Chicken Little

 
(i)

 

Cute, sometimes-frantic movie has peril, potential scares.
  • Review Date: March 20, 2006
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 77 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

Townsfolk judge Chicken Little harshly at first, but they come around when they find he's right.

Positive role models

Chicken Little's friends believe him and stand by him.

Violence & scariness

Some alien invasion violence (pounding music, alien machines zapping animals to nothing and setting things on fire). Bullying.

Sexy stuff

Some suggestions concerning a piggy's gay-leaning sexual orientation. Chicken Little ends up only wearing underwear in one scene. Song includes lyrics "be my lover."

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Spoofs on news, fashion, and sports magazines (Cosmo-Mallard, Modern Mallard, Newsquack).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Chicken Little features prominent and repeated images of mayhem. Its opening sequence, which shows citizens running around in a panic and screaming, is somewhat frantic; it might be a bit too intense for some sensitive younger viewers. While much of the action is benign and cartoonish (crowds in a panic, animal children playing aggressive dodgeball or baseball and falling from windows), the film ends up with an alien invasion, with giant tripods and creatures inspired by War of the Worlds, and some potentially scary Predator- or Aliens-style music. Chicken Little is bullied by the other kids. One character is readable as "gay," as he adores disco and cowers before his mother, and another, a tough, baseball-playing female fox, is transformed into a traditional girly-girl, as a partly jokey reinforcement of traditional gender roles. We hear song lyrics "be my lover."

What's the story?

When well-meaning Chicken Little (Zach Braff) begins the movie by ringing the tower bell in his small town, Oakey Oaks, he thinks he's been hit by a chunk of falling sky. When the residents discover that no chunk is to be found, they call him "crazy" and laugh at him. So Chicken Little resolves to make his dad proud by becoming a baseball star. But once again, he's hit on the head with another "piece" of the sky. Afraid to tell his father, he shows his friends, who decide that the sometimes-invisible panel is from an alien space ship and the adults need to know. But before they can convince the adults, the kids are abducted by the aliens. When they're returned home, they're followed by an alien child, whose absence incites his parents to attack the town and punish the earthlings. The day will be saved, of course, though not before Oakey Oaks is razed and burned by stomping, ray-zapping alien tripods, and the townsfolk come to realize that Chicken Little has been telling the truth all along.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This CHICKEN LITTLE reimagines the falling sky as invading aliens. For all its silliness and slapstick, Chicken Little is unafraid to explore the pathos of Chicken Little's status as town pariah after scaring the town, his lack of natural ability at baseball, and the difficulties in his relationship with his father, a single parent. This quality helps keep the movie entertaining and interesting to parents as well as kids caught up in humor of the action and voicings of the characters. 

It's not one of the best computer-animated features that Disney (and Pixar) have released, but in its own way, Chicken Little stands out by making the audience want to root for Chicken Little, the all-too-familiar "misfit kid" with an overactive imagination, a determination to practice at baseball until he improves, and a desire to win the unconditional love of his father. Without these elements, this would be just another formulaic movie with hammy celebrities providing the voices to personified animals. 

 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the relationship between the father and son, as Chicken Little wants so desperately to please his dad. How might his father show more faith in his son, rather than expecting the worst?

  • How might Chicken Little trust his father to appreciate his own interests and identity, rather than trying so hard to be the son he imagines his father "wants" (that is, a baseball player like his father was)?

  • How is this version of the famous tale different from the traditional Chicken Little story?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 4, 2005
DVD release date:March 21, 2006
Cast:Joan Cusack, Steve Zahn, Zach Braff
Director:Mark Dindal
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Book characters, Horses and farm animals, Space and aliens
Run time:77 minutes
MPAA rating:G
MPAA explanation:all ages

This review of Chicken Little was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 15 years old Written byarthur16morgana April 8, 2011
 
not scary.good movie
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old June 18, 2010
 

Chicken Bigger

This was a very creative spoof of that "the sky is falling" chicken story. Although it wasn't the most interesting movie ever, it did have some funny and emotional moments. It was a pretty good movie, and it's cool to see.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bynaymatune April 9, 2008

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass