January 20, 2018

Wacky Free Birds

Free BirdsBy Julie Samrick

Reggie (Owen Wilson) doesn’t fit in with the other turkeys. Though ignorance to their fate may keep them in a state of bliss, Reggie knows just what will happen to all of them come Thanksgiving. If only they’ listen!


When the President’s daughter chooses Reggie to be pardoned, and takes him in as a pet, he realizes not being part of a flock isn’t so bad after all. Yet just as Reggie settles into his new, comfortable life he gets roped into time traveling back to the first Thanksgiving to alter history. What if turkeys were never a Thanksgiving menu staple from the start?


The film is harmless, but wacky. There are spaceships, time machines, dance brawls, a waddle puffing contest, and a President who sounds a lot like Bill Clinton. Free Birds reminds me of a Will Ferris movie for kids. The plot is loopy and far-fetched, but there’s a silly cuteness about it. There aren’t many themes, but one that’s said outright: If we don’t do things, we become dumb.


My kids laughed a few times, but when I told my 9 and 11-year-old boys afterward that I’d describe it as “wacky,” my 9-year-old said he’d describe it as “dumb.” Guess he didn’t like it as much as I thought.


Don’t rush out to see Free Birds, though if you’re ever going to see it, it’s sort of fun to see in preparation for Thanksgiving. Save your money and wait for it to come out on video for kids under 6.


Kid Focused Grades for Free Birds:


Compelling story line- D (A lot is squeezed in- it gets confusing to follow and the plot is weak.)


Strong message- C


Leading character is a role model- C (Reggie is a silly, harmless turkey who tries to be brave. His character is the best part of the movie.)


Sexual or adult content – A- (Reggie flirts with his love interest Jenny, played by Amy Poehler. In a scene it is inferred a turkey dies in a fire- the only serious part of the film.)


Language and Violence- B (Words like stupid and idiot are said frequently. There are some slapstick fighting scenes too.)  


Suited for the whole family- B-


Overall Kid Focused Grade for Free Birds: C    

Rated PG

Running Time: 1 hour 31 minutes      


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