Monday, June 16, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Free Birds (2013) ***

PG, 91 min.
Director: Jimmy Hayward
Writers: Scott Mosier, Jimmy Hayward, David I. Stern, John J. Strauss
Voices: Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler, George Takei, Colm Meaney, Keith David, Dan Fogler, Jimmy Hayward

“Free Birds” is a perfectly enjoyable family movie. In fact, I’ll give it extra points for its irreverent humor, which rears up even before the movie starts with a pre-movie disclaimer that states there my be some historical inaccuracies found within its tale, but the talking turkeys are totally historically accurate. Also one of the lead turkeys is clearly insane, which is always a nice quality in a turkey for the adults in the crowd. We like those less predictable elements in our family films.

However, I must address a disturbing trend in my own thinking about these family movies lately. I’m not that interested in seeing them. There was a time in my twenties when I wasn’t all that excited about most cartoons and family films, but Pixar had changed all that. All the other film companies jumped on the Pixar bandwagon and started making cartoons that were as much for adults as they were for kids. Alas, either I’ve gotten cynical again, or they just aren’t trying anymore, but these kids’ movies lately seem to be only trying to appeal to the kids for the most part. I find it harder and harder to get excited for movies like this.

Anyway, you’re kids will love this movie, and you’ll like good portions of it.

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