- Directed by Jimmy Hayward
- November 1, 2013
- Narrator/Alejandro-Carlos Ponce
- Reggie-Owen Wilson
- Jake-Woody Harrelson
- Space Time Exploration Vehicle Envoy (S.T.E.V.E.)-George Takei
- Chief Broadbeak-Keith David
- Jenny-Amy Poehler
- Governor William Bradford-Dan Fogler
- Captain Myles Standish-Colm Meaney
- President of the United States, Ranger, Leatherbeak, Hazmat #2-Jimmy Hayward
- President’s Daughter-Kaitlyn Maher
- Amos-Carlos Alazraqui
- General Sagan, Hazmat #1-Jeff Biancalana
- Danny-Danny Carey
- Chief Massasoit-Robert Beltran
- Pilgrim Woman-Lesley Nicol
- Chrononaut One-Jason Finazzo
- Pizza Dude-Scott Mosier
- Jake’s Mother-Lauren Bowles
- Cold Turkey-Dwight Howard
- Gus-Josh Lawson
Two turkeys steal a time machine to get their species off the Thanksgiving menu.
Free Birds is a genuinely silly and funny film. It is just stupid comedy. And that ladies and gentlemen is a very good thing. There are themes of friendship and a romantic subplot but you are not beat over the head with much of anything. They just want to make you laugh.
Reggie, a domesticated turkey that was saved during the traditional Thanksgiving Presidential Pardon, is the central character of the story. Reggie gets swept into the scheme of off kilter Jake who is the leader of the Turkey Freedom Front (T.F.F.). He has been on a mission for most of his life at the behest of the Great Turkey to change the Thanksgiving menu.
I found this movie at my local Dollar Tree. You get what you get when you buy Dollar Tree films. Just as often as they have things you likely have never heard of and are poor quality, they have movies that are rather entertaining. I saw this and having heard of it but not thinking an animated Thanksgiving comedy could be good decided what did I have to lose on a dollar?
It was money well spent. I got way more entertainment for a dollar than I thought I would. Free Birds is hilarious. This is kid friendly enough that your child will enjoy it but the adults watching will as well.
The celebrity voices are great Owen Wilson, Keith David, Woody Harrelson, and Amy Poehler are all great. I think actors of any notoriety are unnecessary but I still want them to do good. I am more likely to be excited that Peter Cullen or Frank Welker are voicing a character than I am Owen Wilson.
There is a classic Star Trek connection here that my inner geek appreciates. George Takei, Colm Meaney and Robert Beltran all have parts of varying sizes here. All former main cast members in one series or another in that fictional universe.
Free Birds takes gentle pokes at the holiday and makes silly cultural references to entertain the adults. The kids will probably not get that the president in this film is a softened parody of Bill Clinton or perhaps they might miss the joke about the turducken, but they will laugh at things like S.T.E.V.E. adjusting the seat for Jake’s butt or when the turkeys are attacking the fort and catapult flaming pumpkins with one Indian stating “Those are some angry birds.” We even get a few Thanksgiving jokes like “Sir, how do we address this?” “With cranberry sauce”
As far as I know this movie did okay when I came out. It didn’t rock cinemas and probably at this point is largely forgotten. I’ve never heard it really mentioned by anyone and I find that a bit of a shame. It is a good film that failed to become part of the holiday it is centered around for some reason.
Free Birds is a great Thanksgiving centered film that is genuinely funny. It’s mature enough to entertain adults and friendly enough to keep your kids happy. If you can find it streaming or for sale give it a watch.