Fox // 2007 // 286 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // November 2nd, 2009
Get ready for a whole new pecking order.
When Wasabi World is in trouble, there's only one superhero team that gets the call to set things right: The Chop Socky Chooks, a trip of chickens highly skilled in martial artistry. You've got Chick P, KO Joe, and Chuckie Chan, each representing a board stereotype from action movies. Chick P is the wise-cracking femme fatale, KO the Black Dynamite-inspired butt-kicker and Chuckie Chan is the wise, old master.
Together, they square off with their arch-nemesis, the sinister Dr. Wasabi, who continually tries to defeat his foes like any goofball animated kids show antagonist would: by drumming up the most obtuse, needlessly complicated Rube Goldberg-ish contraptions of death-dealing. Two discs, thirteen episodes.
So basically it's your typical bombastic cartoon, which took me by surprise considering the back of the disc case trumpets Chooks as an award-winner affiliated with Aardman (Wallace and Gromit). Maybe there's a cult following for this show, but I have to be honest: I don't get it.
This is your standard-issue, hyperactive, ADHD tomfoolery, with a kung-fu kick and poultry flavor. Episodes follow the standard game plan of introducing the dastardly-plot-of-the-week and then going full-bore with wisecracking and overblown action sequences and loud cartoon music and bright colors and headaches. What's missing? Wit, pretty much, and subtlety. Plus, while the computer-generated animation has its moments, and works well enough with the bonkers pacing of the show, I wasn't a fan of the character designs. These dudes are chickens, right? Not bratwurst links?
All that being said, here's the usual Big Caveat that accompanies these kids show reviews. While I find this show as charming as "Thriller" played on the jackhammer, the designated audience -- small versions of adults, about yay high, fluid running freely from their noses -- will likely eat this up. There's a lot on screen, it's bright and energetic and, of course, everyone does fricking kung fu.
The DVDs: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 2.0 stereo, and no extras.
The court isn't a fan, but his future kids will probably enjoy it. Still, Guilty of generally annoying me.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 286 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated