One comment I read on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) regarding computer generated image (CGI) animation is that since CGI has been around for 10 years now, it's not enough that movie makers just play around with the animation and slap it together and call it a movie. As Pixar has ably demonstrated, the movie must be driven by a strong story; otherwise, the movie will simply fail.
I had that very same feeling when I watched "Chicken Little" last night at Megamall.
I brought G to watch "Chicken Little", and, while she was relatively entertained by the film, I found myself thinking and finding the movie a bit lacking.
The story is about Chicken Little, who, as the classic story goes, throws his town into a panic when he alarms everyone about the sky falling. Nobody believes him, including his father. However, in the movie, the sky falling was a reality, and the movie moves from there.
It seems apparent that Disney is suffering from the break-up with Pixar, as the story of "Chicken Little" tries to everything and falling a bit flat.
One of the problems with inserting pop culture references is that it sometimes seems forced into the movie for the sake of the adults who have to accompany their kids to watch the movie. Sometimes, in the case of "Shrek" and "Madagascar", the ploy works. Not so here. There were a good number of references that seemed plopped in for no better reason than the fact that the makers could.
The story itself is a bit messy, making it difficult for me to relate to the characters. The insertion of aliens doesn't seem to help much to improve it.
I didn't really feel the supposed tension between Chicken Little (Zach Braff) and his dad, Buck Cluck (Garry Marshall), and I thought it was a bit contrived. It didn't help that one of the other characters, Abby Mallard (Joan Cusack) kept on harping on the fact that Little and his dad had to work things out; she kept on delivering it in a shrill voice, which made it even harder to appreciate.
Ironically, I found the alien parents (played respectively by Fred Willard, and Catherine O'Hara) to be more genuine in their shows of emotions and more entertaining than the two main characters.
What I did like were some of the choices for voice actors. It's been a while since I've heard Don Knotts, and I'm happy to hear him again, this time as the deranged mayor of Oakely Oaks. Adam West, who, for once, isn't playing a parody of his "Batman" days in a cartoon, has a cameo as the moviefied version of Chicken Little, and he delivers it with the hokieness for which he's famous.
Verdict: "Chicken Little" is okay for kids, and a little tedious for adults.
- There apparently are three animated (all CGI; will there ever be a traditionally animated feature film again?) films coming out next year: "Happy Feet", which seems to be about Jamaican penguins, "Ice Age 2", which I've mentioned before and am looking forward to see, and "Open Season", which appears to answer the question, "What if forest creatures decide to hunt humans?"
- Why is it that non-GP movie trailers always seem to precede children movies? Last night, the theatre played the trailers of "Shake, Rattle and Roll Y25" and "Exodus" which remind us that the Metro Manila Film Festival is just around the corner, but the graphic nature of the trailers is questionable for a kid's movie.