Rated: PG

Distributed By:

Relativity Media

Directed by:

Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who!)


Voices of Owen Wilson as Reggie; Woody Harrelson as Jake; Amy Poehler as Jenny; George Takei as S.T.E.V.E.; Colm Meaney as Myles Standish; Keith David as Chief Broadbeak

Adapted From:

Plugged In Online

Free Birds

Thanksgiving is coming! Reggie tries to warn his fellow turkeys, but they’re content to gobble up food and grow fat. Then one day, a muscular bird named Jake shows up. He explains to Reggie that he works for the TFF (Turkey Freedom Front). The two of them must go back in time and stop the pilgrims from eating turkeys in the first place. It sounds cuckoo, but it just might work.

With Reggie’s brains and Jake’s brawn, they could easily escape the dinner table. But instead, these two put their lives in danger to save the entire species. Reggie tries repeatedly to warn his brothers. We see Jake protect helpless eggs in a flashback. And once the dynamic duo goes back in time, they must defend a tribe of native turkeys from hunters.

Both turkeys and humans think Reggie’s time machine is magic. Reggie lies about his “powers” to manipulate others.

The war for Thanksgiving turns violent. Turkeys are shot at, blasted with dynamite, chased by dogs and roughly thrown in cages. The tribe retaliates by lobbing fiery pumpkins at the hunters. We also see a lot of playful, slapstick violence between Jake and Reggie. Jake frequently slaps Reggie to get his attention. The two face off in a slapping/dancing showdown. And they both tumble down a hill, crashing into various objects with their heads.

Perhaps the most disturbing images come from Jake’s past. He grew up on a turkey farm, where thousands of birds were kept locked away, suffering in tiny cages. It’s an exaggerated, one-sided glimpse into a much deeper issue, but then it makes sense that Free Birds would side with the turkeys.

This movie has some sweet moments, a handful of laughs and a few under-baked lessons about caring for others. Mix in some goofy characters and a whole lot of silliness, and you’ve got a recipe for an OK holiday film . . . or maybe pumpkin pie.

Copyright © 2013 by Focus on the Family.