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3 Sentences on Chiken Little

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3 Sentences on Chiken Little

Dear AWN Forumers,
I came to AWN to read your opinions on Disneys new release today of Chicken Little and I am frankly surprised that there is no link started recently that I can see what all of you good (and highly experienced) people are thinking of the feature. I saw it today along with most of our 2D animation staff . We asked our staff NOT to discuss the movie until after we returned to the studio and each had written a (maximum) 3 sentence opinion/review of it. Those reviews are posted on Since I already know OUR opinions, my curiosity is to find out what YOUR opinion was of the movie. Is everyone in shock because this movie actually exceeded your expectations? I would be most interested to get your 3 sentences(Maximum) summary of your feelings and thoughts on the premeire weekend of this film. Beyond artistic, will Chicken Little be a box office success?

Awaiting patiently with Blessings to all,

Tom Hignite

Haven't seen it yet, but here are the sentences of those who have.

"Chicken Little gets a lot of the small things right. It's the bigger picture that gives it trouble."

"While the frenetic pacing might help conceal the movie's flaws, the bizarre twists in the plot are not easily glossed over."

"No matter how technically proficient a movie's visual effects, they mean nothing without wit, cunning and soul."
-- Gene Seymour, NEWSDAY

"The first computer-animated film from Disney also has the distinction of being a terrible movie a hectic, uninspired pastiche of catch phrases and cliches."

"Another in a new breed of mass-market comedy that substitutes self-reference for original wit and pop songs for emotional content."

"There's such a density of visual puns and pop culture reference points, kids and parents are bound to find themselves smiling in spots. The cumulative effect of the film, however, is exhaustion."

"A consistently amusing, often inspired family romp."
-- Michael Rechtshaffen, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

"Compared to the CG gems from Pixar, Chicken Little is stylistically inconsistent, narratively messy, and, well, just not much fun."

"For a movie that's supposed to launch Disney's official CGI era, Chicken Little doesn't stand tall enough."

"Under-nourishing and highly derivative."
-- Todd McCarthy, VARIETY

"While it is colorful and jaunty and filled with benign barnyard creatures, the occasional jokes and pop references aimed for designated guardians in the audience are more insulting than entertaining."
-- Jack Mathews, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

"There's scarcely enough story here for a half-hour TV cartoon."
-- Lou Lumenick, NEW YORK POST

"It's almost as if Disney was so nervous about its big chance at computer animation that it crammed in the cheap jokes and disposable music and wayward side plots to make sure it appealed to everyone."

"The originality and brightness of Chicken Little resides in its characters, whose names may be familiar from children's books, but whose personalities are unique."

"Chicken Little settles for what's expedient and safe and, over all, lives down to its title."
-- Liam Lacey, GLOBE AND MAIL

"More than a loving, clever riff on a fable, Chicken Little is a grade-school primer on the language of movies with a capital M."
-- Lisa Kennedy, DENVER POST

"Chicken Little is much too glib to make us feel what its characters are experiencing; the filmmakers would much rather explode their animated sets and vaporize their talking creatures."
-- Christopher Kelly, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS

"The animators are - - you almost no longer have to say this - - fabulous and full of mischief, weaving enough ironic amusements into the story for the longer of tooth."
-- Stephen Hunter, WASHINGTON POST

"This film's procession of dumb clucks and yuks manages to bring the roof down on occasion, if only through sheer manic exertion."
-- Peter Howell, TORONTO STAR

"There's nothing original here other than an alarming number of morbidly obese characters."

"Chicken Little has been Disneyfied with a vengeance."

"In trying to be all things to all popcorn-buyers, Chicken Little comes off as a manic scramble to please everyone."
-- Robert K. Elder, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

"The movie did make me smile. It didn't make me laugh, and it didn't involve my emotions, or the higher regions of my intellect, for that matter."

"Cuteness trumps horror, and Chicken Little suffices as kiddie entertainment in a moment when there's not a whole lot for youngsters to devour."

"It's one of the funniest, most charming and most exhilarating movies in years."
-- Richard Corliss, TIME MAGAZINE

"The invasion material is acceptably funny."
-- Mike Clark, USA TODAY

"Chicken Little, though it has its moments, mostly just feels anxious and overreaching. It tries to be all things to all people and fails to be anything to anyone."
-- Carina Chocano, LOS ANGELES TIMES

"Chicken Little is shiny and peppy, with some solid laughs and dandy vocal performances, but even a small child may sense how forced this movie is."

"The movie (directed by Mark Dindal, The Emperor's New Groove) swings from sugar buzz to glucose crash a bit too quickly."

"It is bogged down by many of the problems that have plagued Disney's recent traditional animated features: anonymous voice work, poor plot structure, and the mistaken belief that the Disney brand will elevate anything to a 'must see' level."
-- James Berardinelli, REE

...and to think, they did all this in 81 minutes.

Haven't seen it yet - planning on going tomorrow.

I'm busy working today.
I have show's to finish animating.
I'll see it later this week end. :D

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Saw It

Just got back and maybe it''s not Nemo but it is solid. Lots of quality work really shows and I liked the characters especially the pig. The voice of chicken Little didn't seem right but the Cusak(sp) and Dad characters voices were nice making this in my book a B+.

That's 3!

Just saw it today and I also have to give them their props. It sad that they will only use big names on feature films now, but it is what it is. A very light and a very short feature but it carried well. This film was clearly made not to scare children but to entertain, without giving an adult a brain hemerage. I would have to give it a B-.

B+ from me too. A solid first effort for Disney in the all 3D arena. I enjoyed it immensely, my attention didn't wander, and I wasn't left with a lot of "but what about" questions after.

The father/son relationship between CL and his dad didn't ring true to me - maybe because we never found out why his dad was so reluctant to support him (and pointedly refuses to support him at one point). Maybe that part of the story got cut out or something.

Just read this comment at the site, and it has me scratching my head:

"No need at all for the baseball game, or perhaps it should have been shifted to the end of the picture."

Whoever wrote this needs to go back and study story structure some more, because this sequence was vital to what follows in the film.


[/b]The baseball game was crucial - it was the redemptive event that allowed CL to put his previous problems behind him. By breaking the 20-year losing streak, he becomes the hero, gets the approval from his father that he's desperately seeking, and everyone in town is willing to forgive his first "sky is falling" episode.

Then, when the "sky falls" on him again, it puts that redemption at risk, causing his internal conflict. Do I tell or not? I just got out of this personal hell, and now I might be thrust right back into it.

The baseball game is a major lynchpin in the story. I can't believe that someone would watch the movie and think there was no need for it, or that it could just as easily be moved to the end. Tom, I hope whoever wrote that isn't in your story department... :D


Hello again,
The comments which were given from our staff were done immediatly following the viewing of this movie without the luxury of having time to reflect . They were meant to be(unlike many reviews which are highly orchestrated and methodically approached) a survey of immediate comments "from the gut". Many of our staffers were uneasy about having their names be connected to their comments because they wanted more time to really weigh their words and emotions on the subject. I assurred them that the entire world will be giving thoughtful reviews, ours was to be impromptu and quick. Given a night to think about it, a few of the folks have altered their initial comments. On Monday at our regular department meeting, it will be interesting to see what opinions have changed or altered.

While not giving this persons identity, this person has in fact recieved acolades for story ideas and has even recieved a bonifide offer to teach animation story at a well known respected university. For the record, I do not see how the pictures first act could have ended without this highlight. This high point did mean that everything in the resolution of act 3 would now have to top this satisfying scene. One well knowen national critic agreed with our staff member that the baseball game was not needed or should have been in a different movie.

At any rate, I beleive that you(DSB) and I are in agreement that this story needed this(or another resolution of simular function) to make the father character proud of his son and set-up act 2. I hope I read you right on this summary DSB. Thanks for caring, we are certainly needing our features story to be solid in order for us to succeed and I know we both want that.

More blessings
Tom Hignite

Hey Tom,

That last comment was intended as a throwaway joke; I meant no offense (and I hope none was taken). However, I am very surprised that if this individual is as steeped in story as you say that they'd miss the obvious necessity of this device to move the plot forward. I'm just a humble animator and I got it... :0)

As for what a critic thinks should or shouldn't be in a movie... nah; it's too easy... :0)

Personally, I think this movie is being victimized in general by some undeserved drubbing. It's Disney's first in-house film since the bloodletting, and there are those that would like nothing better than to see the Mouse House fail. Those feelings color emotions and maybe prevent the film from getting the fair shake it deserves. There's more at play here than the film itself, in other words...

I just saw it this after noon. It was an ok movie. Some really nice animation, but to me the backgrounds were kind of distracting. It seemed like the whole movie was filmed in Disneyland's Toontown. There story also seemed all over the place. It felt as though they took the best parts of different scripts and peiced them together, but they just didn't seem to gel together. I'll see it again.

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Havent seen it yet.

great news for animation:

another animated feature in the #1 slot

This one made over twice as much as W&G did.
Is this Disney's first 3D success?

God, people sure do love animated movies. They should really make more of them. :D

I think I'm seeing it tonight, so I'll let you all know how much it sucks. ;)

I give it a solid B. Good animation. Okay story. At least the 80s music fit the story somewhat :D
Not and A+ grade film but not a C or D grade film either like many critics are giving it.
James :cool:

saw it, and I also give it an "okay": somewhere between a C+ and an A-.

The music was annoying and there was way too much of it early in the movie. The character designs weren't great and the animation lacked subtlety.
The Peewee's B.A.-style short at the end might have made a better movie.

Still, it's probably good stuff for the kiddies, and - just as not all cartoons need to be appealing to kids - not all cartoons need to appeal to adults (see CN and Nick's daytime programming).

And that's the last animated feature this year, isn't it?
It was a pretty good year, overall: Howl's, Madagascar, W&G, and some okay crap like C.L. and Robots. Too bad the number of animated features has been diminishing in the last few years. Maybe it will pick up again. :o

P.S. The Lemmings gag in C.L. was ironic and creepy considering that it was the Disney company that spread this myth by throwing lemmings into the sea.

It was a pretty good year, overall: Howl's, Madagascar, W&G, and some okay crap like C.L. and Robots.

Corpse Bride too...

If anyone is going to "Chicken Little" this week, could you check for any product placement. I have this vague memory of seening one or two products, but that just could be all in my head.