Small Fry, Free Range, and Uncle Wattles are back for a brand new adventure! When a gang of bad weasels plot to take over the chicken farm, it’s up to Free Range and his chicken pals to defend the coup and save the day. Free Range develops his martial arts skills with the help of his mentor Uncle Wattles to become an unstoppable warrior capable of superchicken behavior.
No matter what the characters are, the Roadrunner/Wile E. Coyote formula works: Bad guy tries to capture elusive, smarter good guy. Bad guy continually fails in Haman-like fashion — which is to say that every trap he devises for the good guy, he himself ends up falling into. (Haman can be found in the Old Testament book of Esther, as the bad guy who hangs on the very gallows he devised for the good guys.) That’s what happens repeatedly in Free Range. Two clumsy, evil weasels named Slim and Glutton try to capture a small chicken named Small Fry to make supper out of him, but he continually outwits them. Apparently, Slim and Glutton are keeping the Acme Corporation in business– that’s the fictional company from whom the Coyote always seemed to receive an endless supply of explosives from, the ones that blow up in the Coyote’s face.
The weasels expand their desire for chicken to take over an entire chicken coop, and that’s where Free Range and Uncle Wattles employ martial arts skills to defend their home. The bad guys lose, the overarching lesson for kids being that meanness does not pay. As such, it merits Dove-approval for All Ages.
The Dove Take:
It’s typical, harmless comic slapstick, where the bad guys continually and ultimately get their come-uppance.