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Mark Dindal
Zach Braff, Garry Marshall, Don Knotts, Patrick Stewart, Amy Sedaris, Steve Zahn, Joan Cusack, Wallace Shawn, Harry Shearer, Fred Willard
Writing Credits:
Steve Bencich, Ron J. Friedman, Ron Anderson

After ruining his reputation with the town, a courageous chicken must come to the rescue of his fellow citizens when aliens start an invasion.

Box Office:
$60 million.
Opening Weekend
$40.049 million on 3654 screens.
Domestic Gross
$134.637 million.

Rated G

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English Uncompressed PCM 5.1 (2D)
English DTS-HD MA 5.1 (3D)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (2D)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplelements Subtitles:

Runtime: 81 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 11/8/2011

• Both 2D and 3D Versions of Film
• Audio Commentary with Director Mark Dindal, Producer Randy Fullmer and Visual Effects Supervisor Steve Goldberg
• “Filmmaker Q&A”
• Movie Showcase
• “Alien Invasion” Game
• Four Deleted Scenes
• Two Music Videos
• “One Little Slip” Karaoke
• “One Little Slip” Sing-A-Long
• “Hatching Chicken Little: The Making of the Movie” Documentary
• Easter Eggs
• Sneak Peeks
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Chicken Little [Blu-Ray 3D] (2005)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 9, 2016)

Disney first adapted the “Chicken Little” story back in 1943. They turned it into a short that reflected the atmosphere of the era. It acted to warn against “loose lips” during World War II. Despite that theme, it remains enjoyable and entertaining to modern audiences.

It also was short and concise, unlike Disney’s 2005 feature film rendition of Chicken Little. This one takes the basic story and greatly expands on it.

In the 2005 version, Chicken Little (voiced by Zach Braff) causes mayhem in the town of Oakey Oaks when he alerts the citizens that the sky is falling. This appears to be a false alarm, and Chicken becomes the butt of many jokes.

This trend continues even after a year, as we learn when we rejoin Chicken at that time. His dad Buck Cluck (Garry Marshall) feels humiliated by this treatment and wants Chicken to get it behind them.

Chicken is determined to find a way to redeem himself with his pop. Chicken’s pal Abby Mallard (Joan Cusack) thinks they need to chat and find closure, but he prefers a more action-oriented measure.

Since Buck was a star athlete in his youth, Chicken decides to try to excel at baseball. His dad discourages him due to the kid’s diminutive size, but Chicken insists. He rides the bench all season but finally gets a shot at bat during the team’s championship game. Against all odds, Chicken hits a home run to seal the victory and he becomes a hero.

All seems well with Chicken and his pop, but matters quickly go downhill when the sky starts to fall again. A strange electronic tile that can mimic any environment lands in Chicken’s bedroom.

Chicken’s pal Fish Out of Water (Dan Molina) ends up flying back to an alien ship on it, so Chicken, Abby and Runt of the Litter (Steve Zahn) try to save him. There they encounter vicious space monsters who apparently try to kill them. When a lil’ alien baby gets left behind, an invasion occurs, and only Chicken Little knows what to do about it.

Chicken Little provides the sight of Disney trying too hard. Over the few years prior to 2005, they saw other studios encroach on their territory. Their traditional animation mostly tanked at the box office while others put out computer-generated efforts that raked in the big bucks. Chicken Little represents Disney’s effort to compete with those works, and it comes across with more than a slight sense of desperation.

Back in the day, Disney made animated movies that were special. I don’t just mean that classics that came out while Walt still walked the earth. All through the Nineties they released consistently fine flicks that had a certain spark and heart the works of their competitors lacked.

That charge slipped away in the 21st century. Disney still created some fun flicks, but they often didn’t connect with audiences while movies like Shrek and others made all the money. Chicken Little puts Disney in the unfortunate position of playing catch up, and they don’t do so particularly well.

Don’t take this to mean that Chicken Little offers an unpleasant viewing experience. It provides a moderately entertaining piece of work and doesn’t cause the audience to squirm while it runs. There’s enough decent humor and action to sustain it through its 81 minutes.

But shouldn’t a Disney flick be more than just passable entertainment? That puts Chicken Little in the same class as efforts like Madagascar and Ice Age. There’s nothing overtly wrong with these movies, but they lack the spirit and charm to make them anything other than mediocre.

Does Chicken Little ever threaten to become memorable? Nope. The story runs too long, as it really stretches to make the basic “sky is falling” plot into a feature-length effort.

Of course, it completely abandons the moral of the original fable. Instead, it prefers a touchy-feely theme about connections between fathers and sons.

There’s nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but the plot bears an only tangential connection to the source material. The two match so infrequently that I’m not even sure why they bothered to develop this story as Chicken Little; it would’ve worked in many other settings as well.

Voice acting? Perfectly competent. Animation? A little overdone and hyper, but completely adequate. Music? Peppy and lively without anything to make it stand out from a million other animated flicks. Chicken Little? A pedestrian piece of work that provides moderate entertainment and nothing more.

Footnote: stick around through the end credits for a bonus sequence.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Chicken Little appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image seemed very satisfying.

Sharpness worked well. Virtually no softness appeared, and that left us with a tight, concise presentation. The movie lacked jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. No print flaws materialized.

Colors seemed very good as well. The movie featured a gentle pastel palette that looked appropriately concise and distinctive. Blacks were deep and rich, while low-light shots appeared smooth. Everything about the image succeeded.

I thought the Uncompressed PCM 5.1 soundtrack of Chicken Little presented a fairly engaging soundfield. Not surprisingly, its strongest moments related to elements with the aliens. Those helped open up the spectrum pretty nicely.

The action climax worked best, as the ships and creatures zoomed around the room well. Otherwise, we got good stereo impressions from the music along with solid environmental material. The latter reverberated in the rear speakers to positive effect.

No problems with audio quality occurred. Speech was always concise and natural, and I noticed no edginess or other concerns. Music seemed bright and lively.

Effects showed good distinctiveness, and they offered nice low-end when appropriate. The alien sequences brought my subwoofer to life and added solid depth. The track wasn’t quite immersive enough to merit an “A”-level grade, but it was very pleasing nonetheless.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD? Audio sounded a bit more robust, while visuals were more accurate and precise. The Blu-ray gave us the expected improvements.

The package includes both 2D and 3D versions of Chicken Little. The technical comments address the 2D edition – what does the 3D platter bring to the table?

Not a whole lot in terms of 3D imaging, unfortunately. These elements remained surprisingly restrained and failed to add much dimensionality to the movie. Scenes with flying components and aliens became moderately fun, but most of the flick felt like “2.5D”.

The quality of the 3D presentation suffered in comparison with its 2D mate. The latter looked more vibrant and accurate, with clearer shadows and livelier colors. With lackluster 3D effects and less than stellar visuals, the 2D version offered the superior viewing option.

All the set’s extras appear on the 2D platter. We get an audio commentary from director Mark Dindal, producer Randy Fullmer and visual effects supervisor Steve Goldberg. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, cast and performances, music, editing, animation and art, and related topics.

The three participants combine in an engaging manner. They cover a nice array of domains and do so in a concise, involving way. This leads to a satisfying chat.

An interactive feature, Filmmaker Q&A runs alongside the movie. This presents a running series of questions from which the viewer can choose. Select any of those and get replies from Dindal and Fullmer. There’s also an “AutoPlay” option that makes the presentation easier, if less open-ended. I’d prefer an option to view all these clips elsewhere via “Play All”, but we still get a lot of good info here.

A game called Alien Invasion appears as well. It offers a variant on “Space Invaders” – a clunky, awkward variant. Skip it.

We find eight Deleted Scenes. We can watch these with or without introductions from director Mark Dindal and producer Randy Fullmer. Taken without the intros, they last a total of 23 minutes, 15 seconds. If you include the intros, they fill 28 minutes, 37 seconds.

The scenes include two alternate openings along with an “original opening” and a segment called “Lunch Break”. They appear in various stages of completion. We get some finished animation along with rough work and some storyreels.

All of the various openings are quite interesting to see, especially since “original opening” casts Chicken Little as a girl. The intros offer basic notes about the sequences but fail to flesh them out particularly well.

A staple of early Disney Blu-rays, Movie Showcase acts as a form of chapter search. It allows the viewer to jump to three different action scenes. It’s a waste of time.

Two Music Videos pop up next. We find “Shake Your Tail Feather” from the Cheetah Girls and “One Little Slip” by Barenaked Ladies. The former is fairly unlistenable as it presents one of the skillions of interchangeable telegenic pop acts from the Disney stable. The video is a dull mix of lip-synch antics and some dancing animated characters.

“Slip” is no more memorable, and the video itself seems even more boring. It simply combines bland recording studio shots and movie clips. Does anyone actually enjoy these kinds of crummy videos?

The disc lets us hear the tune “One Little Slip” in two other ways. There’s a Karaoke option as well as a Sing-A-Long. Both use identical visuals that show the animated characters dance in various settings. The songs differ in that the Karaoke one lacks vocals whereas the other comes with the original singing. Neither does anything for me.

For a look behind the scenes, we get an 18-minute, five-second program entitled Hatching Chicken Little: The Making of the Movie. We hear from Dindal, Fullmer, supervising animators Tony Smeed, Doug Bennett and Jason Ryan, animation supervisor Eamonn Butler, composer John Debney, musicians Joss Stone, Patti Labelle, Steven Page, Tyler Stewart, Ed Robertson and John Ondrasik, and actors Amy Sedaris and Dan Molina. The show traces the origins of the production and the development of its story, character design and animation choices, voice acting and characters, the film’s music, and the daily duties of the director.

Expect “Hatching” to keep its focus general. It gets into a nice mix of subjects, as it touches on many of the areas we want. However, it races through them and remains awfully superficial. The show acts as a decent overview but never becomes particularly substantial.

Two Easter Eggs appear. “Runt of the Litter” (1:07) “Foxy Loxy” (0:57) both offer quirky little “in-character” ads for the film. They’re entertaining.

The 2D disc opens with ads for Lady and the Tramp, Chimpanzee, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. The 3D platter launches with a clip for Cars 2. No trailer for Chicken Little appears.

A third disc provides a DVD copy of Chicken Little. It replicates the original 2006 DVD.

If you want to see a perfect example of a perfectly average animated film, look no farther than 2005’s Chicken Little. Formulaic and moderately entertaining, it maintains the viewer’s interest to a decent degree but it never threatens to truly enchant or delight. The Blu-ray provides very strong visuals and audio along with a moderately useful set of supplements. This becomes a good release for an average film.

To rate this film, visit the orignal review of CHICKEN LITTLE