Chicken Little

Chicken Little thought the sky was falling, but it turned out only to be an acorn. Or was it a hunk of some enormous spaceship’s cloaking device? OK, that could be fun, except that post-Pixar Disney’s “Digital 3-D” concept doesn’t seem to include any reservations about 2-D character development. The residents of Oakey Oaks, although skilled with human conventions like lame parenting, social stratification and redemption through baseball, can’t really get past being cutesy cartoon animals, which seems weird and unfortunate when they’re targeted for catastrophic attack by very hostile aliens. It’s all a misunderstanding, resolvable only after the titular fowl (Zach Braff) manages a heart-to-heart with his ashamed, disbelieving dad (Garry Marshall). The story’s muddled intentions don’t add up to much more than an exercise in obvious shtick and collectibles marketing. And Chicken Little rips off other movies, not in a charitable Wallace & Gromit kind of way, but lazily, apparently from lack of faith that any try for originality would even be worth it.

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