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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
U
Cast
Zach Braff
Amy Sedaris
Joan Cusack
Garry Marshall
Steve Zahn.
Directors
Mark Dindal.
Screenwriters
Ron J Friedman.
Running Time
81 minutes

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Chicken Little
We'll spare you the dreggful puns...


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Plot
Chicken Little (Braff) has become a figure of fun for the animal inhabitants of Oaky Oaks after creating panic with his bizarre insistence that the sky is falling. But the big-headed bantam’s paranoia eventually proves well-founded…


Review
Chicken Little

The held breath over whether Disney can succeed commercially in computer animation without Pixar has already been exhaled with immense relief, with Chicken Little easily flapping its way past $100 million in America. The question over whether it has succeeded artistically doesn’t have quite such an emphatic answer.

Disney has, of course, already dabbled in CGI with 2000’s Dinosaur, which was every bit as visually awesome and ploddingly brainless as its subjects. Chicken Little, however, represents its first time taking on the same comic-caper style as its on-off stablemate. It’s far from having any of the ingenuity or dazzle of even Pixar’s early efforts, but then, it’s not really trying to.

Nowhere in this spunky little movie will you find a shot designed to make you marvel at the things they can do with those newfangled computers these days. You could criticise it for lack of ambition, for not trying to compete on Pixar’s level. But your average eight year-old, at whom this is squarely aimed, will be giving that little thought, so much the better to enjoy it for the Saturday-morning silliness that it does so well.

The story’s essential slightness is improved no end by the large number of off-the-wall twists it manages to cram into its brief running time (if you’ve managed to avoid the spoilerising trailer, at one point you’ll genuinely be scratching your head wondering what the hell is going on — quite an achievement for a Disney kids’ movie), culminating in an excellent action set-piece. The solid dialogue is pepped up by terrific background visual gags and the assembled voice cast is impressive.

Braff, Cusack and Zahn are all perfect for voiceover roles, and that the likes of Catherine O’Hara, Fred Willard and Patrick Warburton fill the smallest roles speaks of the general quality.
They may not have the best material to work with, but they do wonderfully with what they have.

Pixar has set the standard for cartoons that offer as much, or more, to adults as children, and anything that doesn’t swell with wry wit seems to be now rejected as a failure. Judged by those criteria, Chicken Little disappoints. Judged as the children’s film it is, it punches winningly above its bantam-weight.


Verdict
Beyond a cheeky, twisty bit of genre-tinkering, there’s more here for the under-tens than over-, but it’s still charming, amusing and energetic enough to win you over.


Reviewed by Olly Richards


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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Chicken Little
Empire Star Rating

Worst Disney Movie Ever!

Unoriginal, bland, and full of annoying charecter's. Chicken Little (in my opinion) Is the Worst Disney Movie topping the boring Pocohontos. Why does the main charecter HAS to be a nerd, dweeb, loser who has a father who disappoves of him? Why does everyone makes fun of him and has to be the village idiot? Why do the writers dont care? Why? Why? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Darren47 at 23:43, 06 October 2013 | Report This Post


Finger Lickin' Good

Harmless, fun, fresh and a nice way to pass time in a lazy afternoon! Nothing to wonder at, just good ol' fun and games with glorious colours, giggles and characters! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by CloneWarGeneral at 22:22, 11 March 2006 | Report This Post


This film was disapointing because it was a bit too slow, and a bit to boaringalthough my cousin who is 11years old really enjoyed the film, I think this film is definately for the kids. =0) ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Roxy_dan at 12:39, 26 February 2006 | Report This Post


One of the worst mainstream animated films ever made. A massive disappointment from people who should know better than to steal DreamWork's terrible formula for Shrek, Shark Tale and Madagascar. Plot is what we need, not lousy pop-culture references. A decent plot and a decent script to go with it. Nice-enough animation cannot save this mess. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Leomuse at 19:36, 15 February 2006 | Report This Post


Impressed

I was quite impressed by Disney's 'Chicken little'. I thought the film could have corvered a bit more comedy, rather than the plotline. Although I did find it very funny with excellent characters. The film is said to be 81 mins but, time goes by very quick. Reccomended. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tomhemingwaycom at 18:45, 14 February 2006 | Report This Post


SAME FORMAT DIFFERENT DAY

Gotta say it wasn't bad, I love comedy farce and one of the opening scenes when chicken little goes to school was really funny. What we have here is a format which is becoming the norm these days. It started with shrek which can't be beaten in my mind, you have the jokes where they break format to laugh at themselves, they annoying character, the cute one, the funny one and the overall story that twinges your heart strings, i'm overloaded. There is up and coming films like "over the hedg... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by milky at 01:23, 13 February 2006 | Report This Post


Warning for small children

Based on the line in the Empire review "More for under-10's than over" I figured my 4 1/2 year old would enjoy this, she loved Madagascar and Wallace and Gromit at the cinema....however....I must warn parents of small children that the alien sequences, especially the early ones were very frighteneing for her and we nearly left the cinema. After the film she declared she enjoyed the film but she did spend a good 20 minutes on my wifes knee with hands over face actually crying and wanting t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by markdk25 at 20:35, 12 February 2006 | Report This Post


definately one for the kids more than the adults, but enjoyable enough ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bubba76 at 01:21, 12 February 2006 | Report This Post


what the cluck was that all about

the little chicken looked the part of cutesy marketing hero but the animation left a lot to be desired,nowhere near the level of previous disney offerings.that aside it was ok up until the film forgot what it was about,my kids just kept asking me what was going on and i had no answer for them.they got bored after about an hour in and i didnt blame them,bring back pixar all is forgiven ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mattywhitt at 03:17, 11 February 2006 | Report This Post


I took my 9 year old cousin Max to see this, worrying that it might be too babyish for HIM, let alone me. However, we both came out having thoroughly enjoyed it. Plenty of in-jokes "King Kong and War of the Worlds get a good send-up here) and ironic humour for me, lots of burp gags and slapstick for young Max. Nothing ground-breaking but a great way to spend 90 mins. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tigerbaps at 09:16, 08 February 2006 | Report This Post


Am a big disney fan....but htis really has no savig graces. it's too predictable and too slow. bring back the days of aladdin and the little mermaid is waht i say! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by j_sparrow06 at 11:02, 07 February 2006 | Report This Post


Good, not great

Not a brilliant film by any means, but it contains a lot more heart than most cg animated movies and it is a lot of fun. It also shows great potential from Disney and their future looks promising indeed. NB: Slight bias as I'm a massive Disney fan. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Chicken_Little at 20:26, 06 February 2006 | Report This Post


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