Trivia: Chicken Little

  • Actor Allusion:
  • Creator Killer: Though it was still commercially successful, its critical derision did helmer Mark Dindal's career no favors after he was shafted on Cats Don't Dance a decade prior, and he hasn't been able to hold on to an animation gig since. The dealings at Disney and Michael Eisner attempting to beat former protege Jeffrey Katzenberg at his own game through this film brought down his career as well.
  • 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.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Patrick Stewart voiced Chicken Little's teacher and Adam West voiced the movie version of Chicken Little.
    • Don Knotts voiced the Mayor in one of his last roles ever.
    • The alien officer near the end is Kronk.
    • Fred Willard and Catherine O'Hara, who have worked together frequently in other films, are revealed to voice the two alien parents by the end of the film.
    • The dog newscaster is Kent Brockman!
    • J.D. as Chicken Little, Jessie as Abby Mallard, and Frank Heffley is Runt.
    • In Spain and Denmark, Chicken Little is Ash Ketchum.
  • Image Source: Fish Out of Water gives us Mobile Fishbowl.
  • 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.
  • Old Shame: Disney quickly buried this movie when they got hit with the It's the Same, so It Sucks ball regarding their attempt to make a Dreamworks style story and the studio changed hands.
  • 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.
  • What Could Have Been: Chicken Little was going to stay closer to the original story, by having Chicken Little bea female, and the original villain of the movie was called "Wolf-in-Sheep's-Clothing." This character wound up being cut out of that animated feature entirely when WDFA dropped this picture's original sleep away-camp-based plot and opted to go with an aliens-from-outer-space-invading storyline instead.
    • There was going to be a "Chicken Little 2. In the story, Chicken Little finds himself in the midst of a love triangle. His childhood sweetheart Abby Mallard would go against a very attractive new student, Raffaela, who was a French sheep. Abby’s at a tremendous disadvantage here, being an “ugly-duckling”, so she goes to great lengths to give herself a makeover. The film getting critically crushed and John Lasseter getting back into Disney Animation cracked this egg before it could cook.

This movie came about during a tumultuous time at Disney but also brought about huge change in its wake. As something of a key part of the film's creation, here's a potted history of the situation at the time.

<1930's newsreel announcer>Dateline: 2004. Disney is in a quandary as lessening box office returns on their own in-house animated features hit their bottom line whilst their partner Pixar ride high on the hog with several critical and box office hits under their belt. With increasing pressure from their main rival DreamWorks Animation and a soon-ending deal with their pals in Emeryville, the guys at the Mouse House decide to make their own CGI works and show those guys who's boss. Go gettem boys!</1930's newsreel announcer>

Chicken Little came as the first fully 3D (no, not that 3D or that one) computer animated feature for Disney Feature Animation after really bad turnouts for most of their films in the early 2000s and Pixar threatening to leave for a better deal on profit sharing with another studio once their partnership expired given they had an untarnished record of hits throughout the last decade and would be primed with buyers before they even announced their intentions. Disney wasn't willing to part with their share of the cashpile so traditional animation production was being thrown out (very literally in some cases, word was old animation desks were out on the heap though possibly for unrelated reasons) and it seemed like Disney was gearing up for life post-Pixar.

This film was the first All-CGI Cartoon film to come out of Disney (CGI having been used in several of their animated features since 1991) and existed purely to show it can do the pop culture skewering fractured fairytale too just as well as competitor DreamWorks and to prove to Pixar it'll do just fine without them, thank you very much. That was the intent anyway but the film ultimately got lukewarm reviews and performed poorly at the box office compared to the competition (though it did do much better than Treasure Planet and Home on the Range had though not critically). The film was often derided for its giant marketing push with the titular lead having two consecutive balloon appearances in the Macy's Parade, advertisements parodying other popular films and trends of the time along with a cameo in Kingdom Hearts II in hopes of ensuring the loyalty of Japanese filmgoers. The end result was one of critical failure for Disney and and only helped convince Pixar and the filmgoing public that they were still not ready for this new game without Luxo Jr by their side.

Luckily, 2005 was also a good year for switcheroos and with long-term CEO Michael Eisner stepping down to be replaced by Rob Iger, new shit was about to come to light, man. Iger sat down with the guys at Pixar to hash this deal out recognising the importance and shared values both studios had with each other and a year later announced the buyout of Pixar making it their own, an effective means of Cutting the Knot. In exchange for lost independence, Pixar's head honcho John Lassetter got the plum slot of Chief Creative Officer for Walt Disney Animation Studios (as Disney Feature Animation became known) whilst keeping his other position at Pixar. All this due to the activities of one small fowlnote , awesome huh?

  • In addition to everything above, this was also the last Disney Animated Feature in the U.S. to carry a form of the original Walt Disney Pictures logo that started appearing with The Black Cauldron. The films from this point have both the 2006 Walt Disney Pictures logo and the studio's Vanity Plate; they changed names from Walt Disney Feature Animation to Walt Disney Animation Studios after this.