"The movie picks up where the classic fable ends, namely after our pint-sized hero has caused big-time havoc when he mistakes a falling acorn for a piece of the sky. In the wake of the "unfortunate acorn incident" Chicken Little's name is mud in his hometown of Oakey Oaks. Down but not out, he struggles mightily to restore his reputation and make his Dad, Buck Cluck, proud."
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CHICKEN LITTLE

movie trailer (apple.com - quicktime)

NOTE: This Spoiler was sent in by GinaX.

The movie begins with all the animals in town panicking and running due to the ringing of the alarm bell. In the town center they find Chicken Little (Zach Braff, playing a small chicken) yelling that the sky is falling. He claims that what hit him was a stop sign shaped disk with blue and white on it, like the blue sky with white clouds in it. Unfortunately, he is under an acorn tree, and in front of everyone an acorn falls and hits him in the head. Since there is also a stop sign nearby, everyone assumes he just got confused and is crazy.

Things pick up a year later with Chicken Little in the car with his father, Buck Cluck (Garry Marshall). There is a billboard for the upcoming Chicken Little movie, and clearly Buck is embarrassed by his son. He advises Chicken Little to lay low, and try and be invisible. Chicken tries to assert that it really happened, but does not get anywhere. Clearly, father and son have communications issues. Buck drops Chicken off at the bus stop, but the bus goes right by, and the next segment is him frantically trying to make it to school despite getting stuck in gum and encountering many obstacles, ending with getting shut in his own locker. We see that Chicken is smart, resourceful, and persevering, but his size is a constant obstacle and he doesn’t have the best luck.

In school, as Chicken is discovered to be late for class, we meet Chicken’s friends and enemies, pretty much classified into popular and unpopular. The social ruler is Foxy Loxy (Amy Sedaris), an athletic bully, and her lackey is Goosey Loosey. They make mean comments while roll is called, including referring to Abby Mallard (Joan Cusack) as “ugly duckling”. The teacher protests, but then makes his own disparaging comment about her face. Abby, seeming very self-assured, takes it in stride. She, Runt of the Litter (Steve Zahn), and Fish out of Water (doesn’t really talk) meet up with Chicken in gym class, where they divide into popular and unpopular for a game of dodgeball.

(Now, the film does not have a lot of plot, but there is lots of incidental cuteness. For example, during a break in the dodgeball game where there are loose papers available, Fish builds an origami Empire State building, planes, and person, and climbs to the top imitating King Kong. Then, when he falls, Runt quotes, “Twas not the planes, but beauty, that killed the beast.” It does nothing to advance the plot, but is fun to watch. There are a lot of moments like this, and not all will make it into the recap.)

Chicken tells his friends that he has a plan. He just needs to do something great, and then everyone will forget the falling sky incident. Abby, a magazine/self-help addict, tries to convince him to seek closure with his father, and talk, but Chicken is not convinced. Anyway, Chicken gets into trouble during the game, so ends up outside the principal’s office with his father getting called in.

During this conversation we learn that Buck was the town’s baseball hero in high school, and no one understands why Chicken is not turning out better. At home, Chicken says he is thinking of going out for baseball. Buck tries to discourage him, feeling that he is too small, and that he should not get his hopes up too high, but Chicken is determined. Abby puts aside her magazines for Baseball for Dummies, and his friends help Chicken with training and conditioning. He does make progress, but Coach keeps him perpetually on the bench. Finally, the last game of the season, for the title, against their big rival, there have been enough injuries that they need to put him in.

There are two outs, and a runner on base. The next batter is Foxy Loxy, so the coach tells Chicken, look, you have a very tiny strike zone, just take the walk. For the first pitch, Chicken pretty much swings involuntarily due to the weight of the bat, and gets a strike. The entire crowd is riding him not to swing, but he does, and on the third pitch gets a hit. Stunned, he does not know what to do, but the crowd prompts him to run, and then to start running in the correct direction when he starts off the wrong way. Then, they try and get him to hold but he continues rounding the bases, going for home. It looks like he has been tagged, but when the excess dirt is swept away he does have his toe on home plate, ending the game with a win. Foxy is stunned not to have her moment of heroism but everyone else is thrilled and celebrates the win.

At home, Chicken and Buck bond, feeling like things are finally good, and they can put the acorn incident behind them. Buck goes downstairs, and as Chicken gazes happily out the window, he is hit with another disk. It disappears again, and he hopes that this is the end, but it turns out that it just takes on the background appearance of whatever is around, so it was the night sky but now looks like his bedroom floor. Panicked, he denies that anything happened to his questioning father, and calls Abby who is doing karaoke with Runt and Fish.

They rush over, and try to figure out the contraction. The other side shows various mechanical parts, and hovers. Fish jumps on the disk, and it starts flying away with him, camouflaging itself so the only way they can follow him is tracking the green glow stick he had while dancing. They follow it to the baseball field and see a spaceship. Going inside to find fish, they are briefly separated, and chicken sees an orange, fluffy thing suspended. One eye appears and mimics his actions, but he goes on to find his friends. The alien child (which is what it turns out to be) jumps down and starts exploring as well.

Runt, Abby, and Chicken see a fish skeleton, but he is just standing behind an x-ray screen and is fine. They start to leave, but are surprised by two adult aliens in armored, tentacled suits that seem very hostile. They run and escape into a corn field where it seems that they are in great danger, but eventually get out to where they can ring the alarm bell. Chicken hesitates, not wanting everything to start up again, but knows he has to.

A similar panic to the beginning occurs, but the crowd is just slow enough that they miss the spaceship’s takeoff, so despite the corroboration from Abby and Runt, everyone thinks Chicken is crazy again. He is despondent, and Buck is humiliated. Buck looks at a family picture where you see his wife, saying that she would know what to do if she was still around.

In the meantime, the child alien was left behind, and is now scared and worried. The adults notice his absence, and call in reinforcements to help with the search. The child seeks out Chicken, and fortunately, Fish can understand him and Runt can understand Fish, so we learn that his name is Kirby and he is lost, and then as the sky is filled with alien ships Kirby explains that his parents are back and they brought the intergalactic search force.

They need to get Kirby back to his parents before the whole planet is destroyed, but the walking aliens shooting vaporizing rays is a complication. Buck tries to help, but Chicken blows up at him for never believing him or supporting him. Buck apologizes, and the two bond, with Buck now fully supporting him. Abby is thrilled that they have closure, and surprised when Chicken then confesses his attraction to her and gives her a big kiss. She is functioning but unusually mellow for the rest of this sequence.

The group grabs a fire truck that Runt navigates to the highest building in town so they can contact the ship. Complications include alien craft, locked doors, broken elevators, and an opening Buck can’t fit through. Finally, on the top of the building and directly underneath the ship stand Buck, Chicken, and Kirby. They disappear, and Buck and Chicken reappear in a dark space where all of the characters previously vaporized are suspended. Two large sets of three eyes each stare at them menacingly, interrogating them about the kidnapping of Kirby. Another, orange set of eyes appears, and it is Kirby backing up their story about how they helped him. The “big voice” is turned off and the aliens apologize for the misunderstanding.

They call off the attack and restore the zapped residents, although Foxy Loxy does not go back quite normally. She now carries a parasol and sings Shirley Temple songs. The aliens offer to try again but Runt assures them she is perfect. The aliens explain that they drop by once a year for acorns, and we see that there is one stop sign shaped piece of the ship that has a tendency to fall off. The wife warns that one day it is going to drop off and hit someone in the head. There is talk of a movie. Chicken is worried they won’t gets the facts straight, but Buck assures him there is no chance Hollywood would mess up.

One year later the entire town is at the opening of the new Chicken Little movie where a very buff Chicken (Adam West) commands a spaceship crew of a sultry Abby with a very tough Runt and Fish. They battle an alien invasion where Runt dies bravely, and then at the end Chicken and Abby fly off with his jet back. In the audience Runt comments to Fish how accurate it is, and Abby and Chicken get distracted when their hands touch in the popcorn, their eyes meet, and they happily move closer together.

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