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First, a little perspective. For the last two weeks, whenever my two-year-old daughter did anything around a TV Garfield: The Movie had to be playing. This behavior comes after several weeks of doing the same thing, but with different Pixar films. I don’t know if I have to tell you how terrible Garfield is, but as a loyal fan of the comic and 1990s cartoon series, I can tell you it’s nearly impossible to watch it for two weeks straight as an adult without wanting to murder someone. And so, as I watch the trailer for Relativity Media’s Free Birds, via Fandango, I think that it looks completely average - but to me right now average sounds incredible.
This is the second trailer we’ve seen for the film, and while it shares a lot of the same gags and imagery as the first, I really think this one is more effective in just about every way. I’m bothered by trailers that tell you everything in sequential order, especially for an animation like this. I don’t need to know right away that Reggie (Owen Wilson) was picked to be a Presidential Pardon turkey, and that’s how he met Jake (Woody Harrelson). Just give me the hook and sell me on it. And that’s what we get here.
Reggie and Jake are on a mission that involves trying to go back to the first Thanksgiving and alter history by changing up the traditional meal. Turkeys can’t take this no more! Along the way, they meet Jenny (Amy Poehler), the obvious love interest. The rest of the cast includes Keith David, Colm Meaney, Dan Fogler, Carlos Alazraqui and George Takei. While it looks like all of the regular story beats are going to be hit, I'm legitimately interested in what the final battle scene is going to look like. Flaming pumpkins on a catapult? I'll be a part of the Turkey Freedom Front.
Even with the terrible music in the background, I’d take a film like this over a generic live action kids movie any day of the week. A flaming pumpkin landing on someone’s head is a splendid joke to watch 2-4 times a day for 10 days. And it doesn’t look quite as phoned-in as Planes.
Will you be eating turkey this Thanksgiving, or will Reggie and Jake succeed in their plans so that we’re all eating pork for the holidays? Free Birds hits theaters on November 1st. You can watch the first trailer below.