- The opening credits of the movie consist entirely of Lampshade Hanging.
: Now, where to begin? How about: "once upon a time?" (music cuts out
) How many times have you heard that
to begin a story? Let's do something else. Ooh, I know! I've got it, here we go. Here's how to open a movie! (opening to The Lion King plays briefly, then dies out
) No, I don't think so. It seems familiar, doesn't it to you? (cut to a Storybook Opening
) Oh, no. Not the book. No. How many have seen 'opening the book' before? (screech)
Close the book. We're not doing that. (storybook closes awkwardly
) Here's what we're gonna do. Why don't I just go back to the day things took a turn for the worse?
- The sequence where Chicken Little first warns the town is a veritable goldmine of comedy. Highlights include:
- When Chicken Little is interviewed about the incident, he's been knocked silly by an acorn, so all he can spout is gibberish. The snarky remarks from the townsfolk make it even better.
First Reporter: Chicken Little! What were you thinking?
Second Reporter: Why did you put your town's safety in jeopardy?
- And Chicken Little's response?
Chicken Little: But it... big acorn lebefluh...
Reporter: What did he say?
Chicken Little: ...big acorn lebefluh...
Reporter: It was a big acorn? An ape throwing coleslaw?
- Buck giving Chicken Little some really bad advice on his first day of high school.
Buck: When? When will everyone forget your big mistake? First it was all over the papers, then they wrote a book about it, then the book on tape, then the board game, the spoons with your face on it, the website, the commemorative plates... you saw those, right?
Chicken Little: Yeah. I saw them.
Buck: You can't eat off of 'em, but they're there.
Chicken Little: Well, they're not microwave safe.
Buck: And the billboards. You see those?
Chicken Little: I saw those too.
Buck: (looks out the window) Oh, and there's a bumper sticker. I knew it was only a matter of time. Billboards I could live with. Posters I could even live with. But a bumper sticker; it's, like, glued on forever.
Chicken Little: It doesn't matter, because I've got a plan.
: Yeah, about that. Remember when I told you you should just lay low for a while and not call attention to yourself? See, it's like a game. A game of hide and seek, except the goal is never to be found. Ever. Now
we've got a plan, right?
- A comment from a passing dog mother and her kid sums up the town's attitude towards Chicken Little pretty early on.
Dog Kid: Look, momma! There's the crazy chicken!
Dog Mom: (dragging him away) Yes, it is, crazy little chicken, you're so smart, we don't make eye contact, bye-bye!
- Runt is the biggest kid in his class, but he's the runt of his litter. He can't even fit in the door of the fire engine he commandeers.
- Morkubine Porcupine, despite only having three (rhyming) lines in the entire movie, is one of the funniest things in it.
Mr. Woolensworth: (calling the register) Morkubine Porcupine?
Morkubine Porcupine: Yo.
Coach: (to Chicken Little) I said don't swing!
Morkubine Porcupine: No.
- And his third and final line:
(aliens descend on the town, their spotlights shine down on Morkubine)
Morkubine Porcupine: Whoa.
- Perhaps the best part about all this is that, in all three cases, the music and sound effects completely stop, no matter how dramatic the scene is, just so he can deliver his lines with the utmost effect.
- Chicken Little turns up late for class. Abby is instantly able to guess why.
Abby: Tough morning?
Chicken Little: I had a run-in with my old nemesis.
Chicken Little: He won this round.
Abby: Your old foe.
Chicken Little: Mm-hmm.
- In gym class, Fish reenacts King Kong using a tower of gossip magazines, and after Kong dies, Runt cradles him tearfully and laments "'twas beauty that killed the beast!" Abby's long-suffering Aside Glance into the camera as he does this really sells it.
- The whole gym scene, actually, but Chicken Little accidentally pulling the fire alarm and causing his newspaper-pants to get wet and fall off is easily one of the highlights of the film.
- Other highlights from the gym scene:
Runt: Uh... coach?
Coach: Yeah, unpopular?
Runt: Shouldn't we review safety guidelines...?
- A series of dodgeballs is swallowed by a pelican, smacked out of him by a goat, and then rebounds off the ceiling, crushing a laughing donkey.
- Runt managing to avoid every single dodgeball thrown his way just by running around in fear. Of course, when Abby encourages him to try some of Fish's evasive moves, he starts getting hit by every single ball.
- The game being called off because Morkubine Porcupine spears all the dodgeballs on his quills. He flashes a smile of utter satisfaction as he's ushered out of the gym.
- And, once the teacher is gone, all the kids simultaneously pull out their cellphones and start texting.
- Chicken Little to Foxy Loxy:
Chicken Little: Prepare to hurt! And I don't mean emotionally like I do!
- Foxy's friend Goosey then catapults him into a window, which he bizarrely sticks to like a suction cup. His friends rush in to save him, but Goosey bars the way.
Runt: Fall back! Mad goose!
- Abby trying to get Runt on her side:
Abby: Runt. Should Chicken Little have a good talk with his dad and clear the air (glaringly obvious smile and wink) or keep searching for Band-Aid solutions and never deal with the problem? (unsubtly shakes her head to give him the hint)
Runt: (confidently) Pfft! Band-Aid solutions!
Abby: (exasperated) Runt!
Runt: Well, I'm sorry. I'm very bad at reading facial cues.
- What makes this even funnier is that Runt realizes the problem is he can't read Abby's facial cues; he just can't tell what they mean.
- Chicken Little, no more than 15 inches tall, joins the baseball team, resulting in a protracted scene of him playing in the big game against larger animals. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
- "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm not going to sugarcoat it. I've seen roadkill with faster reflexes."
- During training, Chicken Little needs to cool off. Fish offers him some of the water from his diving helmet. He promptly spits it out in disgust.
- Mayor Turkey Lurkey provides concentrated bursts of hilarity throughout, mainly due to the fact he's always accompanied by a dog holding up signs telling him how to act in public.
- During the big baseball game, for example:
Turkey Lurkey: (stands)
Turkey Lurkey: (waves)
Sign: CHECK ZIPPER
Turkey Lurkey: What?! (looks down in shock)
(Chicken Little is called up to bat)
Sign: WEEP HOPELESSLY
Turkey Lurkey: (bawls)
(Chicken Little misses the ball twice, about to try for the third)
Sign: DISTANCE YOURSELF
Turkey Lurkey: (cowers beneath his hat)
(Chicken Little hits the ball)
Announcer: Well, take away my squeaky toy! It's a hit!
Sign: SWITCH LOYALTY
Turkey Lurkey: A hit?!
(audience yells at Chicken Little to run for home)
Sign: FOLLOW THE CROWD
Turkey Lurkey: Run, run!
- This Running Gag is brought back beautifully when Turkey Lurkey is running to see the alien spaceship along with the other citizens.
Coach: Chicken Little, you better have a good explanation for this!
: There's... there's... it's a... you have to... d'oh! Doo-wah!
Sign(s): THERE'S - THERE'S - IT'S A - YOU HAVE TO - D'OH - DOO-WAH
Turkey Lurkey: (confidently) There's, there's, it's a, you have to, d'oh, doo-wah!
- The joke generally regarded by fans as one of the best in the movie comes soon after the second sky piece hits Chicken Little.
Chicken Little: (screams) A piece of the sky? Shaped like a stop sign?! Not again!
Buck: Son! It's alright, I'm coming! I'm coming upstairs!
(Chicken Little hides the sky piece under a rug behind him, his dad bursts in)
Buck: What's wrong?
Chicken Little: Nothing.
Buck: You sure? I thought I heard you yell.
: (nervous laugh
) No. (discreetly kicks sky piece further under the rug
) I... uh... I... I fell out of bed
(excruciating camera pan from the bed to Chicken Little, who is about six feet away from it)
Buck: Huh? Then how'd you get over there?
Chicken Little: Over where?
Buck: There! How'd you get over there?!
Chicken Little: (pause) Who are we talking about?
: (visibly confused
) Never mind. What's the difference? Look, the past is behind us
. Tomorrow's gonna be a new day!
Chicken Little: (deranged and forced, with an awkward thumbs-up) HAHAHAHAHA!
- This comes back when Abby tries to get Chicken Little to tell his dad about the aliens.
Abby: Chicken Little has something to tell you! (to Chicken Little) Tell him! He can handle it!
(Chicken Little yanks Abby away with him as he runs out the door)
Buck: (chuckles) You gotta be ready to listen to your children, even if they have nothing to say.
- Chicken Little's friends examining the sky piece, offering suggestions as to what it could be.
Abby: I'm sure there's a perfectly logical explanation. It could be a piece of a weather balloon, or maybe it's part of some experimental communications satellite.
Chicken Little: I don't care what it is, I just want it out of my life, gone for good. Everything back to normal.
Abby: (ponders) Hey, remember when that icy blue stuff fell from the sky and everyone thought it was from space and stuff? And it just turned out to be frozen pee from a jet airplane.
Runt: Yeah, that's right, it's frozen pee. (authoritatively) It's frozen pee.
Chicken Little: Could you stop saying that?
Runt: What, pee?
Chicken Little: Pee.
Abby: What about 'tinkle'?
Runt: (pause)...'make pishee'?
Chicken Little: I DON'T CARE WHAT IT IS!
- In the same scene, Runt describes himself, fairly accurately, as a "gutless flip-flopper".
- When Chicken Little, Abby and Runt sneak aboard the alien UFO to rescue Fish, Runt provides a great deal of much-needed comic relief.
: Oh, poor Fish! He's probably stuffed and mounted like an intergalactic trophy; or been forcibly implanted with their face-hugging embryo babies!
One thing's for sure, man: he's gone
Runt: (screams and panics) WHERE ARE YOU, FISH?!
Runt: I can't handle the pressure!
- How does Runt calm himself down? By breathing into a paper bag - which, of course, he chokes on - and then singing to himself. What does he sing? 'Staying Alive'.
- When he sees what he thinks is Fish's corpse, he pulls out two bags and starts hyperventilating into them. Abby, meanwhile, knocks on Fish's helmet to see if he's OK. Chicken Little stops her.
Chicken Little: Don't tap the glass. They hate it when you do that.
- While fleeing the spaceship with two enraged aliens in pursuit, Runt manages to get stuck in the exit hatch, even though he came in through that way. His explanation?
Runt: Tension makes me bloat.
- Chicken Little then tries to stall the aliens by making small talk, asking them if they've been to the mall.
- Once they escape the ship, Runt becomes ensnared in some tree branches. The others set him free.
Runt: Thanks. Curse these genetically tiny legs!
- The aliens mow down a cornfield, creating a crop-circle reminiscent of those seen in Signs.
- Needing a soda to help him rocket up to the school bell and warn the town about the invasion, Chicken Little asks Runt to get him one. Cut to Runt trying to get a vending machine to take his money.
- And when it won't, he goes full berserk-mode, thrashing and punching the machine, much to the astonishment of the others. It reluctantly spits a single soda out.
Runt: I blacked out there for a second.
- When Chicken Little tries to get all the townspeople to see the alien spacecraft he and his friends happened upon just as it's leaving, and suddenly Turkey Lurkey stops everyone.
Turkey Lurkey: Oh, right. (everyone continues running as though nothing happened)
- When everyone else has left, he comes back to get the penny.
Turkey Lurkey: Well, other than the penny, this whole evening was a wash.
- Chicken Little trying to explain the absence of the UFO to the townsfolk is masterfully shot and scripted to make him sound like a complete nutjob (even though we know he's telling the truth).
Chicken Little: (weakly) OK. Now, I know this looks bad, but there's an invisible spaceship right there. (points to a completely empty space) With aliens who are here to invade Earth! Watch this. (picks up a rock, throws it, it doesn't hit anything) OK. Let me try that again. (throws a second rock, it doesn't hit anything) Alright, well, we all know I don't have a very good arm, but there's these cloaking panels on the bottom that make the ship disappear. I know this because one fell out of the sky and hit me on the head!
Reporter: Oh, it's the acorn thing all over again.
- The next morning, Buck is being swamped with angry phone calls about Chicken Little's 'craziness'. His computer cheerily keeps him up to date on his emails.
Computer: You have hate mail.
Computer: You have more hate mail.
Computer: Your hate mail box is full.
- One of the callers is a rabbit complaining that they were trampled in the chaos. Buck jokes that he thought rabbit's feet were supposed to be lucky.
: What's that, buddy? Oh, yeah? Well, I'd like to see you try! Yeah! ...OK. I love you too, mom.
: Yes, I apologise. (looks out the window
) Yes, I do see the skywriting there. Good thing that cloud blocked the last letter
- When the aliens really do wreak havoc upon the town, Turkey Lurkey is the first to bail.
Turkey Lurkey: We surrender! Here, take the key to the city! (Alien zaps key) The keys to my car? (Alien zaps key and car at the same time) ...Tic Tac? (Alien zaps him)
- Having reconciled with his father in the midst of an alien invasion, Chicken Little finds the time to pull Abby aside and admit his feelings in the most hilariously blunt manner possible.
Chicken Little: By the way, I'd like to say I've always found you extremely attractive. (kisses her, pulling away with an audible pop)
- Bonus points for the adorably heroic expression he has on his face after smooching her.
- Also, every time we see Abby from then on, she's prancing around in a loved-up daze. Runt assumes the aliens have wiped her personality, causing him to faint in horror.
- Attempting to defend the town from the aliens, Foxy Loxy and her friends begin pelting the invaders with rocks. But before she can get more than one shot in, one alien turns to her with an expression that just screams "really?" and promptly zaps her out of existence.note Goosey Loosey sheepishly drops the rock she was about to throw and runs off.
- Chicken Little explaining to his father how they're going to reach the town hall defended by aliens. Buck tries to focus on his son, but can't help glancing out the window once in a while at the death and destruction going on outside, as if to say "we have to go through that?".
Chicken Little: All we have to do is duck and weave through traffic, through town square, while avoiding the death rays from the evil alien robots. We get to the town hall, climb up to the roof, and give the kid back to its parents!
: (forced and with a
very fixed grin
- In the same scene, Buck tries to understand what Kirby, the alien kid, is asking for.
Buck: What? D'you have to go to the bathroom?
Buck: You want juice?
Buck: A snack? Corn dog on a stick?
Kirby: (frustrated grunt)
Buck: Want to play some golf?
Buck: What do you want?!
- "I stink at this. I'm a horrible father."
- Runt mowing down a whole platoon of aliens - in a firetruck, no less - to the tune of 'I Will Survive'.
- Chicken Little and Buck make it into the town hall, but the elevator is out of order. Cue them taking the absurdly long stairs.
(at the first floor)
Buck: (enthusiastically) Plan D!
Kirby: Plan D!
(at the third floor)
Buck: (slightly less enthusiastic) Yeah!
(at the sixth floor)
Buck: (out of breath) Thighs hurting... drumsticks burning...
(at the tenth floor)
Buck: (weakly) But... loving you! Full support! (collapses)
- What makes this even better is that, if you look at the exterior of the town hall, it's only three or four stories high at the most. That means the filmmakers deliberately gave the interior of the building more than ten floors just to torture Buck.
- Also, the implication that Chicken Little and Kirby have to drag him the rest of the way up.
- Kirby's parents beam Chicken Little and his dad aboard the ship. The father, Melvin, initially appears as a huge face floating in a black void, with a deep booming voice. The facade falls apart soon after.
: You have violated intergalactic law 90210! A charge punishable by immediate particle disintegration!
(laser guns surround Chicken Little and Buck)
Buck: Oh, snap.
(Kirby's face appears next to Melvin's)
Kirby: (speaks alien language)
Melvin: Hmm? What's that? I don't quite...
(Kirby's mother Tina's face appears)
Tina: Melvin? Honey?
Tina: He's saying they're telling the truth.
Melvin: (sheepishly) Uh-huh.
Tina: It was all a misunderstanding.
Melvin: Huh. Well, then; this is awkward.
Melvin: Maybe I should...
Tina: Put the big guns away?
Melvin: Yes, yes.
(laser guns retract)
Tina: Now turn off your big voice.
Melvin: But I -
Tina: Turn it off.
Melvin: But I -
Tina: (sternly) Melvin.
Melvin: But I don't get to use the big voice very often.
Tina: (exasperated sigh) Melvin...
Melvin: (disappointed) Yes, dear...
(the giant floating eyes disappear like a TV turning off, the lights come on, and Melvin reveals himself to be a tiny, fluffy red alien sat nearby)
Melvin: (awkwardly) Hi. Heh. Um.... anyone wanna try out the big voice?
- It gets a humorous call-back when, as the ship is leaving, the same big voice is heard when Melvin tells Tina to be quiet.
Tina: You can't return the panel, can you?
Melvin: (realising he's been busted) Now... now that's ridiculous.
Tina: You threw away the receipt again.
Melvin: (in big voice) Silence!
Tina: Melvin, did you just try to use the big voice on me?
- Melvin casually mentions they would have "vaporised the whole planet" had it not been for Chicken Little. Nobody apart from his wife seems to react to this.
- Hell, just the overall revelation that the mastermind behind this devastating alien invasion is an adorable Henpecked Husband with a Napoleon complex is hilarious in itself.
- Foxy being turned into a ditzy Southern Belle as a result of her brainwaves being scrambled. Naturally, once she starts singing pop tunes, Runt, an avid Barbra Streisand fan, instantly falls for her.
: (sees Runt and Foxy singing together
- The movie adaptation of Chicken Little's story is hysterical in its utter twisting of what actually occurred. Just to start with the characters, Fish is a Mr. Spock expy, Runt is a stalwart boar, Abby is a stunning Action Girl, and nerdy, Adorkable Chicken Little is a rugged Action Hero.
- Plus, just before the scene in the theatre, Buck and Chicken Little have this exchange:
Buck: I'd like to see the movie they make about you now!
Chicken Little: I just hope they stick close to what really happened.
- Runt commenting on the movie.
Fish: (nods in agreement)
- Fish Out Of Water, full stop.