Benjamin Spacek

If you're going to see Disney's film adaptation of Chicken Little expecting anything remotely similar to the popular children's tale, you may be in for a rude surprise. Aside from a brief prologue incorporating the famous refrain, "The sky is falling!", all that remains from the original story are the names of a few central characters. The title character, inexplicably, has been transgendered into a boy.

It is this playful approach to the characters, however, that lends the film whatever limited appeal it has. The Emperor's New Groove director Mark Dindal and his screenwriters manage a few good laughs messing around with the names and traits of their protagonists (Runt of the Litter is an enormous swine). This accounts for some funny moments, but moments are all this movie has, with many more dull ones in between.

The already thin narrative of the book has been replaced here by something about Chicken Little and his friends saving the planet from extraterrestrial invaders, but it's only an excuse to spoof every sci-fi or fantasy feature from Alien to The X-Files. The filmmakers clearly intend for this to be clever and new, but end up just cannibalizing their movie's only reason for existence.

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