Chicken Little (G, 78 minutes)

Disney's first in-studio computer-animated feature, an update of the "Chicken Little" fable, earns plenty of chuckles in its own right and will offer kids from kindergarten on up a happy diversion. It will not, however, displace recent Pixar classics (merely distributed by Disney) such as "Toy Story" (G, 1995) or "The Incredibles" (PG, 2004). "Chicken Little" is not wildly inventive or technically gorgeous, and its story relies too much on a corn mush of pop psychology. Still, its messages about the need for unconditional parental love and learning to overcome mistakes are worth hearing, if oversold. And it has a few inspired gags: In Chicken Little's farm-animal town, a bull runs a china shop, and Mayor Turkey Lurkey (voice of Don Knotts) wears a Pilgrim outfit.

Plot giveaways coming: Several scenes in which space aliens chase Chicken Little and his friends in tall, spiderlike machines with long legs that turn into pincers and propellers could frighten the littlest children. The sky turns to ice when an alien ship lands, and there are images of what look like animal organs in sample jars on the aliens' space ship. They also seem to "zap" the critters in Chicken Little's town with death rays, though by the end we see aliens and Earth creatures are all right -- even a scared, furry, three-eyed alien baby, accidentally lost by its parents. The script contains themes about a deceased parent (Chicken Little's mom) and the angst of being unpopular in school. There is also mild toilet humor.

Bespectacled, tiny Chicken Little (Zach Braff) still can't get beyond his "big mistake" -- telling everyone in the farm-animal town of Oakey Oaks the sky was falling after something bumped him on the head. Even his dad (Garry Marshall) remains embarrassed, and father and son can't seem to talk it over, though Chicken Little's best friend Abby Mallard (Joan Cusack) urges him to seek "closure." Desperate to make his father proud, Chicken Little joins the school baseball team and to everyone's surprise, has a triumph. It is short-lived, though, because he has another sky-is-falling experience. It's an alien invasion -- and no one believes him.

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