Chicken Little - Better than Shreck but no where near the Incredibles
| The sky isn’t falling for Disney yet.
Chicken Little, the studio’s first foray into CGI outside of a partnership, is all the things audiences have come to expect from CGI family films. It’s funny, filled with references and odd but adorable characters, and the story doesn’t push any boundaries. It’s everything that Shreck or Ice Age is.
The sad part is, I remember when Disney used to make movies that were something much more.
In the wake of this year’s The Corpse Bride, Wallace and Gromit and Howl’s Moving Castle, Chicken Little seems like a bit of a disappointment for animation fans, especially coming from a studio with a legacy like Disney’s. However, instead of turning out more timeless classics like 101 Dalmations or even innovations like the recent Lilo and Stitch, Disney seems intent on turning themselves into…well, everyone else. Why would the top of the heap try to play to the common denominator?
Still, as far as mass market, Hollywood CGI fare goes, Chicken Little is pretty good. The animation is far richer than an Ice Age film for example, plus the story is a bit smarter and less smarmy than a Shreck film. Still, it never gets close to the originality or enduring nature of a film that deserves to bear the Disney brand.
Their future slate looks more promising than this flick but until then it seems that as far as CGI goes, Pixar remains in a class by themselves.
I wouldn’t say that Disney’s reign is over - as long as Dreamworks and Fox keep churning out disposable drivel Disney films will remain above the fray – but I would warn them to reflect back on their past and return to what matters most in film making. It’s not visual effects. It’s not topical but forgettable humour. It’s certainly not flooding the market with direct to video sequels. It’s telling good stories.