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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Children > Computer Animation > Animated Feature > Chicken Little (Disney DVD)

Chicken Little


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B-     Feature: B-



When Disney decided to strike out on their own and do a computer generated (CG) animated feature without Pixar’s talents, everyone thought it would be a disaster.  When it was going to be about a legendary children’s character, some wondered how much of story could be made of a young boy who said the sky was falling and no one believed him.  Then, Chicken Little came out in 2005 and was a surprise blockbuster hit that surprised critics and the industry alike.  Now comes the DVD and it is not bad either.


Zack Braff voices the title character and it is a dead-on match that works.  Bespeckled like Miss Prissy’s fatherless son Egghead in the old Warner Bros. cartoon shorts, the young chicken is made out to be losing his mind and made an outcast.  After that goes on for a while, events start to occur that slowly start to give the young guy some credibility.  But will it be in time before it is too late to prevent some kind of disaster?  Garry Marshall, Patrick Stewart, Amy Sedaris, Steve Zahn, Joan Cusack, Wallace Shawn, Harry Shearer, Fred Willard, Catherine O’Hara, Patrick Warburton, the feature’s director Mark Dindal, a hilarious bit by Adam West and the late, great Don Knotts in his last feature film work do an exceptional job of bringing the very likable characters to life.


The story is simple and this is a G-rated film aimed a young children that really respects their hearts, souls and minds in a way we do not see enough.  The story is nothing groundbreaking or earth shattering, but it moves along nicely and has some pleasant and funny moments.  Besides having all that talent and good qualities going for it, there is one other thing that makes this work and makes it so watchable.  Like the approach to the Toy Story films of digging into the world and history of toys past and present, this film goes way out of its way to recreate the world of illustrated storybooks for children in a 3-D like way, including the kinds of solid and semi-vibrant colors that have made those volumes classics and even collectibles.  Until the 1980s when home video came in, this was a special world of the printed page for children’s imaginations and Chicken Little brings this lovingly to life in a way that can only be described as charming.  On the CG art level, that makes it a classic.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is pretty good, especially in the choice of color, which is nice and consistent throughout.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is not bad, though was there not room for DTS?  This has some nice sound design and sometimes the Dolby just cannot cut it.  Extras include deleted scenes with 3 alternate openings & optional introductions, Hatching Chicken Little: A 'making of' featurette, 'Where's Fish?' interactive game, Cheetah Girls’ Music Video, Barenaked Ladies’ Music Video, Karaoke sing along and trailers.  There is plenty of room for a sequel and a story even cleverer.  With the business this will do on DVD following its theatrical success, which should not be too long from now.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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