’Hara as Tina – Alien Mom (voice)
Patrick Warburton as Alien Cop (voice)
Adam West as Ace – Hollywood Chicken Little (voice)
Mark Walton as Goosey Loosey (voice)
Mark Dindal as Morkubine Porcupine/Coach (voice)
Dan Molina as Fish Out of Water (voice)
Joe Whyte as Rodriguez/Acorn Mascot/Umpire (voice)
Matthew Michael Josten as Kirby – Alien Kid (voice)

Special Features:
Deleted Scenes Including 3 Alternate Openings

Hatching Chicken Little — A “Making of” Featurette

“Where’s Fish?” Trivia Game

Karaoke Sing Along

The Cheetah Girls Music Video

Barenaked Ladies Music Video

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Language Tracks
Running Time: 81 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

“When the sky really is falling and sanity has flown the coop, who will rise to save the day? Together with his hysterical band of misfit friends, Chicken Little must hatch a plan to save the planet from alien invasion and prove that the world’s biggest hero is a little chicken. Overflowing with incredible music and bursting with exciting bonus features, including alternate openings, an exclusive “making of” featurette, games, and much more, this sensational DVD is truly something to cluck about.”

Chicken Little is rated G.

The Movie:
“Chicken Little” is Disney’s first major venture into computer animation without Pixar. How did they fare? Not bad at all. As computer animated movies start losing their uniqueness, the story becomes more and more important. Fortunately “Chicken Little” delivers. There are plenty of laughs, an amusing story, and a lot of great characters. There are also a lot of in-jokes relating to Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Aliens, and more. The animal theme is also well played as all sorts of amusing things go on in the background relating to the nature of the animals (fish drive fish bowl cars, birds smack into storefront windows, dog kids play fetch). The final result is a movie that offers laughs for both kids and adults.

When I first saw “Chicken Little” in the theater, it had a little bit of an edge. I saw it presented in 3-D at a digital screen. The result was phenomenal. It turned a pretty good computer animated film into something amazing to watch. The 3-D effect (on a non-IMAX screen for once) was beautiful. You could see incredible detail in the characters and as the aliens invaded, they literally popped out at you. You could hear ooh’s and aah’s from the crowd just in the opening credits. However, this 2-D version lacks that “WOW!” factor, so it hurts the overall DVD presentation to some degree.

The voice cast for this film was perfect. Zach Braff is amusing as Chicken Little while Garry Marshall, with his unique voice, plays Buck Cluck, his father. Steve Zahn is also great as Runt of the Litter. He brings the same sense of humor and ad-libs that he does to all of his movies. They are backed up by a fantastic supporting cast including Don Knotts as Mayor Turkey Lurkey, Patrick Stewart as Mr. Woolensworth, Wallace Shawn as Principal Fetchit, Harry Shearer as Dog Announcer, and more.

The movie also has a fun soundtrack that includes “Shake a Tail Feather,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” “We Are the Champions,” “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” and more.

“Chicken Little” is a bit slow in parts, usually when the characters are having “touchy feely” moments. Otherwise it’s pretty fast paced.

I also have to add that I think the trailers for this film haven’t done it justice. The movie is a lot funnier than you might expect.

My kids and I all enjoyed this film quite a bit. It was funny, had some great voice work, and featured some good animation.

The Extras:
There’s a decent selection of bonus features with this DVD. Here are the highlights:

Deleted Scenes Including 3 Alternate Openings – These deleted scenes are hosted by the producer and director of the film. The first alternate opening shows Don Knotts as Turkey Lurkey narrating the story of Chicken Little from a 2-D storybook. Seeing as how Knotts recently passed away, it’s a nice tribute to him. The second alternate opening shows Chicken Little’s Dad trying to cook him breakfast. As he follows a cooking show, things go wrong and the TV eventually gets changed to a news report about Chicken Little’s “the sky is falling” routine. A third alternate opening shows Chicken Little as a girl. In it she’s in bed late at night and terrified of noises she hears in her room. The final deleted scene is entitled “Lunch Break” and shows Runt trying to get food out of a vending machine. He fails until Fish Out of Water helps him out.

Hatching Chicken Little — A “Making of” Featurette – This is your standard “making of” featurette. There are interviews with cast and crew, behind the scenes footage of the voices, and more. They even talk about how Michael Eisner mandated the change of Chicken Little from girl to boy.

“Where’s Fish?” Trivia Game – In this trivia game you answer questions about the film and then you’re given a shot to find Fish hidden on the screen. It is narrated by Harry Shearer.

The Cheetah Girls Music Video – Disney’s starlets sing this peppy rendition of the classic tune “Shake Your Tailfeather”. I still like Ray Charles’ Blues Brothers version better.

Barenaked Ladies Music Video – This is your typical movie music video showing the Barenaked Ladies in the recording studio playing music to movie clips. It’s a good song, though, so it makes the boring video more tolerable.

The Bottom Line:
“Chicken Little” is funny, fast paced, well-voiced, and beautifully animated. It’s enjoyable for both kids and adults.

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