Chicken Run



Charming animated escape tale has some peril, scares.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Honesty and teamwork shown through discussion and example. 

Positive role models

Strong and smart female characters. Rocky is more about bravado than actual work in the beginning, but he comes through when it counts.

Violence & scariness

Characters in peril throughout. A minor character (chicken) is killed with an ax; the killing isn't shown, but the sound of the ax falling on her neck is heard. Plenty of mild injuries as the chickens try out flying machines. Chickens are threatened with getting turned into pies. Human characters kick each other in the rear and get stuck in a large, ominous-looking pie-making machine. 

Sexy stuff

Flirtation. An older British chicken calls Americans "oversexed." 


An older chicken calls Americans "oversexed." Some British slang such as "buggers" and "bum." 

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A rooster drinks what he calls a "cocktail" out of a martini glass and acts drunk. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although Chicken Run is rated G, it may be too scary or hard to follow for younger or sensitive kids. A minor character is killed offscreen with an axe, and characters are in peril throughout the movie. The lead male character -- a rooster voiced by Mel Gibson -- drinks a "cocktail" out of a martini glass and acts drunk. There is some cartoonish violence; although it's often comedic and filled with falls and spills, the scenes with the chicken farmers take on a darker tone. Also, an older character -- a chicken who claims to have fought in World War II with the Royal Air Force -- calls Americans "oversexed." 

What's the story?

CHICKEN RUN has arrived, to the joy and relief of the many fans of Nick Park's Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit short films. In his studio's first feature-length movie, a brave chicken plots an escape from a small Yorkshire chicken farm. The stern and angry Mrs. Tweedy (voiced by Miranda Richardson) and her hen-pecked husband have bullied their hens into producing eggs, but now they've set up a fierce-looking machine that turns chickens into chicken pies. Ginger (Julia Sawalha) is a smart, brave, loyal chicken who won't leave unless she can take the others with her. When an American circus rooster named Rocky (Mel Gibson) arrives, Ginger gets him to agree to teach the chickens to fly over the fence so they can find a place where they can live in freedom.

Is it any good?


Animator Nick Park is a master at creating a world that's enchantingly believable. The farm seems to be set in the 1950s, and every detail, down to the last nail in the last board on the hen house wall, looks exactly as it should. The chickens are highly individual, completely believable, and wildly funny, as are the side characters. Parents and kids alike will delight in Park's Rube Goldberg-like machines and split-second action sequences.

Kids may not get all the jokes, and some of the 1950s references may even escape adults. There is a wonderful variety of British accents here, but that shouldn't deter non-Brit viewers. Both kids and adults will find much to enjoy in the chickens' adventures and their incredibly creative, highly detailed, animated world.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's intended audience. Is it meant for children or adults? Both? How can you tell?

  • How does the cartoonish violence heighten both the comedic and scary parts? 

  • How is this movie a parody of "prison break" movies? 

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 23, 2000
DVD release date:November 21, 2000
Cast:Julia Sawalha, Mel Gibson, Miranda Richardson
Director:Nick Park
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Cats, dogs, and mice, Friendship, Horses and farm animals, Misfits and underdogs
Run time:84 minutes
MPAA rating:G
MPAA explanation:general audiences

This review of Chicken Run 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.


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

Parent of a 11 year old Written bygeerinck April 9, 2008

Funny Film for Kids (6+) & Parents

This is one of those films that was written with enough tongue-in-cheek references to older films (especially Steve McQueen's "The Great Escape" and William Holden's "Stalag 17") that it will delight parents while the animated action/comedy will keep the kids rolling. This is a film the family should be able to enjoy for some years to come.
Parent of a 17 year old Written bylove2 September 29, 2009

a good movie bit there are3 things you should know.....

i loved this movie when i was little but there are 3 things i should tell you about this movie: 1. it has some vilonce and lots of peril 2. a very sad scene were they briefly show a chicken being killed with an axe 3. the boy chicken Rocky flirts with the girl chickens.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Adult Written byAshnak April 9, 2008


Once a kid knows that we eat chickens, this is slapstick funny


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

Star Wars Guide