Chicken Little holds a place in feature-length cartoon history as one of the last major studio releases in standard hand-drawn 2D animation. This gentle throwback to Disney’s minor animation efforts kind of got lost in the hustle and flow between Pixar’s ability to put together a fully realized story and DreamWorks’ ability to create a cartoon with enough hip references to keep adults paying as much attention as their kids. Too bad, because while Chicken Little is no masterpiece, it is a very funny movie with a nice message for the kids. If a sequel to Cars was really necessary to greenlight, then surely another visit to the world inhabited by Chicken Little and his outcast friends is in order. And it offers the perfect opportunity for Disney to make inroads into DreamWorks’ hold on hipster doofusness.
Steve Zahn gave the perfect voice to Chicken Little’s friend Runt of the Litter. Compared to the birds and fish that make up this team of outcasts, Runt is a fairly sizable pig. Compared to his family, however, he’s barely big enough to provide a single day’s menu for Karl Rove. One of the funniest scenes in Chicken Little involved Runt doing karaoke to “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls. Since it’s already clear that Runt loves to sing, why not make the sequel to Chicken Little all about the musical cow?
Runt: The Musical
Just in case you don’t get it, the reference here is to the runaway Broadway musical hit of the decade, Rent. That musical and its subsequent film adaptation tells the story of Bohemian hipsters over the course of a year. Jettison the more tragic elements–although Disney has done just fine including tragedy in their cartoons-and you’ve got the foundation for a sequel to Chicken Little that places the main characters living on the outskirts, in the fringes, on the edge and off the avenue into a new location as they have grown a little older, a little wiser, but still occupy that spot left of center.
Runt: The Musical only takes off with its allusion to Rent. The makers of this sequel should watch plenty of musical parody segments on The Simpsons in order to find a way to compete with the hipster element at work in many non-Pixar animated films today. Runt: The Musical should take on all the stereotypical elements of the musical genre and parody the heck out of them. This could be the greatest sequel in animated history.