Published on November 1st, 2013 | by gareth0
by Barnetty Kushner
From director Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who!), Free Birds is the story of Reggie (Owen Wilson), a turkey who lives his days on a turkey farm trying to convince his fellow fowl that their days are numbered. Their only mission in life is to be fattened up, slaughtered, and served as the main course for Thanksgiving. Reggie desperately tries to warn the rest of his flock, if they don’t wise up their fates are sealed. Becoming increasingly frustrated with Reggie, the flock deemed him the “anti-corn,” and forces him to become the ‘chosen turkey,’ a feeble attempt to get Reggie to realize there is nothing to fear by allowing him to be first turkey picked by the farmer. Luckily for Reggie, this first handpicking comes directly from the President of the United States as this year’s “pardoned turkey.” Reggie is whisked away in a helicopter headed for Camp David, and quickly becomes the first daughter’s most loved pet. Soon after acclimating to his comfortable, lap of luxury surroundings, Reggie is kidnapped by an ambitious turkey named Jake (Woody Harrelson). Jake’s mission is to convince the pardoned turkey to travel in time and change the course of history by getting “turkey off the menu.” Reluctantly, Reggie joins Jake in search of S.T.E.V.E., the egg-shaped time travel machine which sends them back in time to Plymouth Colony, 1621, 3 days before the first Thanksgiving dinner is to take place. And so begins their adventure of survival, friendship, and finding a new alternative to the usual Thanksgiving feast main dish.
Reel FX’s first attempt a creating a full length feature animated film is a solid one; the visual effects are this films saving grace. There were some very noticeable forced attempts at humor that made the storyline pale in comparison to some of the other great kids movies released this past year. I can tell they were trying to remain politically correct by ‘skipping over’ some of the actual events that took place back then.
From a literal standpoint, Free Birds is a poor attempt at trying to create a family Thanksgiving classic movie. Why would you create a movie that tries to eliminate the most important part of the annual Thanksgiving meal? This movie doesn’t paint humans in the best light either, they will go to any length to ensure they have turkey at their first feast. However, if you just take this movie for what it is, A KIDS MOVIE, it’s a heartwarming, funny, and action packed story about loyalty and honor. I must admit the actual meaning of Thanksgiving is still present. Bringing people together and being thankful for what we are given.
2.5 out of 5