is a 2005 computer-animated film
produced by Walt Disney Animation
, and their first completely CG film not by Pixar
. It is the 46th film in the Disney Animated Canon
, and is also Disney's first movie to be completely made via computer animation (2000's Dinosaur
had CG characters against live-action backgrounds). It is based on the fairy tale of the same name, but set in modern times and given a Science Fiction
In the original tale, a little chicken is hit by an acorn on the head and believes that the sky was starting to fall down in pieces; she sets out to warn the king and is joined by other animal characters, eventually running into the evil Foxy Loxy, who wants to eat them.
In the movie, Chicken Little is male, a nerdy boy who gets bullied in school despite his cleverness because of that ONE false alarm
he created that caused waves of panic throughout the town a year earlier. He also has a troubled relationship with his widowed father, Buck Cluck, who cares more about the approval of his peers than caring for his son. He tends to hang out with other unpopular kids
— such as Abby Mallard (a homely duck girl who has a crush on Little, but he doesn't seem to realize it); Runt of the Litter, a cowardly, morbidly obese pig who can't stop eating; and Fish out of Water, who is an actual fish who wears a diving helmet (filled with water) to be able to breathe. They often get teased by Foxy Loxy, a female bully. But as the film progresses, Chicken Little and his friends uncover the presence of extraterrestrials in their town and attempt to warn the now-extremely skeptical townsfolk before all havoc breaks loose.
One of the reasons this was made was because Disney was in a turbulent relationship with Pixar since their contract with them would expire soon, and Disney wanted to prove they could make a blockbuster CGI family film without the Pixar name, in the chance that Pixar would either go independent or find another distributor. It's unclear if they succeeded in this goal. While this film was critically panned, it did mildly well at the box office. It turns out that Disney realized they did
need Pixar and bought them out, hired John Lasseter
as the new Disney creative officer, and their goal was hand-waved. It is often regarded as one of the weakest films in the Canon
, and is the worst rated, due to it being a blatant cash-in
on the Fractured Fairy Tale
genre popularized by Shrek
The movie had two game adaptations, one of them based in the movie-within-the-movie.
Note: Disney had already adapted the Chicken Little story once, as an animated short parodying, of all things, Nazi propaganda. In a contrast to the source material the short has a Downer Ending
with the bad guy winning
, which is lampshaded by the narrator.
Tropes in the movie:
- Advertised Extra: Despite appearing on the DVD cover, the front of the DVD itself and in much of the marketing for the film, Morkubine Porcupine only appears in about 3 scenes in the film and has exactly 3 lines of dialogue.
- Aliens Speaking English: Averted by Kirby, but played straight with his parents.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The theme song for the Japanese dub is "Itsuka Kitto" by Mayo Okamoto.
- Ambiguously Gay: The pig.
- Anticlimax: The "invasion." Wait, that's it? That's all there is?
- Audible Gleam: Made by a penny that distracts the Mayor.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animals: Most of the cast.
- Broken Aesop: The movie inverts the original tale's.
- Butt Monkey: Chicken Little.
- Bullying a Dragon: Foxy Loxy tries this to the aliens… it doesn't end well.
- Can Not Spit It Out: "Big acorn lebefluh"
- Cassandra Truth: Naturally, nobody believes Chicken Little about the UFO...
- Catch Phrase: Chicken Little says "Who we talkin' about?" a lot. Though this is normally because he breaks down under the pressure.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: The Mayor, though he has moments of lucidity.
- Contagious Cassandra Truth: When the title character finally succeeded in convincing his friend that "the sky is falling" (in other words, an alien ship was visiting, when they tried to back him up the rest of the town didn't believe them either.
- Cue Card: Turkey Lurkey's aides hold up cue cards to inform him on how to act, including one telling him his fly is open.
- Cute Mute: Fish Out of Water.
- Disaster Dominoes: Chicken Little has a habit of creating more than a few of these, some intentionally, some not.
- Dodgeball Is Hell: A scene early on.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Chicken Little repeatedly struggles with derision and mistrust from friends, family, and all who know him. Also, his mom is dead.
- Early-Bird Cameo: The titular character appeared in Japan in Kingdom Hearts II before the film was released in theaters. Ironically, Little is quite useful, and you get him very early. (After the first two Disney worlds you complete.)
- Executive Meddling: The movie originally stuck to the fable by using a female Chicken Little and you can even see the original opening with the female Chicken Little on the DVD special features. Michael Eisner had her changed to a boy to appeal better to young boys.
- Fish out of Water: Happens literally.
- Follow the Leader: It's hard not to notice that the film is aping the Shrek formula to a T, except of course the strong anti-Disney overtones of the first Shrek film.
- Foot Popping: Done by Abby when kissed.
- Furry Confusion: Chicken Little has a broken egg for a rug. Yolk and all.
- Furry Reminder: Various animals are shown dropping furry reminders from time to time.
- Gang Of Bullies: Foxy Loxy and Goosey Loosey.
- Gentle Giant: Runt of the Litter.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: A rather surprising subversion considering the company this came from - Almost everyone wears a full set of clothes. Not wearing pants is treated as nudity. Except for Abby who doesn't wear pants and for Fish, the sheep, and the chameleon posing as streetlights who are mostly or completely nude.
- Hand or Object Underwear: Little loses his pants in one scene, and covers himself with his schoolwork.
- High-Tech Hexagons: Chicken Little is hit in the head by a high-tech hexagon that automatically adjusts to its surroundings to make itself invisible. The hexagon turns out to be a panel from the hull of an invisible alien spaceship.
- Hollywood Chameleon: The chameleons posing as streetlights.
- Hyperventilation Bag: Runt does this so hard he accidentally swallows it.
- Improvised Clothes: Chicken Little makes pants out of his homework.
- Jerk Jock: Foxy Loxy is unusual in that she is a female one, rather than being the Alpha Bitch.
- Jump Scare: Strange that it's in a kid's movie.
- Karaoke Box: During the scene where Abby and Runt are singing "Wannabe".
- Malicious Misnaming: Abby's nickname of "Ugly Duckling", as given to her by Foxey.
- Marth Debuted in Smash Bros.: Kingdom Hearts II came out before the actual movie in Japan, so this was Chicken Little's official introduction to Japanese audiences.
- Merchandise-Driven: A claim constantly lobbed at the film, as it existed more to be lucrative like Shrek while milking products in a way that Pixar wouldn't.
- Missing Mom: Chicken Little's mom died at some unspecified point before the start of the film and Buck Cluck still hasn't learned how to be an effective single parent to his son.
- Mobile Fishbowl: Fish Out Of Water wears a scuba helmet filled with water in order to interact with Chicken Little and the others.
- Mood Motif
- Mundane Made Awesome: Lampshaded; at the end, Hollywood gets a hold of the story and butchers it right into a stereotypical Sci Fi action film.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: The aliens were actually peaceful acorn gatherers, but when their son disappeared, they immediately decided the best solution to the problem would be to blow up the entire planet.
- Movie Within A Movie: At the end of the film, a movie is made of Chicken Little's exploits in saving the town and the world from the aliens. Instead of telling it faithfully, the movie is a cross between Star Trek and Star Wars and stars Adam West.
- Never Live It Down: The whole point of the movie. Because of one misunderstanding, Chicken Little gets bullied to no end (until he redeems himself).
- The Other Marty: Holly Hunter was originally cast as Chicken Little and recorded all her dialogue before the film was rewritten. Zach Braff replaced her.
- Papa Wolf: Threatening to wipe out a whole planet to find your missing son? Yeah.
- Buck Cluck also gets shades of this during the last part of the film, wherein he starts smacking around aliens, yelling, "Get away from my boy!"
- Protagonist Title
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: Foxy Loxy's "improvement". Yeah, she was a Jerk Jock, but she did have friends and presumably family who liked her the way she was, and they don't restore her because Runt prefers her as an ultra-feminine Mind Rape victim.
- Reference Overdosed: Nearly every scene has a reference to some other film, including a few seconds of The Lion King's intro in the beginning.
- Shout-Out: When trying to cross the road, Chicken Little uses a daisy stem to climb up a telephone pole and press the button in a similar fashion to Mulan and her weights.
- Also, when Runt is having a Freak Out about Fish being taken to the ship, he clearly references Alien.
- Similar To The Show: One of the trailers resembled one made for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie (Disney produced both films). The movie posters and the box art for the DVD borrow from the then-current Men in Black II.
- Telepathic Sprinklers: In the dodgeball scene, the title character accidentally pulls the fire alarm which sets off the fire sprinklers.
- Theme Naming: The characters names either rhyme with the species of animal they are (as in the original story), or form an animal-related idiom.
- Toothy Bird: Abby with her ever-present buck teeth. Movie Within A Movie Chicken Little has teeth too.
- Top-Heavy Guy: Movie Within A Movie Chicken Little.
- Trailer Spoof: See above.
- The Unintelligible: Fish, who wears a water-filled helmet and communicates through bubbling sounds.
- Voice of the Legion: The alien leader's. It was just a trick.
- You Have to Believe Me: Chicken Little says this a lot.
- You Were Trying Too Hard: Runt does a good job avoiding dodgeballs for such a large target just by running around in fear. It isn't until he copies Fish's moves at Abby's suggestion that he starts getting pelted with balls.