Movie Review: Chicken Little (2005)

Title: Chicken Little
Release Date: November 4, 2005
Director: Mark Dindal
Production Company: Walt Disney Pictures

Being a Walt Disney animated features completionist means watching a movie made 15 years ago that made absolutely no impact whatsoever (despite having the voice acting talents of Zach Braff, Joan Cusack, Garry Marshall, Amy Sedaris, and Don Knotts or that it’s the Disney studio proper’s first venture into 3-D computer animation).  The Chicken Little/Henny Penny is updated for the 21st century with Chicken Little (Braff) now being a teenager who has trouble talking about problems with his widowed father, Buck (Marshall). And the sky is falling because it’s really aliens in a camouflaged spaceship.  And no one believes Chicken Little because this is also “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” somehow.  And there’s an elaborate subplot where Chicken Little tries to prove himself to his father by playing baseball.

This movie came out the same year as Madagascar from DreamWorks Animation and appears to be trying the same kind of (already dated from the 90s) self-referential humor with lots of pop music interludes.  Except it’s Disney so they’re also trying to play it sweet.  And all comes out a mediocre mush of recycled gags and forced emotions.   It may be good for young children, but doesn’t have the magic to make it enjoyable for the whole family. But it also has a character who is a fish with a tank of water on his head who cracks me up, so it’s not all a loss.

Rating: **