Number of Times Seen – 2 (cable and 15 Sep 2016)
Brief Synopsis – After a rooster gets injured and ends up in a hen house, he works together with the hens to try an escape from the farm before they are turned into chicken pot pie.
My Take on it – This is a film that I saw once not long after it came out on cable and wasn’t overly impressed with the whole way it was done.
Upon rewatching it, my feelings unfortunately haven’t changed too much.
I have always been a fan of The Great Escape (1963), Stalag 17 (1953) and Bridge n the River Kwai (1957) which all show how Prisoners of War were treated by the Germans and Japanese during World War II.
This movie plays homage to those films and many more that are part pf that theme and it was nice to see these minor salutes to those great movies.
Unfortunately, the story here isn’t that good and doesn’t work as well with the anthropomorphism of chickens instead of humans.
The voice cast is fine and even highlights Mel Gibson as one of the main characters.
The jokes are all hot or miss with more fitting into the miss category instead of the hits which obviously hurts the way this film can be received.
The animation here is superb and that in and of itself has given way to many people believing this film to be better than the story lets it.
The one thing I’m quite happy about it the fact that this film helped hherald in a new Oscar Category for Best animated feature (see trivia below).
That category is still consider by many to be a consolation prize, but a gold statue is a gold statue…
Bottom Line – Loved the homages to The Great Escape (1963) and other famous POW camp films but the story doesn’t work as well with chickens instead of humans. Nice voice cast highlighted by Gibson. Some of the jokes work but more often then not, this feels too average. I am glad tho that it helped establish the new Oscar category (see trivia below) mostly due to the spectacular job of animation.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – There was a major push to get the film nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The failure to get the nomination, and the popularity of the film among Academy members led to the inclusion of Best Animated Feature for the next Academy Awards (2002), which was won by fellow Dreamworks film Shrek (2001). (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy
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