An energetic sense of the absurd helps make this animated romp entertaining, even though the script is almost painfully stupid. But the pace is so brisk, and the stream of deranged jokes so continual, that kids will find it hilarious and grown-ups won't be able to stop smiling. So who cares if the story makes no sense at all?
Our hero is a scrawny turkey named Reggie (voiced by Wilson), who's an outcast on his farm because he's both smart and naive. When he's accidentally pardoned by the US President on Thanksgiving, he's living the high life until the meathead turkey Jake (Harrelson) kidnaps him, ranting about a mission to travel back in time to stop the pilgrims from starting the Thanksgiving turkey tradition to begin with. Sure enough, they find a time machine and off they go to 1621, where they team up with a colony of native American turkeys led by Broadbeak (David) and his feisty daughter Jenny (Poehler). But they're also being pursued by a relentless human hunter (Meaney).
The screenwriters conveniently ignore the fact that more turkeys are eaten globally at Christmas than at America's Thanksgiving, but never mind. They also pack the script with a continuous stream of riotously warped gags, random movie references and crazed action sequences. Although even a 5-year-old will be confused that 17th century pilgrims are rendered more like 19th century cowboys. This continual sense of incoherence gets even more annoying later, when the plot abandons even its own tenuous sense of logic. But by then we have realised that it's pointless to resist.
Continue reading: Free Birds Review
'Free Birds' could follow 'Despicable Me 2' and 'Monster's University' as big animated movies in 2013.
The trailer for Free Birds, Jimmy Hayward's animated adventure movie, rolled out online this week. It stars Reggie the Thanksgiving turkey (Owen Wilson) who fails to convince his dumb feathered friends that they're being fattened up for the approaching festival feast, alienating himself from the group.
However, things begin to look up when he is rescued by the President and begins a new life of eating pizza at his cool new pad. When militant turkey Jake (Woody Harrelson) shows up, Reggie's new life of peace is put on the backburner in favour of a death-defying mission to go back in time and scratch out the traditional festive dinner from history. It sounds mental. It kind of is a bit mental, but it's sure to be plenty of fun for kids and families this Christmas.
Continue reading: Is 'Free Birds' The New Chicken Run? [Trailer]