Chicken Little Review

Nov 04, 2005 | 4:15am EST

Based on the classic tale Chicken Little follows the fable with a few creative freedoms. Chicken Little (voiced by Zach Braff) must clear his name as a chicken who cried “wolf” (or rather “The sky is falling…”). The town turns to chaos over Little’s claim. When he can’t prove the incident everyone thinks the chick’s lost it. A year later the stigma still follows him--leading Little to desperately seek acceptance particularly from his father Buck Cluck (voiced by Garry Marshall). In an effort to seek positive attention he joins the baseball team and wins the big game. It seems everything’s going Little’s way until another piece of the sky falls and mysteriously finds it’s way into Little’s home. This time friends Runt of the Litter (voiced by Steve Zahn) and Abby Mallard (voiced by Joan Cusack) bare witness to the incident which turns into a full-blown alien invasion. What follows is a battle between animals and the unknown. As a writer producer director and sometime actor Marshall can now add “animated character” to his list of accomplishments. Voicing Buck Cluck has to be one of Marshall’s easiest roles. With an always distinctive voice Marshall used his signature sound to carry the role. Braff’s familiar voice sounded slightly tweaked for the part but added to the character’s sincerity. As always  Cusack and Zahn’s characters add the perfect blend of comic relief. Along with directing The Emperors New Groove director Mark Dindal also contributed to such classics as The Little Mermaid and Oliver & Company. Given his background it’s no surprise that this film delivers a lot of Disney’s essentials--comedy adventure and music. In terms of animation Dindal and his team’s attention to detail won’t go unnoticed particularly in the space invasion sequences. Still while visually gorgeous Chicken Little won’t likely go down in Disney history as a classic. It doesn’t have the great soundtrack Disney is usually known for. It features a few originals (Barenaked Ladies’ “One Little Slip”) but is jam packed with cover songs (Wannabe ‘Aint No Mountain High Enough) sung by the actual cast. Pure comedy but no real gems. But overall  Dindal succeeds in delivering a fun film worth taking the family to.

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