Most mainstream animated movies have to walk a very fine line between being appealing not just to kids but also containing enough fodder to keep the parents from squirming in their seats. ‘Free Birds’ is not a bad movie per se but an utterly unoriginal one and lacks energy to keep things rolling.
Two turkeys (one of Presidential fervour and ownership) travel back in time to the first Thanksgiving in an attempt to change the menu from including the feathered creatures as the main delicacy. Along the way, they squabble, run from hunters, find some sort of love interest and even try and throw in a politically correct message about vegetarianism; not to mention engage in conversation from their brothers and sisters from the 17th century which can seem like Back to the Future Part III. As usual the ending is rarely in doubt...
The movie plays up the usual cute factor coupled with the pairing of an uptight bird with a more hot-headed one. This is a recipe that has been done to death and plays out exactly like you’ve seen it a million times before. The animation though is not exactly top-notch, it’s still not bad either and coming from an independent studio quite good actually.
The voice work is workmanlike and Owen Wilson drones on and on in his usual shtick, while Woody Harrelson sounds exactly like he always does. On the other hand Amy Poehler brings some much needed energy to her voice-acting and Star Trek alumni George Takei is a treat to behold despite his limited screen time.
At best, ‘Free Birds’ can be called a short distraction for kids under the age of eight, anyone above that age bracket will find themselves mildly amused at the animated antics onscreen but find nothing worthy of the price they paid for the ticket.