Chicken Little

This 2005 film was produced by Disney when Pixar was trying to renegotiate its distribution contract. Disney had to prove that it didn’t need Pixar to produce successful computer-animated movies, but with this film it was only partially successful. It was originally in 3D, a few years early for the trend. Like so many of these films I’ve watched recently, the character design and voice acting is a joy, but the story is decidedly underbaked. Chicken Little wants to be hip but it’s still grounded in the 1950s, morally and conceptually, and cynically it tries to cover all audience bases. A shame, because some of the jokes are rather good.

The classic fable is bolted to an ETWar of the Worlds pastiche, and as a result we have no idea why an advanced alien race is in the same movie as a town full of anthropomorphic furry animals. There’s some heavy-handed moralizing about how fathers should be supportive, and, yes, at the end of the film the entire cast dances to a ’70s chestnut which has fuck-all to do with the previous 80 minutes  – in this case, Elton John’s ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’. Shiny, colourful, gleefully animated, but with an overwhelming air of “Will this do?”

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