Free Birds (2013) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
81 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
very funny
born_naughty24 December 2013
I don't understand the hate for this movie: is was just plain fun. I don't know how this movie is offensive, probably because I'm not American, so I can't comment on that. First off all: don't look for a message in this movie. I keep reading, people saying there is a message. There is NO MESSAGE here. It's just fun. It's so bad it's good. The plot didn't make any sense and that's what was funny about it.

I'm very relieved to finally see an animated movie made just for fun and without feeling the need to add an unnecessary message or plot or emotional attachment. There was only one instance where they tried to get you emotionally involved, it didn't work but it didn't disturb me either.

Very refreshing and highly recommended during the holiday season!
30 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Chicken run with Turkeys, only the Turkeys are better.
face-819-93372624 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Well it has been quite a while since I watched a movie that the whole family can watch, and enjoy. Most of the animated films of the last couple of years have been so totally dumbed down that they just don't have enough of that subtle stuff that keeps the adults amused as well. So this is a nice change, really. Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson do a great job pulling off a Turkey buddy movie with Time travel. I don't know how terribly racist some people might take this movie, and I really don't care all that much. There were no Turkeys at the first Thanksgiving, but that doesn't matter either. The point of the movie is finding a place that you belong, and to never give up trying. Nothing really much else. There are some good solid chuckles in here, and the animation is really good. This one will be on repeat in your home for a while if you have the young'nses running around. So yeah I Enjoyed this one more than I had expected, and am glad I accidentally hit play. ;) I recommend this to anyone who wants a movie that they can watch with the whole family. I'd call for pizza first though cause your gonna want some.
15 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Some folks who are either not getting this or are taking it way too seriously.
tavives3 November 2013
"We have a Turkey situation"

"How should we address it?"

"With cranberry sauce." (HA, HA, HA,HA)

This was just a fun, silly movie -- perfect for a family outing. It has no pretensions to be anything more than just a goofy, romp through "history". No, it doesn't contain any riotously funny scenes. No, it doesn't contain any hidden agenda. No it doesn't contain a subtext of humor aimed at the parents/adults in the audience. And no, it is not a thinly veiled attempt by Hollywood to promote a "Vegan" agenda. (Seriously?!?)

It's not great art. It doesn't even really try to manipulate the heart strings.

It reminded me a lot of "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" and even referenced it at one point.

It's just exactly that kind of a (again) fun, silly little movie.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Just take the kids and enjoy it.
45 out of 60 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A lot of laughs
croxton331 August 2014
My kids and I loved this movie, so I was surprised to see the low rating on IMDb. The negative comments seem to center on three things:

(1) "Cultural insensitivity," chiefly for portraying 17th century turkeys like Indians. I don't get this one. They are put in opposition to pilgrims, who are trying to eat them, and the Indian association seems natural. (2) A "vegetarian" message. I am relatively sensitive to such message (e.g., I thought it was rather heavy-handed in "Jurassic Park"), so I can say that there simply isn't one here. It's about turkeys trying not to get eaten, not that people should never eat meat. (3) "disregard for time-travel paradoxes" (quoting from Wikipedia here). It's a movie about talking turkeys, and this guy is bothered by inconsistencies in time travel? If this bothers you, it's time to take off the bow tie and unfasten the suspenders, you need to loosen up.

Okay, the plot is not great, and there really isn't a message (at least not much of one). The joy of this movie and others of its ilk is in the presentation. There are a lot of funny lines, and the animation is amazing. I love seeing how cartoonists can elicit the most focused emotions simply by depicting a turkey's face.

If you are looking for a deep movie, this one is probably not for you. If you are looking for a great way to spend 90 minutes, you will enjoy this one.
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Hilarious laugh out loud funny
gerry_barnaby31 January 2014
Sorry this is a film that doesn't deserve the bad reviews it got because if you cant find this film funny you are miserable as hell with no sense of humor because this is a extremely funny with slap stick humor, compared to most animated film this is so worth watching.

The writing in this comedic tale is spot on with the humor -- while the voice performances and animation are brilliantly done. The only downside to the movie, is the lack of inclusion of the song's that normal come in to animated film's…but seriously this was a laugh-out-loud movie that really only slows down during an attempt to throw in some romance. There is some amazing and hilarious animation done between Woody's voice acting for the character Jake

and the leader of the pack Chief Broadbeak voiced by Keith David in the old world when they try to out do each other in a macho contest, with some hilarious outrageous laugh out loud moments.

Owen Wilson voices of Reggie, the only sain turkey among a dumb pack of turkeys was brilliant to show a unsung hero of the bird world, i like that they gave his character that romance element as well which was funny with Jenny voiced by Amy Poehler, who his character just acts like a love sick puppy but it just brilliant done. Through this whole film you just find yourself laugh because the level of the slap stick humor you just cant help but laugh your head off, i really don't know why some people can find this film funny, because I've never laugh so hard in my life at an animated film, special even more so with the angry birds reference, it just a classic animated film that all the family will love, you just cant go wrong with this animated film chicken run was good, just turkeys do it better.
24 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A little bit of gobbling fun.
Shopaholic3520 December 2015
I was not expecting great things from this movie but I was pleasantly surprised. It was actually quite hilarious, lame but laugh out loud funny. The jokes were on point the whole way through and it was adult funny not just kid funny.

Honestly if you can't relax and just enjoy a movie then give this one a miss and if you regularly use words like cinematography in your reviews then get over yourself nobody wants to hear your review as you shouldn't have watched this movie to begin with. Stop trying to drag ratings down for a harmless animated children's film. Back to the movie...

Free Birds has all the same concepts as your typical feel-good movie but who's ever seen a movie about a Thanksgiving turkey. It's certainly a new one for me. And shout out to the baby turkeys, they were adorable. The whole way through I was rooting for the turkeys to succeed even though they're completely delicious. But I guess you'll just have to watch to see what happens.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Hilarious & inventive animated movie...
dwpollar26 November 2013
1st watched 11/23/2013 – 8 out of 10(Dir-Jimmy Hayward): Hilarious & inventive animated movie about two turkeys who go back in time to try to change the fate of future turkey's ending up on the dinner table during this festive time of year. The writing in this comedic tale is spot on -- while the voice performances and animation are very well done. The only downside to the movie, in my opinion, is the lack of inclusion of the song Free Bird…but seriously this was a laugh-out-loud movie that really only slows down during an attempt to throw in some romance. Owen Wilson is the voice of the one-of-the-kind turkey in a stupid current flock as the only one who knows they are getting fattened up to enter their death. The president pardons him from being the main course on Thanksgiving and he is living the good life until he runs into a wild turkey searching out a time machine to turn things around for his kind. Woody Harrelson is the voice of the wild one and the time machine, "Steve", leads them back to before the first Thanksgiving. There is some amazing and hilarious animation done between Woody's character and the leader of the pack in the old world when they try to outdo each other in a macho contest. I was wildly surprised with this movie with it's lame idea but the humor and pacing was great --- the turkey love part was a little much – but other than that this animated movie was excellent. If you are looking for a satisfying and fun time at the movies where you and the kids can enjoy it at the same time see this movie!!
15 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Watch this with a light heart, it's actually a very funny movie with plenty of gags!
hayashimegumi21 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Free Birds (2013) is a hilarious thanksgiving treat. Although it has received unfavorable reviews, I would say it's certainly not that bad. Some of the elements in the movie may be culturally offensive to some but if we watch this with a light heart, it's actually a very funny movie with plenty of gags!

As been mentioned at the beginning of the movie, Free Birds (2013) is a work of fiction. It is loosely based on historical events but it is no way meant to be historically correct or accurate. They claimed that the talking turkeys are real though. Still, the main characters (none other than the turkeys) and supporting characters (the time machine named S.T.E.V.E and the human such as the pizza guy, the president and his daughter) are quite likable, comical and adorable to a certain extent!

In short, this movie has the ability to make us laugh and laughter is good for our health. I guess ultimately, the creators only wanted to convey that pizza is more than delicious and filling; it can bring people (and animals) together! Talk about the importance of food!

Probably really, Free Birds (2013) is the greatest turkey movie of all time!
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not worth the price of a ticket!
MsMovie7 November 2013
Bear in mind, I am writing this from the perspective of a parent who just shelled out for kids tickets, my ticket, concession stand, and it wasn't cheap, and then to have this movie be SO awful and SO boring (yes, my kids called it boring!), well, I am very disappointed.

All of the funny-seeming parts were in the trailer, and when you see them in the context of the movie they aren't very funny either. I was in a packed theater and there was hardly any laughing going on at all - that is a very bad thing. Laughter is contagious, but not in this film!

The voice acting was average at best, although Owen Wilson was good, but one turkey cannot carry an entire movie, especially when the plot was so lame.

The animation itself was OK, but without a decent story and characterizations, a movie is going to fail, and this one did big time! We didn't expect factually accurate obviously, you'd have to be crazy to think it was, but we were hoping the humans wouldn't be portrayed as either total morons OR really evil and vicious. Pixar doesn't show humans that way in Toy Story, neither did Turbo or Despicable Me 2.

This movie is a definitely wait for it in Redbox etc, or even wait for it to come on TV. If you have 2 kids or more, you're going to be paying out a lot of cash for a trip to the movies to see this and you will be horribly disappointed.

Highlight of the movie was the trailers BEFORE the movie - which showed us a couple of upcoming animated movies that might actually be good.

The one thing I will say for the movie is they had great marketing - they suckered us in on election day in VA when we had nothing better to do, but let this review be your warning, go see SOMETHING ELSE!
51 out of 101 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Falls into the "not that bad but could have been much better" category
TheLittleSongbird1 December 2013
Free Birds is not really a good or great film, nor is it terrible. If there was a word to sum it up it would be mediocre. Is it the worst animated film of the year? No, that dishonour goes to Sir Billi(which was billed as Sean Connery's comeback!). Is it the best? Again, no, that's so far been between Monsters University and Despicable Me 2(have high hopes for Frozen, and that is looking like that will be even better than these two). Free Birds does have a few things that came off well. The animation has some nice bright colours and attention to detail(though the character designs could have been smoother in places), the soundtrack is catchy, the scene with the hunters destroying the turkey's nest is indeed tense and the voice acting has the right amount of zest and energy, Woody Harrelson is almost unrecognisable and is clearly having fun, Amy Poehler should do voice acting more often because she is born to do it and Owen Wilson brings some distinctive quirkiness as well(if at times on the one-note side). George Takei while bringing dignity to his part is very underused though, and it does feel like a waste. There are a lot of flaws as well unfortunately. The script lacks crispness and wit and has an overkill of turkey jokes that are both contrived and dumb, some gags are stretched out to pointlessness while the slapstick is heavy on predictability and over-broadness and light on fun and invention.

With the target audience too, children may enjoy it if they understand the humour but it is likely to go over the heads of adults. If that is the case, considering that Free Birds is a family film(NOT a kids' film) the film only does half its job well, if children are not amused it's a failure. Where I was, the reception from both children and adults were largely the latter, but then again it will be different with you. The story is well-intended but is far too simple- even for a family film- and predictable, while it also doesn't do anything with the time travel idea(which had great potential) that comes at the expense of the humour, which very little hits the mark really. The message is good if clumsily and heavy-handedly incorporated(likewise with the few emotional parts that were more manipulative than heartfelt), and there's no better about the characters unfortunately who suffer from flat personalities(some like Jake irritating too) and dealt with far too simplistically to the extent we know little about them. Non-US viewers may also find that because the film is so rooted in American customs and their early history that that is a further reason why the humour is likely to be lost on them. In conclusion, the potential and intentions are there, and it is not as bad as others have said- because the animation, music and voices are good and one scene came off well- but it was lacking in a lot of areas- mostly the humour and the story- and had a lot of wasted potential(doing little with the time travel idea and under-using George Takei). Despite how this sounds, it isn't terrible but rather mediocre, and this is not being said with vehemence but with a heavy heart from a 21-year old animation fan(to avoid over-generalising that defending of panned family films are prone to). 4/10 Bethany Cox
14 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Well, they're not lying, it is the best Turkey of a movie out right now
PsnViolet1 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
So yeah, a thanksgiving movie about two turkeys going back in time to keep turkeys from being eaten at the first thanksgiving. Setting aside the fact that they probably weren't the main course if they were eaten at all, nobody should have expected this to be anything but a stupid kids' movie. But, I at least expected it to be that, a stupid kids' movie. Calling this movie a stupid kids' movie is an insult to stupid kids' movies.

Let's start with what I'll be generous and call a story. Owen Wilson is a turkey. E-I-E-I-O. I'll be kind and have that be the only time I make that joke. Owen Wilson turkey is the turkey chosen for the presidential pardon, despite the fact that he doesn't fulfill a single one of the qualifications, and lives a cushy life with TV and all the product placement Chuck-e-cheese pizza he can eat. Then, a buff turkey named Jake shows up and tells him that he's on a quest from the "Great Turkey" to stop thanksgiving from ever happening. And there's your problem right there, that's the dumbest thing I've ever written. And that's not even the dumbest thing to happen in the movie. From there, they break into a government lab and steal a time machine, voiced by George Takei, who turns in one of the only good performances this movie has, simply on his greatness alone, and the time machine somehow understands the turkey's voice commands. They end up three days before the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth, and they're immediately chased by an over the top villain hunter until they're saved by the local turkeys, and from there, you have three choices of plots, Dances with Wolves with turkeys, Pocahontas with turkeys, or Avatar with turkeys. Just replace the natives with turkeys or have the people be cannibals and it's pretty much the same plot. And then, the last few scenes happen.

Thesis papers could be written about everything wrong with the ending. If anybody cares about spoilers, now would be the time to stop. So, anybody over the age of 10 should be able to figure out that Owen Wilson turkey is the "Great Turkey" that Jake saw in the past, but it takes 4 of him to even get close enough to have George Takei tell him. Yes, they do the time travel movie thing where he tells himself what's going on, but that could be forgiven if it wasn't done so stupidly. Then he does the thing where he goes back in time and starts the plot, again, cliché, but forgivable. Then, the movie gave up. There's no other explanation for what happens next. You may want to be sitting down for this next part. So, the turkeys are going to attack the settlers after they burnt down their home (with flaming pumpkin catapults(I know, stay with me)). The settlers rationally respond by attacking them with cannons (though to be fair, the turkeys destroyed their guns, which, to be fair again, you'd have to be dumb to have happen). Then, just as they're about to be destroyed by cannon fire, a group of Indians show up and say "those are some angry birds". If you're dumb enough to stay in the theater after that, like I was, then you'll realize that is the high point of this last act. Owen Wilson turkey comes down in the time machine and stops all the cannonballs mid-shot and absorbs all the cannons and the evil hunter into a magnetic vortex. Then, he comes down off the time machine, and George Takei tells them all that Owen Wilson turkey is the "Great Turkey", and he gives them the gift that will stop the settlers from eating turkey. Pizza. He brings a ton of Chuck-E-Cheese pizza for them. I tried to walk out then, but my sister didn't let me. And the Turkeys, Settlers and Indians lived happily ever after. Owen Wilson turkey gets Stands-With-A-Fist/Pocahontas/Natari turkey to fall in love with him and stays with the colonial age turkeys, and Jake stays in George Takei and goes off to, I don't know, fight crime through time or something. And George Takei finishes the movie off with one of his classic "Oh My"s.

I have exactly four good things to say about this movie. One is George Takei's always great to hear, even if he is totally wasted. Two, the only real laughs that didn't come from him came from self aware people in hazmat suits at the laboratory, and they at least knew how dumb the idea of turkeys messing with a time machine was, even if everybody else in the facility didn't. Three and four are two good scenes in this. One scene is when the hunters find and subsequently destroy the turkey's nest. There is actually a good scene here, it's shot well, there's actual tension, and it belonged in a better movie. The last is when Owen Wilson turkey takes Pocahontas turkey up in the time machine and they're looking down on the earth. Pocahontas turkey starts asking questions, and a better movie could have taken this aspect further. But none of that saves this from being an overall brain dead movie with about as much respect for its audience as it does for history. I have never wanted to eat a turkey sandwich more in my life, and I can't wait for thanksgiving this year.
27 out of 56 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not Brilliant but Fun Anyway
therunner4212 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This movie got some tremendously bad user reviews but my little girls were desperate to see it . Free Birds tells the story who of a turkey who tries to change history by going back in time to make turkeys a non-choice at Thanksgiving. Being Australian I had no interest in Thanksgiving and being an adult I had no interest in turkeys. I had resigned myself to 90 minutes of playing with my phone (hidden from view under a blanket). However, I found this movie fun and interesting. It disregards history with wild abandon and this makes it even more funny. Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson are great as the two key characters. There are real laugh out loud moments and my two girls loved the president's daughter the most saying her lines over and over in the car. Look it won't be the greatest movie you ever see and it certainly isn't at the standard of Frozen (but little boys make like it more). However, it is a fun way to spend the holidays and the four of us had a great afternoon.
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Downright strange. What were they thinking?
neil-4766 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Reggie is a scrawny turkey who is trying to persuade the other turkeys that Thanksgiving is bad for them. When they finally get the message, their reaction is for Reggie to go first. Fortunately he is reprieved by the President's daughter. However, he is taken out of his life of luxury by macho turkey Jake, who time travels with Reggie (in time machine S.T.E.V.E.) back to 1621, where they attempt to join forces with the local tribe of turkeys to forestall the inclusion of turkeys in the Thanksgiving festivities.

This 3D CGI feature features the voices of Owen Wilson as Reggie, Woody Harrelson as Jake, and George Takei as S.T.E.V.E. Amy Poehler plays love interest Jenny from the turkey tribe, a kind of Flockahontas, if you will, who has a pleasingly daft recurring sight gag (in more than one sense). As the plot synopsis indicates, its story is bizarre to the point of dementedness. For all that I quite enjoyed it (I love time travel fiction, and there are some good time travel gags in it), it is essentially a kids' film but, maybe, one which is a bit too off-the-wall and dense to please its intended audience. I might be wrong.

I have seen better characterisation and animation, but the 3D is good, and the autumnal backgrounds are gorgeous.

Weird, but not unenjoyable.
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It's Turkey Time!
anaconda-4065819 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Free Birds (2013): Dir: Jimmy Hayward / Voices: Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler, George Takei, Dan Fogler: An unusual animation about the victims of every Thanksgiving dinner. Reggie is a young turkey who learns of the reality of Thanksgiving but is spared when the U.S. President allows his daughter to take Reggie as a pet. Central plot regards Reggie kidnapped from his comfortable life by macho turkey Jake who knows of a time machine on a military base that can transport them back in time to clear turkeys off the menu. They transport to the eve of the first Thanksgiving in 1621 where turkeys are hunted daily. Reggie and Jake end up within a large flock of turkeys bent on staying one step ahead of the hunters. This becomes extremely ridiculous once the turkeys go to war with the pilgrims. Even the whole time machine seems like a bad third grade write-in yet the screenplay is detailed and features a solution that many may find more appetizing than the birds themselves. Directed by Jimmy Hayward who has fun with the traditional aspects of the holiday. Owen Wilson voices Reggie whose desire is to survive and fit in. Woody Harrelson brings much humour to the gusto of Jake whose desire is not to fail. Amy Poehler voices Jenny who is female counter to Reggie but she figures into the story in the unconventional way beyond just having a female presence. Other roles are as lively as turkey feathers and are more or less standard issue. Directed by Jimmy Hayward who made Horton Hears a Who, and features the freedom of family and unity. Score: 8 ½ / 10
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Definitely under rated
donatello-289065 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This film isn't a classic. However, it's a totally reasonable popcorn flick. Other than some unnecessary stereotyping of American Indians, it's actually quite fun. Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson play off each other beautifully, creating some good laughs. There's also a good cameo from George Takei as a sassy time machine. Things get a little off-beat at times - there's a scene with a flame thrower and another with a sacred time knob. These scenes will either make you laugh or roll your eyes. The movie could have done with a little trimming to pick up the pace, but it's otherwise a solid movie. Definitely worth watching. I would recommend this for younger kids, or those looking for some light-hearted entertainment. While not as good as your average Pixar or Miyazaki, it's no trash either.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Turkeys Have Feelings Too!
rannynm31 October 2013
You should think twice before you eat that Thanksgiving turkey this year! Especially after you watch the movie, "Free Birds"! This is a wonderful animated comedy, packed with lots of action and adventure. Two turkeys team up to travel back in time to try to take turkey off the Thanksgiving menu for good. If this doesn't sound funny enough, these two turkeys have nothing in common with each other, argue constantly, and run into some hilarious situations when they travel back to pilgrim days.

In order to change the course of history, the turkeys, Reggie (Owen Wilson) and Jake (Woody Harrelson), must first learn to get along and put aside their differences. Reggie is a smart, although a rather lazy and weak turkey, while Jake is a strong and brave turkey, but very dumb. This duo makes for some great comedy! Then a female turkey that Reggie has a crush on makes it even funnier! This role of Jenny is voiced by the very funny Amy Poehler, which could not have been cast any better.

The director, Jimmy Hayward, also directed "Horton Hears a Who!" He is also known for his work on "Finding Nemo," "Toy Story," "Monsters Inc.," and many more great animated hits. The soundtrack for "Free Birds" is also great.

My favorite scene in this movie is when Jake rescues a bunch of baby turkeys, chicks, from a blazing fire. These adorable, tiny puffballs are clinging to his feathers, and looking up at this massive hero with huge eyes. It is just too cute!

"Free Birds" is a family movie that is great for all ages. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars. So don't miss out!
18 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not as "fowl" as other reviewers would have you think!
chickenboy115-913-7085162 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I'll preface this by saying that this movie was basically made for me (a sci-fi loving poultry scientist), so you may not find it as spectacular as I did. But it is still a good movie and certainly worth the watch. Also the obligatory "this is a review it might spoil something".

I don't know what many of the other reviewers went in to this movie thinking so I will tell you flat out. This is a movie about TURKEYS THAT TIME TRAVEL. It is not some deep, complex movie that tells a detailed story. It's a light, funny movie to sit back and relax with. If you must have 50 different plot twists and 1000 characters for a film to be good, go watch game of thrones. If you want a nice funny movie that you don't have to think about, crack open a beer and watch this one. There's enough of a story to follow along and enjoy, but it's not excessive. The animation was good, though I didn't see the 3D version. I can't find any fault with the voice acting, and you will probably recognize many of the voice actors from other roles. The jokes were simple but effective- I was laughing pretty much the whole way through. Go in to it with the intent to enjoy a simple funny movie, and you will do just that. This is a very well put together movie that I hope more people get to enjoy.

Oh ya, it seems s lot of people think this movie is pushing some kind of agenda. IT ISN'T. My job is literally the same as the scientist shown in the movie (I research poultry in a lab), so I am used to seeing anti farming propaganda. This movie is just a semi accurate portrayal of how a highly intelligent turkey would probably act, given freedom and the timeship Henterprise.
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Even though it doesn't quite take you on flights on imagination, this briskly paced action adventure still moves fast enough on the ground to be an entertaining diversion
moviexclusive30 October 2013
Thanksgiving isn't a big occasion this side of the world, but even those with a most rudimentary knowledge of it will know that turkeys – lots of them – are consumed on that very day (preferably with cranberry sauce). 'Horton Hears a Who's' Jimmy Hayward's 'Free Birds' plays on that holiday tradition by imagining the unlikely scenario where an independent-minded turkey unwittingly teams up with a plucky (pardon the pun) member of his species to go back in time and reverse the establishment of that tradition.

Like many such tales, our hero Reggie (Owen Wilson) is an underachiever who is looking for something more in his existence beyond being just another member of his species. So while the rest of the turkeys on the farm are immediately lured by food in the farmer's hand and think by extension that he is their friend, Reggie is all too aware that the farmer only intends to fatten them up so he can slaughter them - and no, he also isn't deluded that they will therefore end up in 'turkey heaven'.

Reggie's journey starts when he is chosen among millions of his ilk to be pardoned by the President of the United States and sent to a protected reserve. Unfortunately, it is also at that place where he meets Jake (Woody Harrelson), the President - and we might add, only member - of the Turkeys Liberation Front who claims he is answering a calling from the Great Turkey that visited him years ago to go back in time to the first Thanksgiving and stop turkeys from becoming the holiday meal. It's a classic case of mismatched partners, but thanks to some witty lines from Hayward and his co-scripter Scott Mosier, there is still some amusement to be had amidst the familiarity.

It isn't just make believe though - there is indeed a time machine to be found in the Government lab that Reggie and Jake break into, and with that, an actual time travel to the year1622. Oh, and did we mention that in between the mission of saving his species, Reggie finds additional motivation in the form of a love interest? That'll be Jenny (Amy Poehler), courageous where Reggie is terrified and altogether too attractive for the glib-tongued Reggie to resist.

As far as toons go, this one hardly pushes the narrative limits of imagination. You can almost predict that Reggie will be confronted with a crucial turning point whether to stay with his flock or return to the comfort of his old life back at the reserve - and for that matter, if he will rise to the occasion to be a better fowl. In fact, Hayward demands a fair bit of suspension of belief by playing it fast and loose with the conundrums of time travel, especially as he and Mosier try to make the disparate events across time and space tie together into one coherent whole. We warn you - it doesn't take anyone with more than a bird brain to tell that they are clutching at straws, so you'd be advised to simply accept the creative liberties they take with logic and just plain common sense.

To his credit, Hayward does a pretty fine job with the animation. The detail can't quite match up to established studios like Disney/ Pixar and Dreamworks, but this maiden effort from Reel FX Studios is colourful, energetic, and still visually captivating stuff to keep the young ones glued to their seats. Everything also moves at a pretty fast clip, and even if it does rely on familiar plot and character tropes, at no point does it get boring or repetitive. Hayward also has to thank his enthusiastic voice cast for that, in particular Wilson and Harrelson deliver their respective parts with much gusto.

And so even though Thanksgiving as a holiday doesn't quite resonate as much here as it does in the United States, the humour, fun and excitement that it offers for kids and less demanding adults is universal. The best reassurance we can give is that it isn't a 'turkey'; in fact, despite being entirely formulaic, it still is an entertaining diversion for families, especially for those looking for a cinematic equivalent of a babysitter.
12 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I thought it was great
Carissaguidry17 November 2013
I can't believe how judgmental and critical people are about this movie. It was not a bad movie, definitely better than "Up." Although, to be fair, I thought "Up" was one of the most boring movies I've ever sat through so my opinion may be a little biased.

While I didn't care for how the pilgrims were portrayed, I still thought the movie was a funny and cute cartoon. I didn't see any acting that I would classify as "atrocious," and I don't see how this movie would ruin Thanksgiving for anyone.

If I had read or seen the reviews before going to see this, I probably would have just waited for redbox. I'm glad I didn't. The main characters are well-cast, there is humor throughout the film, the climax of the film is a really good scene and the ending made me laugh. The storyline is easy to follow even though it's a little far-fetched (which is pretty common for animal themed animated films).

Overall, I would say it's at least worth one watch, whether in theaters or a redbox rental.
9 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Cute movie
Peytoncolumbus3 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I don't understand why this movie got so much hate. It is about 2 turkeys that travel back in time to stop turkeys from being on the menu at the first thanksgiving one of the turkey's names Reggie ( Owen Wilson) is the pardoned turkey and enjoyed a laid back lifestyle and camp David when he is kidnapped by another turkey names jake ( woody harelson ) they sneak into a government laboratory and hitch a ride on the time machine and travel back in time to the 1600's where they encounter a clan of turkey's that are fighting for survival from the Jamestown settlers and their mean captain Myles standish (collum meany ) jake and Reggie go with the turkey's back to their hideout and meet their chief leather beak. Jake and Reggie decide to take out the humans gunpowder and weapons storage and in the process frees the 2 turkey's the humans took prisoner. But jake stole captian standish's powder horn and created a trail all the way to the turkey's hideout the humans captured many turkeys and chief leather beak dies. Then Reggie felt bad about what he and jake did to those turkeys and went back to Steve the time machine (George takai) meanwhile jake and other turkeys decide to attack the fort in the end Reggie comes back and brings the pizza man and the Indians and humans and the turkeys celebrate a feast together
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Come's FUNNY!!!
jennifereverett914 November 2014
I laughed my butt off watching this movie at the theater last year with my daughters. They kept asking me why I was the only one laughing. And the reviews....What the hell? Does nobody else have a sense of humor?! This movie is awesome and silly, and I kind of felt stoned while watching it. But I wasn't. Owen Wilson And Woody Harroldson were so great as turkeys...hahahahahahahahaha.....I'm laughing again! Watch this with an open mind. Hilarious!!!!.......okay they told me I have to have ten lines of text without padded words. Huh. I thought usually they would want you to get to the point. Oh well. No matter. I can do it. Only one more line...This is stupid. I like Free Birds. Watch it. It is funny...TEN LINES! Yay!
6 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Why all the bad reviews?! This was funny!
katie_thegreat11 November 2013
Writing as a young adult/mid-twenties "critic," I have to say, I REALLY enjoyed this movie. I'm shocked so many people have said such bad things about it. I usually don't review movies, but had to in this case.

First off, the beginning immediately got me hooked. I couldn't suppress my laughter for the first 5-10 minutes of the movie. Please realize that this is a KIDS MOVIE. Keep that in mind if you're an adult and going to watch this film. It's SUPPOSED TO BE LIGHTHEARTED AND GOOFY. If you're serious and don't find silly/stupid humor to be your thing, don't waste your money.

Secondly, the voice actors did a tremendous job.

Lastly, I keep seeing people talk about how it's a rip off of other animal movies... I'm a huge kids movie buff. I love me some MIKEWAZOWSKIII, Nemo, Wall-E, etc. I can honestly say that this movie was one of a kind. I haven't seen a lot of talking-turkey movies.

Moral of the review: Lighten-up. It's fun. It's silly. It helps you prepare for Thanksgiving festivities!
8 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Free Birds: Family Friendly Holiday Fun
brickmoviereviews3 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Who doesn't love Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving has everything: football, arguing family members, and of course, the turkey. Thanksgiving is loved by just about everyone, except the turkey. Directed by Jimmy Hayward, Free Birds is about two turkeys, Jake and Reggie (Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson), who team up to travel back in time to change the course of history and take turkey of the Thanksgiving menu forever.

Growing up on a turkey farm, Reggie was always the outcast. He was small, thin, and had a blue head, while the other turkeys were all large, strong, and red headed. Unlike the other turkeys in his flock, Reggie was smart. He knew that the farmer was raising the turkeys for a Thanksgiving feast. After years of warnings from Reggie, the flock finally believed him when the eldest turkey confirmed that Reggie was telling the truth. As Reggie tries to rally the flock and stick together, they instead sacrifice Reggie to save themselves. Petrified, Reggie awaits his gruesome fate, until he learns that he will not be eaten, but instead he is this Thanksgiving's turkey pardoned by the president, and then given to his daughter as a pet.

Now the most important turkey in the country, Reggie begins to live out his luxurious life. He watches Spanish television, orders boxes on top of boxes of pizza, and even walks around the house in pink bunny slippers. Things are going perfectly for Reggie, until he is kidnapped by Jake, another turkey, and recruited on Jake's mission, courtesy of "The Great Turkey," to travel back to the first Thanksgiving to rid of the turkey-eating Thanksgiving tradition. After reaching a secret government base, Jake and Reggie find the Space Time Exploration Vehicle Envoy, or STEVE (voiced by George Takei), and travel back to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621.

Free Birds provides exactly what you would expect from an animated film. It is fun, and family friendly. It's a movie that will get the kids interested in the history of Thanksgiving, while it may deter them from eating turkey that day. This is a very kid-enjoyable movie. The plot is simple, the jokes are quick and quirky, and it actually followed the rules of time travel. Now, it certainly isn't the best animated movie of the year (Monsters University), but it definitely isn't the worst of the year either (ehmm, Turbo). It's definitely worthy of a family outing to the movie theater, and if you get the chance to watch in in 3D, do it. On an animation scale, Free Birds is a 6.5

Rating: 6.5 of 10 @BrickFilmReview
8 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Im Speechless. I don't know how to explain it.
michaelhirakida6 December 2013
Free Birds is like a freak accident happened at the local screenplay factory. Its like a mad scientist combined Back To The Future with Turkeys. This is a movie that made me go "Huh?" and "What?" for the next 87 minutes of my life. This movie is one of the most random, careless animated movies I have seen in a while (Something like Foodfight!) This movie is full of sexual and gay overtones for some reason. Don't know why but Im sure they have reasons for putting it in.

The movie is about a Turkey played by Owen Wilson who I will call Owen Wilson Turkey. He is adopted by the president who looks ugly (Animation isn't that good on him) and seems to be a Bill Clinton Sound alike. He likes to watch awful Spanish soap operas and eat pizza. When Woody Harrelson Turkey says he is chosen for a mission to stop thanksgiving. So they go in a time traveling machine where they see these annoying hazmat suit guys who have the more degrading laugh.

They go to 1621 a few days before the feast starts and they meet a bunch of other turkeys like Amy Poehler Turkey... *sigh* and looks like some creepy woman trying to look attractive in a turkey outfit. Obviously, Owen Wilson wants the girl so decides to help.

Im not going to talk about how stupid this movie sounds. Because everyone has. So lets get on to what is wrong with this film.

The jokes are not funny for one thing. No duh, thats obvious. The movie is full of butt and Peck jokes that are overused. The acting... um... well I can say this. The acting is not really good. Mainly because the Wilson, Harrelson and Poehler sound so uninterested in the content of the script.

Also... I began to notice at the end that this movie seemed to resemble this one other movie. The highest grossing movie of all time. Nominated for Best Pic- OH RIGHT AVATAR! This movie is basically a rip off of Avatar except with no aliens, but with a vegan message. They live in a tree also with rituals and stuff. How can you not see that this is Avatar? Aside from that, characters are not used enough. There are two stupid characters who we barely see. I know they are side characters, but they should at least have enough time as other characters! The movie breaks time itself and yet the universe doesn't implode. Had the writers even watched Back To The Future? One of my favorite films? Nope. I guess they haven't.

Oh. You want to know what the worst joke in this entire movie is? SOMETHING THATS POP CULTARE? HERE IT IS!: "Those Are Some Angry Birds." AAAAAAAAH! *SLAMS HEAD AGAINST A WALL AND HEAD GOES THROUGH IT* Oh god. Now that Im over that line. The villain is non threatening and I do not care about anyone in the movie. They are just one note characters with no personality or any sense of humor.

There is one plot hole at the end. So Wilson Turkey brings the pizza guy to give pizza to everyone. But here is the thing. What if they decide to start putting turkey on pizzas in the future? I have no clue.

There is so much to talk about but my word count is going up.

Is Free Birds A Bad Movie? Yes. Is It A Awful Film? No. Its a movie so bad its speechless. Not like that oh my god I hate this film so much speechless the kind of speechless where you don't know how to explain what you just watched. The movie is reaching its budget and I hope there isn't another sequel.

39/100 D+
8 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Kirpianuscus15 June 2018
One of animation confirming to adult than he is too old. for story, humor and characters. sure, it is not a great or serious work. it could be defined as a funny film. no ambitions, no desire to impress. only a simple story about turkeys , a cause and a little love story. all familiar in better context. in essence, one of many animations of low level from last decade. bizarre characters, unconventional situations, not inspired story. all in a large package and using the virtues of technology as basic tool . defining new sense of entertainment. sure, it is funny. but, I admit, I am subjective,if you hate turkeys, this film has the virtue to enlarge your hate.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed