When we think of Thanksgiving, most of us instantly think of travel, food, and elastic pants. The Norman Rockwell version of the holiday is one we are most familiar with: a large family gathered around a table jam-packed with a stunning feast. As times have changed, family dynamics have changed, and who gathers at our tables in November has changed. Now many of us include our chosen family or friends who have nowhere else to eat sweet potatoes. In other words, Thanksgiving has become a holiday about friendship.
This weekend, I went to Los Angeles to see an early screening of Free Birds, the inaugural feature animated film from Reel FX, a Texas-based animation company. Starring the voices of Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, and Amy Poehler, the film had me cracking up. The premise of the movie is one of the most inventive I have heard in a while: two turkeys go back in time to the very first Thanksgiving and try to get turkeys off of the menu.
Here’s the really clever thing though: the film doesn’t really dabble heavily into the world of food. It is not a movie about “farm to table” or “where does my meal come from” (although you could certainly weave that into your own family discussions if you like). At the core, it is a film about finding and celebrating your people, um, turkeys. It’s also a film about following through and never giving up.
Before I take my four and a 1/2 year old, who has been asking to see this movie since we saw the trailer earlier this summer, I do plan on having a brief “heads up” conversation about the history of Thanksgiving, as well as beginning the talks about where our food comes from. While the filmmakers have said they do not intend this movie to be anything other than a family Thanksgiving movie, why not seize the day and take advantage of the moment to begin these kind of talks?
As far as the movie goes, I seriously loved some of the sci-fi winks that director Jimmy Hayward peppered through out the film. When you go, see if you can spot the Yoda homage and the nod to Bill and Ted.
Getting this film prepped, cooked, out of the oven, and onto the big screen took many ingredients and chefs. Let’s find out what the recipe was!
Recipe for Free Birds:
Image Credit: Author art, PR Photos and Relativity Media.
Disclosure: Relativity Media invited me to attend a screening of Free Birds this weekend in Los Angeles. The opinions in this post are entirely my own.
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