Disney's attempt to "do a Pixar" comes unstuck with Chicken Little, the House of Mouse's first homegrown computer-animated feature. Inspired by the classic fable of the neurotic fowl who cried wolf, it's a confused, frenetic affair whose anthropomorphic cast and sci-fi plot make it a scrambled hodge-podge of Animal Farm and War Of The Worlds. Alas, no amount of pop-culture in-jokes and cutesy characters can conceal the fact there isn't enough story to sustain a film even of this limited duration.
Twelve months have passed since the titular bird-brain (Zach Braff) caused havoc by claiming the sky was falling, but the town of Oakey Oaks has still not forgiven the little clucker. Desperate to make his dad (Garry Marshall) proud of him, our hen-pecked hero joins his local baseball team and miraculously hits the winning home run. But he has little opportunity to savour his triumph before aliens arrive to take over the world. Can he persuade his neighbours that this time, the end really is nigh?
Lacking the inspired invention of Finding Nemo and The Incredibles and the stellar voice casts of Shrek and Shark Tale, Mark Dindal's feather-light flick has only its admittedly impressive visuals to set it apart from the flock. Even these, however, will cut little ice with viewers who now take state-of-the-art wizardry for granted. And while Joan Cusack and Steve Zahn supply game support as a garrulous ugly duckling and an outsized porker respectively, they're not enough to make this Chicken worth crossing the road for.