A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids may learn some facts about both chickens and vegetarianism, although the film is not heavy-handed in its messaging.
The film thrives in the notion of the underdog. Unlikely heroes are capable of outdoing what appear to be much greater and formidable foes. Courage, resilience, teamwork, and curiosity are all on display, although the latter does land someone in danger.
Positive Role Models
Ginger shows some anxiety about her daughter Molly who is growing up fast and ready to, literally, leave the nest. She has to find a balance between being supportive, but also protective at the same time. Molly yearns for freedom, and she has a great deal of bravery and curiosity. However, her sense of adventure does come at a cost, as she defies her mother's orders and lands herself in danger. All the chickens show courage and resilience.
Two strong female characters, in the roles of Ginger and her daughter, Molly, who both share a sense of adventure and courage. The voice cast are also diverse, with one of the leading roles belonging to a Black British actress, while British-Asian performers also feature in supporting roles.
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Violence & Scariness
No explicit deaths, but there is a lingering and foreboding sense of threat, as the chickens are being killed for their meat; chickens are seen in a factory being shepherded off to an untimely end. There is cartoon-style threat and violence, such as characters being electrocuted. One character wields an ax. Explosions.
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Some name calling such as "toe rag" and "mug." A character also refers to a "bum" in one scene. While some characters are standing on top of each other, one says to another to "find a ledge or a crack to grab hold of." But they misunderstand them and seemingly grab them where they shouldn't, leading to a response of "Ooh! Not that crack!"
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is the sequel to Aardman Animations' popular 2000 stop-motion film. This time around, rather than breaking out of a factory, the chickens must break in, after Ginger's (voiced by Thandiwe Newton) daughter, Molly (Bella Ramsey), finds herself trapped. Expect cartoon-style violence, including explosions and a character with an ax. The death of the chickens lingers over the film, with their potential untimely ends creating a sense of threat and danger. Not surprisingly, then, the film is, by its nature, anti-chicken farming. It's not heavy-handed in its messaging, but it may make you think twice about your decision to eat meat. Language includes name calling like "toe rag" and "mug." Ultimately, though, the film is a celebration of the underdog, with unlikely heroes saving the day against seemingly formidable adversaries. And the main characters' mother-daughter relationship is key to the film, with Ginger having to learn to let Molly explore her independence, while Molly must also learn that sometimes listening to mom is best. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
After 23 years since the immensely popular original, this stop-motion clay animated sequel comes with a lot of anticipation. Some of the voices in Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget might have changed -- Newton replaces Julia Sawalha and Levi comes in for Mel Gibson -- but the film maintains the same essence and endearing tonality that has come to define an Aardman Animations production. The story is not as strong at the original and there's not as many laughs. But there's still plenty of room for adventure, which is where this film comes into its element. It's also a film that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Those who were young themselves when the first film came out, may now recognize themselves in roles of Rocky and Ginger, as the two parent chickens feel a sense of both protectiveness and indeed helplessness toward their offspring, Molly. While younger viewers may relate to Molly's own sense of adventure.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.