OK for kids 6+
Clever idea turns bland in turkey-focused holiday fare.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Free Birds is an animated time-travel adventure that tells the story of the first Thanksgiving from the perspective of the turkeys desperate to keep the Pilgrims and Native Americans from leading to the annual destruction of their kind. There's some gun violence and an important character is killed. The language includes some insults like "dumb" and "coward," plus there's some borderline insensitive depictions of turkeys as similar to Native Americans. Plus, there's a romantic subplot and glimpses of a telenovela where a man is always surrounded by beautiful women. Families may enjoy discussing the history of Thanksgiving.
- Families can talk about how Free Birds compares to other Thanksgiving-set movies.
- Does the movie change your opinion about eating turkey at Thanksgiving? Do you think the movie has a "vegeterian agenda" as some critics have suggested?
- Is it culturally insensitive for the turkeys to wear headdresses and generally look like they're Native Americans?
The good stuff
Educational value: Kids will hear the same trivia about the First Thanksgiving that they probably learned in school: that in 1621, a group of English settlers at Plymouth Colony (the Pilgrims) and members of the local Indian tribe (the Wampanoag) shared in an autumnal feast together that included wild turkey. The animated Pilgrims also make it clear that they needed to trade with the Wampanoag to survive.
Messages: There's a message of collaboration, teamwork, leadership, and working toward the greater good. However there's also a borderline insensitive depiction of wild turkeys as being a lot like Native Americans.
Role models: Jake is devoted to helping the turkey cause; Jenny is a strong female character who's a great leader. The Chief is wise and self sacrificing. Reggie learns how to be a turkey who is part of something bigger than himself.
What to watch for
Violence and scariness: The Secret Service hold guns. The Pilgrims hunt with guns. Myles Standish uses fire and guns to destroy the turkey habitat. The turkeys fight back.
Sexy stuff: Reggie watches a telenovela about a loner who is always surrounded by beautiful women. Reggie falls almost immediately in love with Jenny, whose turkey body is a human-like hourglass figure with large breasts. They flirt and eventually kiss.
Language: Insults like "dumb," "son of a gun," "coward," "the anti-corn."
Consumerism: Some of the pizza boxes say "Chuck-E-Cheese"; there's an overt reference to Angry Birds, Old Navy, and Auntie Anne's.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue
Fan Reviews provided by
Free Birds by jmedrano75
It was GREAT! I took my 2 1/2 year old for the first time to the movies, was not sure how he would do, and he sat thru the whole movie, fully engaged and entertained.
Free Those Birds by ybotello
I took my three grandchildren, ages: 8, 6, and 2 to see this movie. They loved it.
It had a cute story to it and didn't harm the kids by making them not want
Turkey for Thanksgiving!!
Great Family Movie by jeremybaird
Funny for both kids and adults. We have four kids from ages 2 - 9 and they all enjoyed the movie. The little ones sat still the whole movie which says something about it.
wow what a waste by SIPAnkh
21st century, where games look more realistic that this cartoon's characters not along cartoon motion pictures! This was huge waste of time and money! Poor graphics, story started as one with potential and interesting but it developed into pure utter cr*p (pardon my French), however my kid enjoyed it and that is what made it worth the trip, effort and $$ (nearly $40 for 3 of us is way WAY to expensive!!!) I mean Chucke Cheese's pizza at the end of the movie ??? WTF, I didn't pay money to then be bombarded by marketing form clearly one of the movies sponsor's, but shameless!!!!!
Great for the kids...but see it in 3D if you go by chrisfox
Overall: Decent movie for the family to get into the Thanksgiving mood.
Our 8yr old and 13yr old kids loved it. The one thing I would say is, "see it in 3D". We didn't, so it easily falls into my "wait and see it as a rental" category - but we thought it would probably be "theater-worthy" and more entertaining in 3D.
Very funny by marcmandt
Wasn't sure what to expect as this is the first major feature from this studio, but they did a really good job. If you're into animated features, this is fun for kids and adults.
Expecting much better honestly... by walter.bellini
Like the cast but the story just was a bland okay, could have waited for the DVD.
There were some funny moments but if felt like things just dragged on more than they should have, my five year old was bored. No real catchy music or tunes, I got the plot but really need much more spark...disappointed
Free Birds by wfie1981
This has to be the worst movie I have ever seen!!!! If I was Owen Wilson I would have my name removed from the character list and feel guilty about having taken money for playing in it. All kidding aside this was the WORST!!!!!!!! Do not waste your money on this!!!
My daughter said sorry Daddy for bringing you to this stupid movie. She was happy when it was over if that tells you anything
Free Birds by Kalina4022
Bringing the grand kids whose ages are 9 and 4 were focused on the movie. The 4 year old every now and then was loosing interest but got him interested again.
viewed with children age 7, 10 & 11 by cindycarmichael
I took three children ages 7, 10, 11 to this movie on opening day. I would say overall, everyone enjoyed it. Some of the ways the plot was moved forward seemed pretty random, but I wasn't expecting to be intellectually stimulated by a movie about turkeys.
We laughed, we ate popcorn and left with a smile on our face. It is rated PG, however, I felt like it was a more innocuous PG film. I am more on the conservative side of what I allow my children to watch and had no issues with the content of this film. There are a few intense scenes that might be emotional for super sensitive children, but nothing over the top. As usual for animated films lately, there was enough tips of humor directed to adults but not inappropriate for children. There hasn't been much of a "Thanksgiving" movie in a long time so this was a fun way to start the month of November.