It’s a rare occasion that I get to see a film during it’s theatrical run, and then circle back around to it some months later to revisit it when it comes home. But that’s what happened this week with the release of FREE BIRDS on Blu-ray via 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. In a relatively quick turnaround, the film, originally released this past November, came home in just three months time, giving families a Thanksgiving treat… just in-time for Valentine’s Day.
The overall gist of the film is that you have a couple of time-traveling turkeys that are out to get the festive bird removed from the traditional Thanksgiving menu. Here we have the annual “pardoned” turkey (Reggie – voiced by Owen Wilson) who along with the militant Jake (voiced by Woody Harrelson) becomes an agent of change as they face-off against a gang of creepily violent Pilgrims to achieve their mission, teleporting some pizza from CHUCK E. CHEESE’s back to the first Thanksgiving.
Bonus: Read my original review of FREE BIRDS here.
Now, the funny thing about FREE BIRDS is that the film’s existence alone has spawned some wackos to come crawling from the woodwork to bash it for “being historically inaccurate” (it’s a cartoon about talking, time-traveling turkeys), for “disrespecting Thanksgiving” (it’s a cartoon about talking, time-traveling turkeys) and even for pushing a vegetarian message (it’s a cartoon about talking, time-traveling turkeys). And I may have actually engaged at least one of those individuals:
This is where people really need to lighten-up. Seeing the movie a second time, and this being the first opportunity for both of my girls to see it together, I tend to like it even better, and think it will likely become a perennial staple of the season… which makes the home video rush a little out-of-place, as it would’ve been well-suited for a Fall 2014 release.
While it’s far from a perfect film, FREE BIRDS has charm, a solid voice cast, and some grown-up plot nods to films like BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE and BACK TO THE FUTURE. And from the ROCK cameo department, TOOL drummer Danny Carey pops up as a long-haired turkey named… “Danny.” It’s clean fun that the kids enjoy, and sometimes that trumps perfection.
As for the disc itself, the Blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic (as it should for a film originating in the digital form), and the extras are respectable, though not much for repeat viewing, focusing on technical aspects that little ones probably won’t be interested in just yet.
The Rock Father Rating:
Grab some FREE BIRDS action via (my affiliate) Amazon: