Nov
20
2005

   Chicken Little's 3D-effect is Cool, its Misleading of an Entire Generation is Not

This afternoon Terry and I went to see the Chicken Little animation movie in 3D at the Garden State Loew's. The glasses were slightly tinted (and plastered with warnings "These are not sunglasses--they do not protect from UVB rays") and made us each look like Chicken Little while we were wearing them. That was kind of cute. And this digital 3D is waaaay better than the old 3D. Remember the 3D with the paper glasses with red and blue plastic film for lenses? Kids today will have no idea how good they've got it.

"When I was your age, I had to look through crinkled colored saran wrap held loosely onto my face by a piece of cardstock only to watch something that had two or three 3D moments but the rest of the time looked pretty regular, but only if you managed to keep the paper glasses on the whole time so you didn't see two blurry images in green and red overlapped and give yourself a headache. . ."

The Chicken Little was pretty much all 3D, all the time. And used tasteful restraint with the objects-flying-out-into-the-audience-shots-which-make-the-children-yell, although that was kind of cute also.

I liked the fish best--the fish was fearless and lived life with gusto. Terry liked the physically unattractive yet emotionally mature young swan.

He referred to her as a duck, and to be fair and her last name in the movie is Mallard. But she played the proverbial "ugly ducking" and so she is by my reckoning a swan. Terry thought she was a duck who hadn't turned into a swan yet, but I explained the point is that she was *always* a swan, and this was just not *recognized* until later. The movie did not make any attempt to fit that particular morality tale into the film so children watching will come out of there thinking that anytime someone refers to an "ugly duckling" they are just talking about someone/something ugly, and that's that. From a movie-watching perspective it would have been waaaay to much to add that subplot. But now there will be an entire generation of children who will grow up missing the poignancy behind the label of "ugly duckling" and just use it as a synonym for "buttface" or whatever they're using nowadays.

But there is hope, because there is plenty of room for a sequel that would include the transformation tale (a coming-of-age Chicken Little movie) that could remedy this situation.