Animated Comedy - This is an animated comedy with a vague Thanksgiving holiday theme,
with some smart humor for adults and a lot of bright colors and broad
gags for kids. There is some mild comic violence, but on the whole
is safe viewing for all ages. Fans of the three voice leads, Owen
Wilson, Woody Harrelson, and Amy Poehler, should be pleased.
Roger EbertFull Review Below Average Everything about 'Free Birds' feels perfunctory, from its generic title and holiday setting to its starry voice cast and undistinguished use of 3-D.
USA TodayFull Review Above Average This animated comedy with a soft spot for turkeys and a tendency toward revisionist history is moderately entertaining, albeit forgettable, holiday fare.
Washington PostFull Review Above Average Finally, there's a movie vegetarian parents can enjoy with their impressionable offspring.
NY PostFull Review Below Average No animated movie is allowed to be 2-D these days, but 'Free Birds' makes decent use of its three dimensions, especially during a puffed-up turkey wattle fight between showboating toms, and with little round fluffball chicks, tailor-made for mass marketing.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
Based on a theater exit polling of 53 moviegoers:
CHILDREN: Nearly all the children loved "Free Birds."
TEENS: One male loved it and one rated it below average. Both females loved "Free Birds."
TWENTYSOMETHINGS: One females loved it and one rated it above average. No male reviews.
ADULTS:Four of the seven males rated it above average. The other three rated it just average. The females mostly rated it above average with about 25% rating it average. These are Ok reviews from parents but they clearly indicate that "Free Birds" isn't in the same league as other childrens movies like "Toy Story," as far as adults are concerned.
On a quaint, family-owned farm, a giant turkey flock lives a quiet, complacent,
corn-stuffed life. All everyone cares about is feeding time and grazing in the sun
with the Farmer, who they swear will bring them to "Turkey Paradise." Everyone,
that is, except for Reggie (Owen Wilson), a whip-smart turkey whose bad-
mouthing of the Farmer and disinterest in the mundane, overfed turkey existence
makes him an outcast among his flock.
Reggie's life is changed forever when an unexpected visit from the President of
the United States lands him the esteemed honor of "Pardoned Turkey." This
means living the plush life at Camp David, complete with TV On Demand and
cheese pizza. By being pardoned, Reggie has found his own Turkey Paradise --
a place where he (and he alone) calls all the shots! That is until Reggie is
plucked from his paradise by Jake (Woody Harrelson), the relentless founder--
and only member--of the "Turkey Freedom Front."
Jake has only one mission: to change history forever and save all of turkey-kind.
But he can't do it alone: a mission like this needs brain and brawn, and that's why
he needs to induct Reggie into his effort. "It's our destiny!" he proclaims, much to
Reggie's scoffing. Despite Reggie's refusal to abandon his life of luxury, Jake
kidnaps him, and together they break into a top-secret government lab and hijack
a time machine named S.T.E.V.E (George Takei), taking them back to the year
1621, just days before the first Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, as soon as they arrive in the past, they find themselves in the
crosshairs of Plymouth Colony Commander Myles Standish (Colm Meaney), an
avid hunter on his own mission to capture enough birds to feed the colonists and
their Native American allies for the upcoming Harvest Feast. Before Reggie and
Jake become a main course at Standish's dinner, they are rescued by Jenny
(Amy Poehler), the beautiful and fierce daughter of the Wild Turkeys' Chief
Broadbeak (Keith David).
Jenny leads the pair to the edge of the forest where the rest of her flock is hiding
from the Pilgrims. Jake must teach the wild flock about the future and rally
support for his mission to change history, but Reggie is apparently on a mission
of the heart: falling beak-over-tail for Jenny.
Inspired by Jenny's bravery, Reggie leads a daring raid on the Pilgrim village to
free their captured comrades. However, their rescue plans backfire when Jake's
feather-brained scheme actually leads Standish and his hunters to the flock,
putting Jenny, her family, and the future of all turkey-kind in jeopardy.
Disheartened, Reggie flees to the present day with S.T.E.V.E., following his long-
held philosophy that "it's better off if you go it alone." But his life at Camp David
no longer feels like it's enough without Jenny and Jake around. Reggie finally
realizes that Jake's crazy mission IS his destiny, and he and S.T.E.V.E head
back to help fulfill Jake's effort to get turkeys off the menu for good!