Chicken Little

Movies

Time Out says


ALL CLUCKED UP Chicken Little finds himself at the mercy of the media.

Folks with fond memories of their grammar-school story hours probably remember the English fable of Chicken Little, in which an easily perplexed poultry bird is hit on the head by an acorn and then believes that "the sky is falling!" Disney's retelling of the classic yarn keeps the core ingredients: Our bookish hero (Braff), having been knocked in the noggin by a stray nut, starts warning all the animals that the end is near. Now the laughingstock of the wild kingdom, the diminutive fowl must prove that he's not just a paranoid coward and deal with his disapproving father (Marshall). So far, so good.

Then Little and his friends discover that it's not the sky that's falling but pieces of spaceships intent on invading Earth, and what began as a children's film turns into a seemingly unconnected War of the Worlds amusement-park ride. Tots in the audience will be freaked out by the intensity of the '50s-sci-fi parody, while older patrons will find the Radio Disney--friendly soundtrack and extraneous sports-hero subplot way too saccharine. Which leaves, in terms of an audience...who, exactly? Only a singularly subversive move in the form of Little's porcine sidekick, Runt (Zahn)—a disco and Streisand obsessive who's easily readable as a "friend of Dorothy"—makes this movie stand out from a host of other mediocre animated kids' flicks.—David Fear

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