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Chicken Little
DVD disk
Mar 21, 2006 By: Jason Coleman
Chicken Little order
Director:
Mark Dindal

Actors:
Zach Braff
Garry Marshall
Joan Cusack

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The coda for the film is the original story of CHICKEN LITTLE, where the little guy thinks the sky is falling and everyone in town labels him insane. Or is he? When another piece falls and strange alien robot octopuses come to town, it’s up to the beaked one and his merry band of misfit friends to save the day.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
While taking the short idea about CHICKEN LITTLE and his falling sky may sound like a stretch, the creators of this CHICKEN LITTLE have actually pulled a rabbit out of a hat. They’ve taken what could have been another boring and forgettable Disney flick and created a little film that could. Not to say that adults, unlike in the more grown up friendly MADAGASCAR, will have a complete blast watching this one. It has a few quirky characters and small bits of film fanatic homage dropped in every now and then, but the real audience for this film are the same ones who I'm recommending it for – the kids. My own chicken little watched this film a total of seven times before this review and can tell you not only everything that is going to happen before hand, but can also repeat lines from the opening song! (A song that I didn’t think was very memorable, guess it shows what I know!) And while I like the premise of the film, I must admit I found myself dozing off at times; not so with the rugrat. The film really hit a cord with him and I’m dumbfounded to explain why.

Could it be the interesting voices behind some of the more memorable characters? Talents like Zach Braff as the little furry guy, Steve Zahn as the runt of the litter, or my favorite, the great Joan Cusack as a feisty mallard definitely stand out and make this one fun. But maybe it’s the writing? The whole father/son story line, with Garry Marshall providing the voice of the over protective papa, definitely had me misty (I’m a dad, sue me!) and there was even a little “lesson” by the end. (Not something I like, but this one’s not for me is it?!) Who knows? Creating a memorable flick so that the kids will sit is a lot like shooting pool with a rope – seemingly impossible, but you might get lucky. And while I wasn’t completely bowled over by CHICKEN LITTLE, my baby boy was and in the end, to parents and to Disney I’m sure, that’s all that really matters.

Kid’s Critique: “I loved it.” (And this time, he actually meant it!)
THE EXTRAS
Like I said before, it’s hit or miss and the extras on this DVD never made it past first base. It has a very long and tedious making-of, a few deleted scenes and one game! (Who’s the audience for this thing?) It’s strange how Disney could be so right on with the film, and so dead wrong on the extras content, but don’t just take my word for it…

Deleted Scenes: To even have extra scenes that aren't artificially generated as a goof (especially for an animated film!) is a downright odd. But there are four here, which have two options. First, you can Play All (10:30), which I highly recommend if you don’t want to have to get up from your cat nap to press the button for a whining munchkin. Second, you can Play All with (13:24) or with out an introduction by Producer Randy Fullmer and Director Dindal, which seemed fine to me, but bothered the kid. Kid’s Critique: “Good but I don’t like the talking, talk, talk, talk!”

Alternate Opening #1: Chicken Little Storybook (2:50): An alternate opening of the film, with the story being told by a book. Very smart move in changing this one! Kid’s Critique: “It’s okay.” (In kids speak it means boring!)

Alternate Opening #2: Cooking With Klaus (6:10): A cute cooking sequence, that I agree has nothing to do with the overall story, but it’s nice to see here! Kid’s Critique: “It’s funny.”

Original Opening With Chicken Little As A Girl (2:05): I can’t tell if this was a gag scene or it was the original concept, either way it could've been good if they had gotten a decent female for the voice over. (Think Amanda Plummer!) Kid’s Critique: (he was speechless and not in a good way!)

Lunch Break (2:00): This sequence is done with storyboards, not the most visually appealing for the little ones! Kid’s Critique: “I don’t like it.”

Backstage Disney: Hatching Chicken Little – The Making Of The Movie: This making-of doc, consisting of no less then five parts that can be done individually or as a Play All (18:15). It’s hard to say which is better, as the talking heads got so much, that the kid left the room. Kid’s Critique for the whole thing: “Too much talking.”

The Incubation Period: The Story Behind The Story (2:45): A look at the story and meeting the main players. (Can finally see that the girl footage was for real!) Best when they fast forward the footage, which was done for style, but works as a cure for boredom.

Cracking New Ground (3:15): Talking about design, with various animators. May be of interest to a fledging cartoonist, not so great for a five year old!

Birds Of A Feather: The Voices Behind The Characters (5:00): The only remotely interesting one, but for adults only. (Seeing the people behind the voices kind of ruins it for him, you know?!) Seeing how Fish’s voice is done (didn’t know he even had one!) is odd, yet compelling!

Rock-A-Doodle-Do: The Music Of Chicken Little (4:30): Music may be important to a film, but not integral to this DVD, as this mini-doc cries nap time!

Ruling The Roost: A Day In the Life Of The Director (4:30): A lot of talk and arm flailing from Director Dindal, who seems like a fun guy, but we didn’t need to see this.

In the games and activities section, there is a “Where’s Fish?” Trivia Game where kids test their knowledge of (what else?) CHICKEN LITTLE, then must follow flying Fish and guess where he lands. While my little guy said he “thought it was fun”, he also followed it up with “Aren’t there more games?” Cater to the kids, Disney!

There is also two music video’s including ”Shake Your Tail Feather” Performed by The Cheetah Girls (3:05) and ”One Little Slip” Performed by Barenaked Ladies (no, not those!) (2:50), a “One Little Slip” Karaoke Song (3:01), and Sing Along (3:01) , as well as eight (whew!) Sneak Peeks for THE LITTLE MERMAID SPECIAL EDITION, THE WILD, DUMBO SPECIAL EDITION, CARS, AIRBUDDIES, HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, BROTHER BEAR 2 and THAT’S SO RAVEN.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I’m always quick with the wit and ending reflection, but this is a film that requires none. Chicken Little is a designed for, created for, and is made for the kids and in that arena, it’s a champion. (Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the DVD features!) Listen, any flick that can mesmerize my kid for more then one sitting, either has a creepy hypnotizing HALLOWEEN 3 like voodoo trance going on, or it knows who its audience is. I’m hoping it’s the latter.
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