Disney: Chicken Little
Chicken Little 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 spin.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.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:
- Abusive Parents: Buck Cluck of the neglectful kind. Granted, he sees the error of his ways towards the end, but for the vast majority of the film, he only cares about what the egotistical self-serving townsfolk want, over the well-being of his own flesh and blood. Whenever his son embarrasses him, Buck distances himself from Chicken Little as much as possible.
- 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 three words: 'Yo', 'Whoa', and 'No.'
- 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.
- Anticlimax: The "invasion." Wait, that's it? That's all there is?
- Apathetic Citizens: The residents of Oakey Oaks, are quite frankly complete jerks, that'll only give Chicken Little the time of day if he wins a ball game for them.
- Audible Gleam: Made by a penny that distracts the Mayor.
- Badass: Say what you want about Buck Cluck's parenting skills, but the old man can throw down.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Most of the cast.
- Brick Joke: Chicken Little's Origami pants, which his movie counterpart wears at the end when he and Movie!Abby fly off.
- 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.)
- Embarrassed by a Child: A boy points at Little and says "Look, mommy, it's the crazy chicken!" His mom pulls him away, saying "Yes, that is the crazy chicken, we don't make eye contact."
- 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.
They are both the exact same story: a short, intelligent protagonist tries to strengthen his reputation when aliens invade. And if you don't believe me there, Chicken Little recycles the "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius" plot point for point:
- The story and characters themselves draw several heavy parallels to that of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, as noticed by this YouTube comment:
They both start with the main character making a mistake. (Jimmy Neutron contacts aliens without his parents' permission/ Chicken Little thinks the sky is falling)
They both miss the bus while being ridiculed and a pop song plays. (Jimmy Neutron Theme by Bowling for Soup/ One Little Slip by Barenaked Ladies)
They both have a scene in their school where major and minor characters are introduced (show and tell/ role call and dodge-ball fight)
Both main characters have a jetpack (Jimmy's is his backpack/ Chicken Little's is a soda)
Both accidentally get in trouble with their parents (Jimmy flies a jet-pack in the house/ Chicken Little pulls the fire alarm)
Both go against the norm to win over their peers without parental favor. (Jimmy sneaks out to Retroland/ Chicken Little joins the baseball team)
Both wish upon a star (Jimmy wishes for life without adults/ Chicken Little wishes for Buck's love)
Aliens invade (the Yokians steal all the adults in Retroville/ the aliens in Chicken Little come for... unexplained reasons)
The main character has a scene of them having a good time (Jimmy and friends enjoy life without parental control/ Chicken little wins the baseball championship)
Both discover evidence of an alien invasion (Jimmy finds the note that doesn't match his parents' handwriting/ Chicken Little found a piece of the sky)
Both try to confront the aliens (Jimmy organizes all the kids to build spaceships and travel to another planet/ the fish gets captured and Chicken Little chases the spaceship)
Both have a scene where the main character explores the aliens' culture (Jimmy witnesses the Yokiens' advancements/
The aliens find out about the main characters and attack (the Yokiens capture Jimmy and the kids/ the aliens in Chicken Little flat-out attack the town)
Both main characters have a heart-to-heart speech during the threat (Cindy talks Jimmy into breaking them out/ Buck and Chicken Little make up during the invasion)
They both stop the aliens while giving a monologue (Jimmy gets offended by the aliens making fun of his size/ Chicken Little and Buck convince the alien leader to be a better parent)
The obnoxious girl is no longer a threat (Cindy vows to not be cruel to Jimmy anymore/ Foxy Loxy has her entire personality altered)
In the end, it’s all a misunderstanding (Jimmy apologizes to his parents/ the aliens just came to pick acorns)
And the characters are the exact same in both movies as well:
A short protagonist who is more intelligent than all the rest of the town (Jimmy Neutron/ Chicken Little)
Parents that don’t understand the protagonist’s ideas (Hugh and Judy Neutron/ Buck Cluck)
An entire town that ridicules him (Retroville/ Oakey Oaks)
An obnoxious girl who gains pleasure from ridiculing him (Cindy Vortex/ Foxy Loxy) and her unneeded sidekick (Libby Folfax/ Goosey Loosey)
A few losers who are the main character’s only friends, including a fat one (Carl Wheezer/ Runt of the Litter) and a weirdo (Sheen Estevez/ Fish out of Water and Abby Mallard)
An annoying teacher (Miss Fowl/ Mr. Woolensworth)
A cool kid with a VERY minor role (Nick Dean/ Morkubine Porcupine)
Aliens that attack due to a misunderstanding (the Yokians/ the aliens from Chicken Little, whatever they’re called) including their overly angry leader (King Goobot/ Kirby’s father) and and an a really annoying one (Ooblar/ Kirby)
One last note that makes them similar is that they both have good CGI animation, but nothing Disney or Dreamworks quality. And they both have soundtracks composed entire of pop songs.
- 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.
- Go Through Me: Buck places his son behind him when the alien father confronts them about "kidnapping" Kirby.
- 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 origami pants out of his homework.
- Jerk Jock: Foxy Loxy is unusual in that she is a female one, rather than being the Alpha Bitch.
- In one scene before her brainwaves got scrambled, she showed shades of Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- 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.
- 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. There is also a background fish character driving a fishbowl car, which begs the question of how he gets out and goes about his day.
- 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.
- Also the one at the start, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Nerds Are Innocent: Chicken Little is a nerdy and creative boy with an optimistic and idealistic outlook on life.
- Never Live It Down: The whole point of the movie. Because of one misunderstanding, Chicken Little gets bullied a made a pariah to no end for a year (until he redeems himself).
"It feels like in this town/I'll never live 'till I live down/the one mistake that seems to follow me around."
- Almost referenced to by name in "One Little Slip".
- Overprotective Dad: Kirby's father definitely.
- 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.
- Similar To The Show: One of the trailers resembled one made for The Hitchhikers 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.
- Intelligible Unintelligible: "You want me to do WHAT?!"
- Voice of the Legion: The alien leader's. It was just a trick.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Kirby the alien's parents were so desperate to find their lost son that they brought the Galactic Armada to Earth.
- What the Hell, Townspeople?: Overall, the townspeople here are a rather...unlikable bunch of people. Overly ready to panic, never willing to admit that they might be at fault, putting all the negative traits of sports out, and picking on a single child because of one mistake (which turned out to be true). In the end, you can't help but think they'll get Aesop Amnesia and toss Little under the bus and his friends shortly after the movie or even before that. Needless to say, this is one of the most common criticisms aimed at the movie, as it creates for a seemingly mean-spirited tone that put off many.
- World of Funny Animals: With a unique Aversion of No Cartoon Fish.
- You Have to Believe Me: Chicken Little says this a lot.
- You Were Trying Too Hard: Runt does a good job avoiding dodge-balls 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.