Media Analysis - Chicken Little (2005)

Swellow
In today's Media Analysis, I decide to look at one of Disney's most infamous animated movies, Chicken Little, and express my opinion on the movie.
The late nineties to the early turn of the millennium brought us many animated movies. Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Ice Age, and Monster House were some of the more popular movies of its time, and Dreamworks was at the top of it's game with movies that referenced and spoofed pop culture. Soon later, Disney decided to cash in on Dreamworks' style, and guess what they came up with...
Chicken Little. For anyone who doesn't know what that is - basically the story of the chicken who claims "the sky is falling" and ends up getting cooked into a stew by a fox. Disney decided to have a go at CGI for the first time, starting off with Chicken Little. The movie came out in 2005, and not only to poor reception, but Disney wants nothing to do with this movie anymore. Not even John Lasetter (the creator of the film, by the way). Anyway, enough with the introduction, let's get to the meat of the film.

The film starts with a flashback of Chicken Little (who is apparently a boy because the creators thought an actually female chicken wouldn't fit with audiences) pulling the school bell and causing the entire town into a panic. Yes, the panic becomes so much buildings start being destroyed and the boulder scene from Indiana Jones comes to life. I'm not making that last part up, that actually happens (but don't think we're done with the pop references - this movie is bombarded with them). When Little is forced to explain himself, he tells him that a piece of the sky shaped like a stop sign fell on his head, but he has no evidence. His father Buck believes it was a mere acorn, and so does everyone else. We flash forward onto a year, and Chicken has become a laughingstock by schoolyard bully (yet not a mean girl) Foxy Loxy and an outcast whose only friends are his crush Abby Mallard, the large pig Runt, and Fish Out Of Water.
Alright, I need to ask a few questions before I go on - How can someone become a laughingstock for more than a year just because of a prank they did, but a bigger question - how can a mere prank send an entire town into panic? I mean, they were probably trying to stick close to the original, but even then the panic wasn't as big as it was here.

Continuing on - After an embarrassing day in school where Little pulls the fire alarm in gym class and is sent to the head's office, he discovers that Buck himself was actually the baseball champion in school. Little is encouraged by Abby to talk to Buck, to which Little discovers that he can get rid of Buck's disappointing views of him by taking part in baseball tryouts. The next day, Little and the gang try out the baseball tryouts, to which despite a disastrous playthrough, Chicken pulls through, and ultimately wins the ninth inning. For once, we see Buck actually be nice to his son (to be honest, though, unlike dillweeds like Mr. Enter, I won't demonize Buck), and now Little's bad reputation has been cured as a result of it.
You know, the baseball part is actually something that could have worked with the story - If they had continued that plotline on a small bit more, maybe it would have made the movie a small bit better. Sadly, that didn't come to plan, but hey, it could have worked.

Eventually, that night, Little is walking home when he is hit by a device that looks like a piece of the sky, also shaped like a stop sign (uhh, Disney, it's called a "hexagon"). When he gets his friends to investigate, Fish discovers that it's actually a disguise piece of an invisible UFO. Eventually, a large amount of aliens come from nearby. In panic, Little once again rings the bell to warn the town. However, the aliens escape when the crowds approach, which predictably does not work.

The next day, they discover that the aliens left behind a small orange baby. Suddenly, the sky actually starts to change, as a large amount of aliens invade, vaporizing citizens such as Foxy Loxy. Little discovers that the invasion is a misunderstanding because the aliens are trying to look for their baby, and he tries to get the attention of his (still jerkass) father again, which manages to work. Buck apologizes, and try to fend off the aliens until they get vaporized... except they weren't vaporized, they were taken inside the UFO. The two manage to return the alien baby, and discover that indeed, the attack was a misunderstanding. The next day, everything returns to normal, and the citizens come back... but Foxy Loxy is brainwashed into a Southern belle to which Runt falls for. It is then revealed that the ordeal is being made into a movie, featuring a small cameo by Adam West (which, to be fair, is one of the better parts).

Final Thoughts
I rate this movie a 2.5 out of 10. The animation is actually decent for Disney's first movie, and the acting wasn't that bad to be honest, even if it made liberal use of the talents of several actors (though considering Amy Sedaris is now working in Downy adverts, I guess there's worse). However, the flaws come from numerous parts - The whole alien part could have been done in a much better way, and could have even been rendered pointless, because it made the story look like a period piece of the 2000s. Half of the characters don't have much traits besides being jerks or incompetent, and even the few likable characters (Abby, maybe?) aren't really used much. In addition, to make it even more period piece, the pop culture references are everywhere. From corny music references to celebrity jokes. I feel this movie is like a high-school project turned real. Lastly, there's a few implications that wouldn't work well with people, such as Buck's questionable parenting techniques or the brainwashing of Foxy Loxy and Runt using this to his advantage (but it could be worse.... eww.). To be fair, though, it isn't as bad as what everyone says it is, it's just a slip-up from a dork age of Disney.

This has been my Media Analysis. Swellow out.

Comments

Great rant, good points. - ProPanda

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