Compared to the Christmas season, Thanksgiving doesn’t have as many movies that define the holiday spirit, although there are some. Notable animations surrounding the holiday are Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving, Planes, Trains and Cars, Tower Heist, And the Miracle on 34th Street. Even Sami Al-Raimi the first Spider Man The movie contains a Thanksgiving sequence that keeps popping up on social media or memes. However, one movie was released in 2013, Free birdsAnd the It takes the spirit of Thanksgiving and turns it into a rather bizarre story.
This animated family comedy is directed by Jimmy Hayward (Director Dr. Seuss Horton Hears a Who) and stars Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler, and Woody Harrelson as… talking turkeys. Reggie (Wilson) is a recently pardoned turkey who has found a time machine with another turkey named Jake (Harrelson). stay with us Reggie and Jake enter a time machine voiced by George Takei on the first Thanksgiving in hopes of getting turkeys off the menu. are you still with us While the movie is meant for kids and families to enjoy, one cannot deny its somewhat bizarre and unusual presentation. There’s just something about this holiday movie that can only be described as… weird.
A complex plot overturns expectations
Free birds It begins on Reggie’s home ranch in modern times, where he is carried out by his buddies. The turkeys in the opening act are transported to what they believe is “turkey heaven”, but the audience knows this is not the case. This feels like a more family friendly approach to what Seth Rogen would later mock in the animated movie Not Family Friendly. Sausage party. At this point in the movie, expectations are set for some kind of redemption story where Reggie can do his best to step in with his flock and become part of the family. Well, I thought wrong.
However, Reggie is taken in by men in suits to be pardoned by the President of the United States. He starts a new life where he watches TV and eats Chuck-E-Cheese pizza day after day. Yes, the Chuck-E-Cheese logo is on pizza boxes. However, at this point in the movie, the expectations are completely diverted to a snoozing turkey story where Reggie has to return to what he now believes is “turkey heaven”. However, the movie meanders again when viewers think it will.
The movie takes a full 180 because Reggie is now being recruited by Jake, a no-nonsense and somewhat brutal turkey who came out of nowhere in the beginning. He and Reggie embark on a mission on the first Thanksgiving in which they must stop the Pilgrims from killing and eating their turkeys. We should note that this time machine was made by the United States government for reasons unknown and its operations were hijacked by turkeys who literally stole the time machine. We never see the boss, his operation, or any of the first chapter elements again. So where are we now? 1621!
1621 and the traditions of Turkey
When Jake and Reggie arrived on Earth in 1621, there wasn’t an iota of awe for the native turkeys of this time period. They fully accept these two time travelers as one of their own without a moment of inspection. This is beside the point. Free birds He presents these turkeys as representations of indigenous civilizations who have a special attachment to the land around them and essentially live in a separate peace from the pilgrims. It becomes clearer what the movie was trying to convey with this flock of turkeys, who paint their faces and have their own rituals and ways of living. The Pilgrims set fire to their house, forcing the turkeys out. This could be a representation of the atrocities that European settlers committed against the indigenous population.
In addition, there is also a romance between Reggie and Jenny, the daughter of the chief of this turkey tribe (played by Amy Poehler). This chief, played by Keith David, dies while trying to save his tribe. In a ritual memorial ceremony where turkeys flap their wings and send feathers skyward, Jenny is chosen as the chief.
There’s so much going on in this 90-minute animated movie that it gets hard to think about. However, the movie sets this up as a big third act as the turkeys will encounter the pilgrim settlers in a brave heart The battle for good and evil style. This did not happen. What we get is turkeys hurling pumpkins into the village and one clever joke:
“Those are some angry birds.”
This quote from an American watching a “fight” is an obvious reference to the popular video game where birds are flung into various structures. The movie is full of these kinds of puns and humor. Some jokes land, but some seem to push the line into somewhat unfamiliar territory. When Jake and Reggie land in 1621, Jake tries to take over and immediately compete against the Ranger (voiced by director Jimmy Hayward) for control of the herd. They engage in endless boating bouts where they bend feathers and glutes, as well as physical scuffles. One fight shows these turkeys inflating their whales like balloons and slamming them against each other like sumo wrestlers. We do not make this up.
The finale of this movie shows turkeys, pilgrims, and Native Americans enjoying Chuck E Cheese pizza, and how the tradition is now taking over Thanksgiving. Turkey is no longer on the menu. However, the rules of time travel obviously don’t apply. No other effects of this change (by the turkeys) seem to have been noted or even implied. Regardless, the movie is fairly harmless and is a fun ride for kids and families. As weird as the film is, there is one element that warrants further dissection… the mighty Turkey!
Throughout the film, Jake describes his close encounter with the Great Turkey. His turbulent background of loss and regret drove him to wander, presenting him with a glowing beam of light. Great and Mighty Turkey sent him on this mission to prevent the Pilgrims from using turkeys at Thanksgiving feasts. For what becomes Jake’s entire childhood and adult life, his mission becomes to carry out the Great Turkey’s word that bestowed upon him a temporal knob (a golden doorknob). This doorknob is never explained or used as a means of activating the time machine or even finding it. What is it…just a knob. Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.
Reggie and most of the indigenous Turk tribe deny the existence of the Great Turkey from Heaven. However, it ends up being Reggie who decides to be brave enough to join the fight against the pilgrims. Reggie decides to give up all hope and go home with the chief’s daughter. However, he has been told by multiple versions of himself to join the fight and that he belongs in the year 1621. This is the epic climax of Reggie’s redemption story that we thought would build up in the first chapter. From zero to hero! So where does it lead us?
However, he takes the doorknob from the front door of the house to George’s Takei, or time machine, to find young Jake and tell him to find… his future self. This widely convoluted paradox implies that Reggie is The Great Turkey and sets the events of the movie in motion as Jake eventually meets up with Reggie several years later to embark on an expedition this time around.
but why? Why did Reggie have to go back in time to inspire Jake when he could have gone to fight himself? The fight ends with a time vortex revolving in the sky created by the machine that pounces on the pilgrims and their weapons to… somewhere. Perhaps this is a digging deep into Turkey’s recent failure. But plenty of questions require more thought about this Thanksgiving movie available on Starz. Jokes aside, the movie has a self-aware silly plot and often fourth-wall breaking. It’s funny at times and its presentation is visually appealing. It’s a fun movie for the family this Thanksgiving season…but very unusual.
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