This reviewer wishes the sky fell on CHICKEN LITTLE... real hard!!!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a rather unhappy look at Disney's try to replace Pixar with their own in-house team, CHICKEN LITTLE. I think I'm seeing this one sometime this week and I hope I have a better time in the theater than the below reviewer, but I've got a feeling that this one will pander to the 3 year olds and leave the rest of us holding our heads. At least that's the impression I get from the trailers. I don't really want to suffer through a crappy movie, so I'm hoping for the best!!!
Haven’t seen any reviews of Chicken Little, the new Disney CGI feature, on your site yet so I thought I’d run one in.
If only there had been some early reviews on the net, I could have avoided wasting two hours of my time and that of my kids. The movie is pretty abysmal compared to the recent efforts of Pixar and Dreamworks. As I’m sure everyone knows, the story revolves around Chicken Little and his ‘sky is falling’ story. The premise is in fact decent – that the sky really is falling, as a prelude to an alien incursion on Earth. The execution however is atrocious.
The story meanders from being a painfully slow father-son bonding and discovery movie to the clichÃ©d unpopular kids in school get their chance to show up the cool kids. The problem is that it tries too hard to fit in all the storylines it begins, to the detriment of the movie as a whole. What makes it worse is the painful choice of songs in the movie and the way it keeps breaking out into inappropriate song montage sequences. The fact that they had to shoehorn in a supporting character (Runt of the Litter) - with an obsession over music - in order to justify some of the songs was proof of the weak work that went into sequencing the story.
The character designs were ok – uninspired at best. I don’t think they’re going to make a heap on the character merchandising. The voicework was nondescript and characterless. It’s sometimes hard to distinguish who’s talking. The character that received the best response was Fish-out-of-Water, a non-talking visual comedy part. The rest of the CGI was bright in a much more cartoony way, then the recent work done in Incredibles or Madagascar. In fact, the bits at the end were very similar in look and feel to classic Looney Tunes. An interesting choice but one which I personally didn’t go for in the current age of distinctive CGI movies.
A quick strawpoll of the six kids who were in the group I was taking into the cinema showed a distinct feeling of boredom with the whole proceedings. And these were your 2-8 year olds, hardly the most discerning of audiences normally. If this is the best that Disney can come up with, I predict Steve Jobs rubbing his hands in glee at the ridiculous amounts of cash he will be able to demand from them to renew their partnership.
In a nutshell, AICN readers with kids are better off investing their time taking them out for some fresh air and sunshine at a park.
Hope this helps
Call me Stumpy (again).
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Oct. 31, 2005, 4:06 a.m. CST
..To say i'm not so excited 'bout this movie
Oct. 31, 2005, 4:17 a.m. CST
SO sorry that it wasn't cosmically deep or groundbreakingly original. Try going to the grown up movies to look for cutting edge entertainment. Your kids poll was usless as I assume, if they were yours, they are on prozac.
Oct. 31, 2005, 4:27 a.m. CST
I don't know if Chicken Little is really as bad as it looks, but seeing trailers for all the upcoming CGI movies really makes me yearn for the old days. They haven't just abandoned 2-D animation, they've abandoned the whole Disney approach to storytelling. It used to be that they would look for a great story (fairy tale or children's novel) and characters and build it from there. Now it seems like they think you have to pick a comedy gimmick for animals. Animals fight alien invasion, animals escape from the zoo, animals discover the suburbs. It used to be that a Disney movie was unmistakably the work of Disney, but without the advertising there's no way I would know Chicken Little was Disney as opposed to Dreamworks or whoever did the Hedge one. It doesn't seem to me like these movies are aimed at 3 year olds (like Quint says), it seems like they're aimed at older kids and parents with really bland senses of humor. See for example the "Chickens Gone Wild" joke in the trailer. Ha, edgy. The best example is the poster - a parody of Men In Black! It is so lame to have a movie poster that's a parody of another movie poster, and doubly lame when the movie is a recent but already dated, thoroughly mediocre corporate entertainment product. Why does everything have to be about sitcom level comedy? I don't care if it's CGI, I wish they would go back and look at Pinocchio and some of those older movies, try to make something a little more serious and a lot more timeless. Try to be Disney again. But that's too obvious, they'll never think of it.
Oct. 31, 2005, 4:28 a.m. CST
and lifeless. Still made a ton. My 4 year old coulnd't come up with the words to say "It was ok, but not great" since he never went to a theater to see a movie that wasn't, he was trying to understand what was different from Nemo and Incredibles. It was medeocre. THis is probably the same thing.
Oct. 31, 2005, 4:34 a.m. CST
but it has zach braff in it
Oct. 31, 2005, 4:41 a.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2005, 4:52 a.m. CST
Does anyone know the "terrible" music thats in the film?
Oct. 31, 2005, 5:08 a.m. CST
Sounds like someone who really WANTED to hate this film, from that secod he saw the teaser trailer for the first time (A typical AICN-user ;) ). But...well, 99% of all new Disney poductions suck (Hooray for Sky High, the one single percent!), so maybe the reviewer is right? Whatever. ZACH BRAFF IS IN IT!!!
Oct. 31, 2005, 5:17 a.m. CST
You know, I'm not one to listen to these reviews on AICN; I tend to go and make up my own mind. I'm a HUGE Disney fan and was shocked to hear of the end of traditional feature animation for the sake of CGI. But since it's Disney's first, I'm sure it won't be their best, but from what I've seen so far, I like what I'm seeing. Perhaps it's not "The Little Mermaid" or "Beauty and The Beast" -- and certainly there will be many that will try and compare it to the efforts of other CGI powerhouses. Let them compare. The clips I've seen so far show me Disney had fun making this film, and so far I've had fun watching the clips that have been released. As for the music soundtrack, you can go over to Disney Online and listen to samples for yourself ( http://tinyurl.com/b8z84 ).
Oct. 31, 2005, 5:49 a.m. CST
As a massive Disney fan I'm obviously gonna go completely against everything that review said, but I do agree that it seems very suspicious to me. From what I've seen of the clips and interviews with the folks at Disney it looks wonderful. The reviewer seems to have made up his mind before seeing the film (if he did indeed see it) and then applied every part of the film to his already established criticisms. Isn't this anti-Diney tirade getting a bit old? I guarantee if someone slapped the Pixar logo on the poster the review would have been very different indeed.
Oct. 31, 2005, 5:53 a.m. CST
by stumpy (again)
Sorry - should have also mentioned that the movie didn't fare very well with the audience here because it has a fairly heavy US-culture reference base. Most of the audience really didn't get a lot of the pop culture references, or even understand the baseball thing. At least Madagascar, Incredibles and even the older 2D Disney movies (which I love and the kids watch all the time on DVD) were more accessible. Maybe Chicken Little will fare better in the States. I still doubt it though - this is more Home on The Range than Aladdin.
Oct. 31, 2005, 6:19 a.m. CST
Yes, the anti-Disney thing is getting old and I hate that you are only cool if you hate everything Disney does, but even the biggest Disney fan must admit, that their productions became...well...bad, especially the animated ones. Sometimes there are some highlights like Lilo & Stitch and on TV we had Filmore (which ended too early) and Kim Possible (same here, but it had at least its 65 episodes). At least we can be happy now that they kicked Eisner out of his office chair. I hope the new guy is smarter than him.
Oct. 31, 2005, 6:39 a.m. CST
by Evil Chicken
Yeah, Pixar took the heart with them when they left. Disney will find it again, but until then...
Oct. 31, 2005, 7:54 a.m. CST
A good kids movie offers something with depth, intelligence, humor and original ideas. A bad kids movie is a cliched rehash of things you've seen before with lots of quickly dated pop culture references and fart jokes. A great kids movie offers something for adults as well. Movies like "The Iron Giant" and "The Incredibles" and just about every other Pixar film will live on forever because they are everything I listed and more than that they are sincere. Things like this movie, from the sound of it, are good for only about 5 years.
Oct. 31, 2005, 8:47 a.m. CST
They are animation for adults, which got "accidently" a family-rating.
Oct. 31, 2005, 8:49 a.m. CST
I'm sure these talkbackers' Little Mermaid figurines lined up on top of their monitors nearly toppled over as they pounded their keyboards with indignation. A negative plant from an opposing studio?! Are you on crack? Have you seen the trailer? I did, in a theater full of kids for the Wallace and Gromit movie, and it got zero reaction. Getting universal disinterest from a hundred six year olds is quite a feat. The freakin Fandango ad had the little buggers shitting themselves.
Oct. 31, 2005, 9:30 a.m. CST
At the least I have to give it a look. A few of the commercials make it seem pretty clever, but then again it could just be marketing.
Oct. 31, 2005, 9:32 a.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2005, 9:41 a.m. CST
well InspectorDoppler when i went to see W&G the chicken little trailer received a positive response from the audience whilst over the hedge i heard several "meh, chicken little looks funnier"
Oct. 31, 2005, 9:52 a.m. CST
My six year old usually jumps on the marketing bandwagon when new animated movies come out - Madagascar, Wallace and Gromit, The Incredibles, etc. Chicken Little, however, has not sparked his interest in the least. He hasn't ONCE said anything about wanting to go see it. That has to say something. We may see this as a rental, but no way will we spend our money in the theater for it. Disney kicked themselves in the checkbook when they screwed over Pixar. Now they're about to see the consequences of it. This reviewer may be a plant, or he may not, but even if he is, that doesn't mean his review is wrong.
Oct. 31, 2005, 9:52 a.m. CST
by Osmosis Jones
...I have officially lost interest in each and every upcoming CG animated feature. Hell, even Pixar's Cars looked pretty goddamn lame in the teaser trailer. Shark Tale was lame, Robots was boring (although neat to look at), I specifically avoided Madagacar, and Chicken Little looks equally unbearable (like the exceedingly dated MIB poster). Plus, Valliant? Over The Hedge? It all looks so crappy. The Shrek movies were great, though, so I suppose it's all up to the creative teams involved.
Oct. 31, 2005, 10:02 a.m. CST
by Osmosis Jones
Oct. 31, 2005, 10:12 a.m. CST
by THE FAN
There are some really cool picture of Disney's next movie after chicken little called Meet the Robinsons at www.characterdesign.blogspot.com
Oct. 31, 2005, 10:53 a.m. CST
by Bob of the Shire
My little sister goes for anything animated and even she holds no interest in this. Disney has some very dark years ahead of it.
Oct. 31, 2005, 11:10 a.m. CST
From what is becoming a lame animation studio. Disney is doing fine in live-action now, but the sense of EPIC GRANDEUR is entirely missing from their recent excursions. This one barely looks worth my time even watching it on cable.
Oct. 31, 2005, 11:19 a.m. CST
by Gheorghe Zamfir
And nothing about the advertising has really given me reason to think this will be good, but there was a blurb in time a while back that was in love with the thing (really ecstatic), so I'll hold my tongue, but can't say I have much hope.
Oct. 31, 2005, 11:25 a.m. CST
Well, probably compared to this astronomical disaster...
Oct. 31, 2005, 12:16 p.m. CST
by Kid Z
... all the bon-bon munchers'll drag their little nightmares to see it and it'll open huge, then all the hack reviewers'll proclaim, "Disney is back!!!" (sigh)
Oct. 31, 2005, 1:45 p.m. CST
I can't imagine this can replace it.
Oct. 31, 2005, 1:55 p.m. CST
But I can't wait for the day when they make their first bad film. (Sorry, I'm an asshole). P.S.: Hey, ZACH BRAFF VOICES CHICKEN LITTLE!!! That's fucking cool! And that's the reason why I don't believe the reviewer about what he or she wrote about the voices. At least his voicework should be good!
Oct. 31, 2005, 1:56 p.m. CST
What the hell are you talking about? Next thing you'll tell me "Bambi" and "Pollyanna" aren't childrens movies. You think because they're more honest about hard issues like death that children shouldn't see them? Do you consider "Shrek" a children's movie?
Oct. 31, 2005, 2:04 p.m. CST
They appeal just more to an adult audience. There are too many story elements which kids can't get (including the whole "cold war" thing in "Iron Giant") They are great masterpieces, but IMO they were made for an adult audience and just because of their family-friendly-ratings and the lack of swearing or on-screen-violence, they are considered as kids stuff.
Oct. 31, 2005, 2:41 p.m. CST
By God you're right. It is by those very guidelines that earns these movies their family friendly ratings. Any movie that does not have these elements or has them sparingly is by default a kids movie. The logic in all of that is there, but what about the intention of these movies? They were made for children. They were made for children by adults. Kids typically aren't allowed to make movies(I say typically because one of the Rodriguez boys has managed to largely influence one) so by default adults have to make movies for children. The adults, by virtue of being adults, can lay on layers that you don't typically see in a children's movie, but children can at some level understand them. At any rate these movies were made with children in mind and therefore they are classified as childrens movies. Kids can watch anything and enjoy the shit out of it(I knew a 5 year old girl who enjoyed "Carnosaur"), but adults set the standards of what children should see.
Oct. 31, 2005, 2:45 p.m. CST
by Mockingbird Girl
I don't think that THE INCREDIBLES and THE IRON GIANT are made for an adult audience. Rather, they are movies that were made for audiences that can encompass *both* children and adults! (In point of fact, right now my 2-year-old nephew's favorite film is THE IRON GIANT and my 5-year-old niece's is THE INCREDIBLES.) There's no reason why family films can't be of the same high standard as these films or WALLACE & GROMIT, apart from sheer creative laziness.
Oct. 31, 2005, 2:54 p.m. CST
WORST ACTOR ALIVE....
Oct. 31, 2005, 3:20 p.m. CST
Does it have to be Barney? Does it have to have zero content for adults? If that's the case, I never liked kid's movies, even when I was three. The minute you start trying to second guess what kids want rather than going with your own instincts, your story loses it's integrity and becames Home On the Range, or fucking Princess Diaries, or some prefab shit like that. Just because a movie doesn't effect you like Ny-Quill or two hours in line at the DMV doesn't mean it's not a children's movie. Maybe, just maybe it's good for kids to watch films with subtext. They might learn something.
Oct. 31, 2005, 4:29 p.m. CST
It's not enough to say "It's a kids' movie so don't expect much." If I had kids I wouldn't want their brains to turn to mush watching crap. I think I'd want them to watch movies and cartoons made with subtext, intelligence, dare I say artistry and care? Sure a little kid will sit in front of a test pattern waiting for whatever cartoon to come on, but I'm sure somewhere down the line it affects them to not have discernible taste early in life. Maybe the kids whose parents bring them to anything grow up not understanding that The Simpsons aren't just about Bart's one-liners or that Bugs Bunny is gay. That's right, bitches--Bugs is GAY! Deal with it!
Oct. 31, 2005, 5:44 p.m. CST
Back to the same spot they were since they lost Pixar, that is in the void.
Oct. 31, 2005, 6:02 p.m. CST
Dude, he's totally BI!!!
Oct. 31, 2005, 6:04 p.m. CST
First, there are tons of different spots. Followed by an unusual silence by any of the talent that is involved with the project. After that you'll get Electronic Press Kit type commercials, where talent is interviewed and you see them "working" or joking around with co-workers (though this is often used with "Oscar contender" movies too). But the real coffin nail are the testimonial commercials. This time next week there will probably be upbeat commercials with kids, pre-teens, teens and possibly adults smiling and cheering and all of them saying that they loved the movie. I really hope Jobs will stick to his guns. Oh and - YOU'RE STEALING FROM ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oct. 31, 2005, 6:26 p.m. CST
I mean you dont have to see EVERY movie that comes out, ever thought of that?
Oct. 31, 2005, 6:45 p.m. CST
But Hollywood options EVERYTHING, so whether it'll actually make it to the screen is iffy.
Oct. 31, 2005, 6:49 p.m. CST
Good: The Incredibles. Bad: Shrek 1 & 2. Good. Cinderella. Bad Cinderella 2 (Electric Boogaloo). Good. Snow White. Bad: Madagascar. In the end, Disney has the chops to pull off amazing features but they seriously need to fire their current writing department. They need to start making movies that are timeless and relevant 20 years from now with values that apply to any generation, which when you think about it is not that hard to do. One more thing, Bugs likes female rabbits, something that if you've seen enough loony tunes you would know........ dickhead.
Oct. 31, 2005, 8:02 p.m. CST
Anyone see the scene in the family guy movie where elmer fudd shoots bugs several times and then snaps his neck? I almost pissed myself.
Oct. 31, 2005, 8:06 p.m. CST
was supposed to be out in November. <sigh>
Oct. 31, 2005, 8:16 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2005, 8:16 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2005, 8:17 p.m. CST
Oct. 31, 2005, 8:19 p.m. CST
To' up from the flo' up. Dreamworks is lowering IQs across the world with their pursuit of crappy films.
Oct. 31, 2005, 8:48 p.m. CST
He's butt ugly (cue: "but he'll still get more ass than you ever will" = most likely true).
Oct. 31, 2005, 9:19 p.m. CST
They'll get Pixar back now that Eisner's gone, selling shows first on iTunes shows they've removed the acorn from their asses. They're in good position for gains.
Oct. 31, 2005, 9:29 p.m. CST
Because it's all about the suits now, the suits just look at the success of Shrek and the Pixar movies and want Disney to recreate this. Well, this is too stupid for words. What Dreamworks and Pixar are doing is NOT what Disney should be about, and they shouldn't force themselves into being something they're not. Idiots for abandoning traditional animation. They are so numb for thinking people don't want to see a traditionally animated movie. Brother Bear and some other recent Disneys were shit, not because of the traditional animation, but because the stories, script, characters you name it were all shit. Disney should be building on it's own legacy rather than being fucking jealous of Pixar. But as I said it's not about the stories and animation for them anymore. Thankfully, Pixar still care about the story, script and voicework. Dreamworks, of course, seem to care more about dicking around, bad sitcom humour and pop-culture references.
Oct. 31, 2005, 9:46 p.m. CST
Frankly I don't have any expectations for Chicken Little. If it's a hit, they'll pat themselves on the back. If it's a flop, they'll say it was their first CG movie and move on to the next one and animation fans will decide on their own if it's a worthy movie or not. I doubt I'll like it much just because none of the trailers are funny to me.************* What I'm really kinda bothered about is this insane idea to make a RAPUNZEL movie as a spoof like Shrek! Please tell me that's not what they're actually doing! Why waste a perfectly good fairy tale on a trend?! Disney and Fairy Tales go way back, and I've been waiting for them to do Rapunzel for ages, but I've been waiting for them to play it straight, not flinch and make it into a joke! What next, Michael Meyers is the voice of Rumpelstilzken (shortened to Rump)? Bad enough the Shrek films have delayed a decent American animated version of Puss n Boots for several decades, but now Disney is playing follow the leader and actually throwing away Fairy Tales. I want them to grow out of the formulaic, but not like THAT! I hope they've changed their minds.
Oct. 31, 2005, 11:28 p.m. CST
They're still showing that 2-D animation is alive and some of it even has good stories. That and the Koreans do the animation for The Simpsons. Thank you and Good Night.
Oct. 31, 2005, 11:57 p.m. CST
God knows they have the money and power to become a major factor in the future of animated movies, it's not like they aren't already. But they could also usher new directions in animations, perhaps movies with more adult content but who knows? I think it would be a HUGE mistake if they go back to Disney. At least sign single picture deals if they need a distributor but then again, they could probably release their own films.
Nov. 1, 2005, 2:56 a.m. CST
So the $200 million that they really spent (not the "estimated" $128 million on IMDB) is still hidden away somewhere? Where's that Eisner fella?
Nov. 1, 2005, 11:06 a.m. CST
by Orbots Commander
If Pixar filmed a story just using sock puppets, it would still trump most of the stuff that Dreamworks puts out.
Nov. 1, 2005, 6:28 p.m. CST
Nov. 1, 2005, 7:16 p.m. CST
is because they make computer animated films. I'm sick of hearing people say that Disney has had flops because of their storytelling rather than their 2d animation. That's complete bullshit. Their films were unsuccessful because children would rather see computer animation rather than 2D. I love Pixar, but to say they're better than Disney is ludicrous. They've had it easy. Are we really to believe that Finding Nemo would have been half as successful had it been traditionally animated? And why is it that all the studios are beginning to make computer animated movies? Because they know that they're gonna make a lot more money than if they attempted traditional animation. What really pisses me off is that unless Chicken Little is the biggest animated movie of all time, people will say its the end of Disney. Yet it took Pixar 5 films to top the Lion King and no one deems Toy Story a failure.
Nov. 1, 2005, 10:21 p.m. CST
Because anyone who has worked at the studio knows how fucked up and far from a creative environment it has mutated into. The animation story dept has changed its process to mimic live action, the suits don't know how to get the good talent and get out of their way, and its not turning from this path unless something drastic happens (no, Eisner leaving is not enough, Iger has more in common with Jimmy Carter than Walt). Remember when Apple was in such serious trouble that they wooed Jobs back? It'll take something that serious to turn the studio around. They'll just ride Narnia for a while, hope Wilbur Robinson and American Dog do better and crank out those crappy direct-to-babysitter Pixarnt sequels. Jobs should kick their asses just for that alone. Disney should be making great hand animated films with music, stories with wisdom, tragedy and the joy of life. Comedy should be the garnish that brings out the flavor of the main course. And for God's sake, don't patronize your audience, honesty is the trick. BUNKYBOO HAS SPOKEN.
Nov. 2, 2005, 4:31 p.m. CST
someone who acts like a plant, but only to pan it? a Weeder, perhaps? Nah, too lame.
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