Free Birds (2013)

By on November 26, 2013
Free Birds (2013)

Run time: 91 min
Rating: 5.1
Genres: Animation | Adventure | Comedy
Director: Jimmy Hayward
Writers: Jimmy Hayward, Scott Mosier
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, Dan Fogler
Trivia: Two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history – and get turkey off the holiday menu for good.
Storyline
After years of fruitless warning of his farmyard brethren of the coming Thanksgiving doom, Reggie the Turkey finds himself spared as the annual Pardoned Turkey. However, Reggie’s easy life is disrupted by Jake, a fanatic turkey who drags him along with the insane idea of going back in time to make sure turkeys are not part of the first Thanksgiving. Through foolhardiness and luck, the pair manage to take an experiment time machine to do just that. Now in 1621 at the Plymouth colony, Reggie and Jake find themselves in the middle of a turkey clan’s struggle for survival. In doing so, their preconceptions of the world and themselves are challenged forever in a conflict from which the world will never be the same. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)
Plot Keywords: turkey, thanksgiving, time travel, president of the united states, colonial america
Details:
Country: USA
Release Date: 1 November 2013 (USA)
Box Office
Budget: $55,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $15,805,237 (USA) (1 November 2013)
Gross: $48,657,073 (USA) (22 November 2013)

About vivolatino

Vivo Latino is the main author on this site with interest in entertainment, media, technology, fashion, and other news related events.

4 Comments

  1. vivolatino

    November 26, 2013 at 2:30 am

    I usually fancy CGI cartoons. This one was an unexpectedly big disappointment. The storyline is like what you normally see in a 25min children's TV-show. The acting is very much like teletubby's. Very colourfull, cute figures push each other, and sit down with a fart. A little bit of irony-spice lightens it up: The happy song about the ever strong and wonderful times for the hero's is performed, while the heroes don't enjoy life. There are just a few moments of it, though. There's a little bit of first innocent love in the film. And then there's several heavy anti-animal cruelty hints, like a farmbird getting beat about the brow (and telling about it), while it's feeding.

    Most of the content and the story looks like it's aimed at small children. It doesn't have the sub-layer aimed at the adults, like in most family/children's films. But then it has a layer of herbivore jokes, making it unsuitable for anyone but small children.

    I haven't seen anything this bad for a long time.

  2. nolanjackson

    November 26, 2013 at 2:30 am

    I recently pre-ordered this movie on DVD after seeing a few clips and songs on Youtube, because it looked promising. Let me start on a positive note in this review. The songs were good, the texture of the characters was good, and the settings were well-animated. The environmental message and family moments were especially good.

    The only things I didn't like about this movie were the two main characters Reggie and Jake, as they got irritating after a couple minutes; a couple instances of editing didn't make sense or work well; the goblets were unnecessary and also somewhat irritating; and the rooster was just plain irritating. Just lifted from Lion King, which in itself was a direct rip-off from the Japanese Simba anime.

    Despite the cons, I found this to be a good movie. Though it was slightly derivative, it was done in a way that worked well. Definitely worth a watch with the kids, though adults may wish to avoid.

  3. vivolatino

    November 26, 2013 at 2:30 am

    So yeah, a thanksgiving movie about two turkeys going back in time to keep turkeys from being eaten at the first thanksgiving. Setting aside the fact that they probably weren't the main course if they were eaten at all, nobody should have expected this to be anything but a stupid kids' movie. But, I at least expected it to be that, a stupid kids' movie. Calling this movie a stupid kids' movie is an insult to stupid kids' movies. Let's start with what I'll be generous and call a story. Owen Wilson is a turkey. E-I-E-I-O. I'll be kind and have that be the only time I make that joke. Owen Wilson turkey is the turkey chosen for the presidential pardon, despite the fact that he doesn't fulfill a single one of the qualifications, and lives a cushy life with TV and all the product placement Chuck-e-cheese pizza he can eat. Then, a buff turkey named Jake shows up and tells him that he's on a quest from the "Great Turkey" to stop thanksgiving from ever happening. And there's your problem right there, that's the dumbest thing I've ever written. And that's not even the dumbest thing to happen in the movie. From there, they break into a government lab and steal a time machine, voiced by George Takei, who turns in one of the only good performances this movie has, simply on his greatness alone, and the time machine somehow understands the turkey's voice commands. They end up three days before the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth, and they're immediately chased by an over the top villain hunter until they're saved by the local turkeys, and from there, you have three choices of plots, Dances with Wolves with turkeys, Pocahontas with turkeys, or Avatar with turkeys. Just replace the natives with turkeys or have the people be cannibals and it's pretty much the same plot. And then, the last few scenes happen. Thesis papers could be written about everything wrong with the ending. If anybody cares about spoilers, now would be the time to stop. So, anybody over the age of 10 should be able to figure out that Owen Wilson turkey is the "Great Turkey" that Jake saw in the past, but it takes 4 of him to even get close enough to have George Takei tell him. Yes, they do the time travel movie thing where he tells himself what's going on, but that could be forgiven if it wasn't done so stupidly. Then he does the thing where he goes back in time and starts the plot, again, cliché, but forgivable. Then, the movie gave up. There's no other explanation for what happens next. You may want to be sitting down for this next part. So, the turkeys are going to attack the settlers after they burnt down their home (with flaming pumpkin catapults(I know, stay with me)). The settlers rationally respond by attacking them with cannons (though to be fair, the turkeys destroyed their guns, which, to be fair again, you'd have to be dumb to have happen). Then, just as they're about to be destroyed by cannon fire, a group of Indians show up and say "those are some angry birds". If you're dumb enough to stay in the theater after that, like I was, then you'll realize that is the high point of this last act. Owen Wilson turkey comes down in the time machine and stops all the cannonballs mid-shot and absorbs all the cannons and the evil hunter into a magnetic vortex. Then, he comes down off the time machine, and George Takei tells them all that Owen Wilson turkey is the "Great Turkey", and he gives them the gift that will stop the settlers from eating turkey. Pizza. He brings a ton of Chuck-E-Cheese pizza for them. I tried to walk out then, but my sister didn't let me. And the Turkeys, Settlers and Indians lived happily ever after. Owen Wilson turkey gets Stands-With-A-Fist/Pocahontas/Natari turkey to fall in love with him and stays with the colonial age turkeys, and Jake stays in George Takei and goes off to, I don't know, fight crime through time or something. And George Takei finishes the movie off with one of his classic "Oh My"s. I have exactly four good things to say about this movie. One is George Takei's always great to hear, even if he is totally wasted. Two, the only real laughs that didn't come from him came from self aware people in hazmat suits at the laboratory, and they at least knew how dumb the idea of turkeys messing with a time machine was, even if everybody else in the facility didn't. Three and four are two good scenes in this. One scene is when the hunters find and subsequently destroy the turkey's nest. There is actually a good scene here, it's shot well, there's actual tension, and it belonged in a better movie. The last is when Owen Wilson turkey takes Pocahontas turkey up in the time machine and they're looking down on the earth. Pocahontas turkey starts asking questions, and a better movie could have taken this aspect further. But none of that saves this from being an overall brain dead movie with about as much respect for its audience as it does for history. I have never wanted to eat a turkey sandwich more in my life, and I can't wait for thanksgiving this year.

  4. mikeyweston

    November 26, 2013 at 2:30 am

    Bear in mind, I am writing this from the perspective of a parent who just shelled out for kids tickets, my ticket, concession stand, and it wasn't cheap, and then to have this movie be SO awful and SO boring (yes, my kids called it boring!), well, I am very disappointed.

    All of the funny-seeming parts were in the trailer, and when you see them in the context of the movie they aren't very funny either. I was in a packed theater and there was hardly any laughing going on at all – that is a very bad thing. Laughter is contagious, but not in this film!

    The voice acting was average at best, although Owen Wilson was good, but one turkey cannot carry an entire movie, especially when the plot was so lame.

    The animation itself was OK, but without a decent story and characterizations, a movie is going to fail, and this one did big time! We didn't expect factually accurate obviously, you'd have to be crazy to think it was, but we were hoping the humans wouldn't be portrayed as either total morons OR really evil and vicious. Pixar doesn't show humans that way in Toy Story, neither did Turbo or Despicable Me 2.

    This movie is a definitely wait for it in Redbox etc, or even wait for it to come on TV. If you have 2 kids or more, you're going to be paying out a lot of cash for a trip to the movies to see this and you will be horribly disappointed.

    Highlight of the movie was the trailers BEFORE the movie – which showed us a couple of upcoming animated movies that might actually be good.

    The one thing I will say for the movie is they had great marketing – they suckered us in on election day in VA when we had nothing better to do, but let this review be your warning, go see SOMETHING ELSE!

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