March 17, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

This Chicken Little feature wasn’t Disney’s first stab at animating the enduring fable of animal alarmism. In 1943, the studio released a short, which — in a bizarre lesson about wartime watchfulness — climaxed with Foxy Loxy devouring the chick and his friends. I hoped this version might end similarly, if only to hear Braff’s adolescent Woody Allen whine turn into a bloodcurdling scream. But given obvious requirements for a happy, Chicken-vindicating ending, the sky really has to be falling, so the pic becomes a kiddie War of the Worlds halfway through. The CGI outing is well-animated and filled with lots of clever visual asides — all screaming ”clever aside,” pointing out there’s an acorn where the movie’s heart should be. Let’s hope the recent Pixar rapprochement means no more Disney that feels like an imitation of DreamWorks imitating Pixar. EXTRAS Deleted scenes include a 2-D opening with some sentimental value in Don Knotts’ discarded narration. Another abandoned prologue dates to the film’s earliest development, when C.L. was a girl, an idea nixed by Michael Eisner…who might have vetoed much more.

type
Movie
Genre
runtime
77 minutes
director
Mark Dindal
Cast
Don Knotts,
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