Free Birds came out in a bang, but it didn’t really get a lot of attention beyond the holiday push, and I wonder if that isn’t because it was simply dismissed as being too holiday-gimmicky for a holiday that doesn’t have an established history with films. With Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, and Amy Poehler, and a curiously fun story, you’d think this one would have made more of a mark on the year. Despite the animation-heavy year, this one deserves to have more people talking about, and the release is one that is definitely worth picking up.
Reggie (Wilson) is a bit of an odd turkey, and his nagging desire to think about things other than corn doesn’t make him a lot of friends on the farm. Just when Reggie thinks he might be getting somewhere with the other turkeys (only to find out that he definitely is not), he is suddenly snatched up and made the Presidential Pardon Turkey, or something. Now living with the first family, and becoming intimately acquainted with pizza, our hero has his world turned upside-down again when he is snatched by another turkey, Jake (Harrelson).
In the oddest twist to come down the pike in quite a while, Reggie learns that Jake believes the Great Turkey has sent him to rescue all of turkeydom from the horrors of Thanksgiving by stealing a time machine and preventing turkeys from being on the original menu. And, by God, that’s just what they do. Breaking into a secret facility, the two turkeys hijack S.T.E.V.E. (and/or the vehicle he is part of), and travel back to a few days before the first Thanksgiving.
There Reggie finds a very different kind of turkey, not to mention Jenny (Poehler), a turkey that might make this whole rescue operation into an idea he can get behind.
Hilarity ensues, as clueless Jake and permanently out of his element Reggie try to coordinate a favorable outcome to this whole Thanksgiving spectacular, with the native turkeys after peace, love, and living with nature, up against those dastardly humans. One human in particular, Myles Standish, is out for turkey blood in a way that only a movie villain could be, and Reggie is going to have his hands full dealing with all the angles that come into play. It’s like you can’t just zip back and restructure time without problems cropping out every five seconds anymore.
Parts are a bit sluggish, and we aren’t always working with the best laughs, but it’s a fun adventure everyone can enjoy, and it’s about time Thanksgiving had a new movie.
The Blu-Ray looks great, and shows off as well as animated features can, but it is a bit lacking in the bonus department. There are a couple of featurettes that offer a bit of fun, one of which focuses on the animating process, but there isn’t a lot to add value for younger audiences. There’s a featurette that walks you along with the composer for a while, which is solidly put together, and very interesting, if you’re into that sort of thing, but it doesn’t exactly win over kids.
Nevertheless, there is some bonus to things, and the Birds Flipping History is a surprise favorite for all of my kids, and the film is one that is going to be rewatched.
[springboard type=”video” id=”885031″ player=”arey029″ width=”620″ height=”380″ ]
[springboard type=”video” id=”885029″ player=”arey029″ width=”620″ height=”380″ ]
[springboard type=”video” id=”885021″ player=”arey029″ width=”620″ height=”380″ ]
From the Academy Award ®-Winning producer of Shrek* comes a hilarious animated adventure about two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks who travel back in time in order to keep their species off the Thanksgiving menu. Featuring an all-star voice cast, including Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson and Amy Poehler, Free Birds is loaded with laughs and stuffed with fun for the whole family!
Free Birds Blu-ray Exclusive Features:
- Birds Flipping History
- Animate It: Animators in Action
- Talking Turkey with Composer Dominic Lewis
- Shake a Tail Feather
- Theatrical Trailer
*Aron Warner, Animated Feature Film, 2001