By Jennifer Igiri
I went to the cinema expecting to be entertained by talking turkeys, and that is what I experienced. So I’ve nothing to complain about, right? Except that behind the feathers and humour I was faced with a children’s film not suitable for the suggested age. Free Birds boasts a genius storyline of two Turkeys’ adventures as they desperately try to get their fellow birds off of the Thanksgiving menu for good. However it was the actual film that was executed poorly.
Now don’t get me wrong, there were many merits, many good points worth mentioning include the continuous stream of decent humour; some light-hearted, some slapstick, and of course the jokes that only adults get. There was the high-quality realistic animation…
That being said, a certain film rated U dealt pretty grimly with the subject of hunting, and there were a few times that even a 19 year old had to look away from the screen. It wasn’t particularly violent or scary in hindsight, except for the fact that it was a U rated children’s film, showing in half-term, and the cinema was filled with parents, very young children and babies. Yes the children and babies may not have noticed the scenes that caused me discomfort, it may well have gone over their heads, but that doesn’t justify it. They do not need to be exposed to images of knives, scary men, and such a level of fear, as well as the death of a character’s parent in a film that is apparently suitable for all ages. It was a bit much, and in all honesty the hour of comedy and light-hearted entertainment was overshadowed by the 20 odd minutes of violence, danger, and generally discomforting scenes.
Ultimately I guess it’s a question of morals, and what you yourself are comfortable with. The film isn’t bad, but it isn’t great. It’s somewhat funny, and it contains things that are not suitable for a film rated U. And for me, that reduces the films credibility, and my enjoyment of it was particularly impacted.
If you’re struggling to decide which children’s film to see after Frozen, I wouldn’t recommend this one. Perhaps go and see The Lego Movie instead.
But this is your call – all I’m saying is that I wouldn’t personally watch Free Birds again, and I wouldn’t advise you to see it with pre-school kids, unless you want them subconsciously scarred from unnecessary exposure to (mild) violence and fright.