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The sky isn't falling on CHICKEN LITTLE' Could it be a good movie'

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here... astoundingly with a very positive review from an early test screening of Disney's non-Pixar 3-D animated CHICKEN LITTLE. The first trailer looked nice, but didn't strike me as something special. I've got a little more faith after this review. Our reviewer does a really good job at pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of the film and, despite confessing a love for THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE, I think he's to be trusted.

Hey y'all,

Last night I had the opportunity to see an audience test screening of the new Disney movie "Chicken Little". Here's my review:

It's takes place one year after the events of what most of us know as the Chicken Little story. ("The sky is falling! The sky is falling!") It deals with the aftermath of the infamous incident and how everyone in the town treats Chicken Little like dirt because of his neurotic episode. Eventually the story leads into an exciting direction where we find out why Chicken Little thought the sky was falling.

The film still has a lot of work to be done. The beginning prologue and virtually the entire climax of the movie isn't finished. In fact, the majority of those parts were presented as animated storyboards. Most of the middle section of the film, however, was pretty much completed and looks beautiful. My own feeling while watching it was that they completely changed the beginning and ending of the film and decided to test it on an audience to see how they would react as compared to the original version. (But I could be totally wrong.)

The art direction and character design are fantastic. Chicken Little's house even looks like a chicken coop. All of the voice work is fantastic as well.

The ?background story? prologue seemed a little quick and unclear (at least as presented, but storyboards can only go so far). Then the first third (half?) of the movie deals with introducing the characters and the nature of their relationships. It includes a really cool baseball game. (Yes, a baseball game...but it rocks.) But about half-way into the movie, the mystery (which I won't spoil) starts to unfold. This section of the film is friggin' awesome. It's funny and tension-building all at the same time. The ending, unfortunately, was the most disappointing part. I felt the climactic scene was trying to be too slapstick funny (including a really poor use of an R.E.M. song) when it really should have been scary/funny like the previous section of the film. The danger never seemed very tension-building in the climax, almost like the filmmakers were afraid to make the film too dark. (And let me tell you, kids can handle dark films. Bambi's/Nemo's moms die. Scar kills his own friggin' brother. I really think the danger could have been amped up a bit in this section of the move. But then again, storyboards can only go so far.)

I have to say, Chicken Little is one of the cutest animated characters ever...both in personality and in character design. Your heart absolutely cannot help but go out to him. Zach Braff does the voice and is pretty unrecognizable from ?Garden State?. Most of the supporting characters are very good as well, especially Runt and Fish Out of Water. I also really loved Turkey Lurkey (voiced by Don Knotts), a character that I felt was sorely underused. I wasn't too impressed, however, with Chicken Little's father, who's kind of an asshole. He's embarrassed of his son and his eventual emotional turnaround seemed a little insincere (or maybe just rushed/forced).

If they can fix the beginning and most importantly the ending, this may turn out to be a friggin' awesome movie. As it stands, it's already very good. It's very, very funny. I'd say not as funny as "The Emperor's New Grove" (a Disney favorite of mine), but still very, very funny. I have to stop myself from repeating all the best jokes, but let's just say my two favorites had something to do with Barbara Streisand and with a grazing cow. Overall, I really enjoyed this film and I'm very excited to see the finished product later this year.

You can call me....Yzma (?Why do we have that lever??)



Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 21, 2005, 3:07 a.m. CST

    First!!!

    by Quint

    I got it, suckas!!! And Hulk Hogan's base... are belong... um... First!

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 3:08 a.m. CST

    2nd!!!

    by Quint

    Yay!!! Ok, enough of this...

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 3:12 a.m. CST

    This may be good like "Ice Age" was good...

    by Rupee88

    meaning that it won't be that good. Ice Age was tolerable, but that's about it. I can't imagine this being a solid, fun film. The previews looked horrible.

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 3:18 a.m. CST

    The sky is falling

    by Virtual Satyr

    They should do a follow up with "The Boy Who Cried Wolf"..starring Hulk Hogan as the wolf.

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 3:26 a.m. CST

    plant? yeah, i'm calling plant

    by MiltonWaddams

    "i had no problems with the movie, except the stuff that seemed a little unfinished, probably because it was unfinished. either way it's still totally good.". why not just complain about the temporary soundtrack too?

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 3:33 a.m. CST

    Yeah, it does sound like a plant

    by Rupee88

    I didn't want to say it first considering Quint said the guy sounded legit, but the review sure does sound "plantlike" to me.

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 3:39 a.m. CST

    "Ice Age" got shit on...

    by SmarkJobber

    I Netflix'd that thing a while back and indeed, I did leave a plop-a-doodle-do in the sleeve when I returned it. "Chicken Little" could be decent, but I agree, this review smells leafy.

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 3:48 a.m. CST

    The Emperor's New Groove

    by Sheeld

    The Emperor's New Groove is definitely one of the better Disney's of recent years. Very funny, totally unpretentious. Just slick, short and sweet. If Chicken Little is comparable to that, count me in.

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 4:31 a.m. CST

    I want to see more 2D films again!

    by mbaker

    I am sick, and tired of Hollywood's current obsession with 3D! When the hell is someone gonna grow some balls, and make a really good 2D feature that'll get people's attention, and make them belive that 2D is still viable?! Wake the fuck up, Disney! 3D is not gonna save you! Good movies will!! And 'The Emperor's New Groove' was one of the last great Disney movies to come out in recent years! Very underrated.

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 4:52 a.m. CST

    mbaker

    by samuelk

    Yes, The Emperor's New Groove was underrated. So if you want to blame anyone for the decline of 2D animated films, blame the movie goers who don't know a good film when they see it. Don't blame the medium. There's nothing wrong with 3D animation. It's a story-telling technique.

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 5:44 a.m. CST

    3-D can be good, but it is usually distracting

    by Rupee88

    I've yet to see a good 3-D film, but maybe it can be done. I did see one IMAX all CGI 3-D film and the 3-D effect was flawless. It was totally amazing even though the film's content was forgettable.

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 6:04 a.m. CST

    Oh my god the talkback order is fixed!!!!! Nth!!!! Heh.

    by Regicidal_Maniac

    This movie actually looks a bit better than I had thought.

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Zack Braff

    by Fart_Master_Flex

    Isn't Zack Braff the voice of Chicken Little?? Buzza-nuzza-bee-bee-booda-bood-dow-dow-dee

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 8:32 a.m. CST

    This looks like ass (I feel sorry for Braff), but ENG was pretty

    by minderbinder

    Nice work fixing the TB's, looks pretty cool so far.

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 10:28 a.m. CST

    R.E.M. song? "End of the World as We Know It?" How perfectly

    by Lance Rock

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Why can't 2D, and 3D sinmply co-exist?

    by mbaker

    While i find 3D overrated sometimes, i also agree with the fact that some of the recent 2D films have not been that great. Having said that, Hollywood should not be so quick to say that people don't like 2D films anymore.

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 1:11 p.m. CST

    fail...

    by FNORDcinco1

    I never wanted a film to fail before, until this one...Dark day indeed.

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 3:27 p.m. CST

    The ENG was great and I don't like Spade. It was like the old Wa

    by Big Bad Clone

  • Jan. 21, 2005, 11:06 p.m. CST

    This will probably make $300 million internationall like Shark T

    by Rupee88

    There are enough people with IQs lower than 105 who will make these piece of shit films profitable. The studios are smart to make them, even if they pollute our culture.