Free Birds (2013)

Film and Plot Synopsis

Reggie is a turkey who has been cursed with greater than average intelligence…for a turkey. After he is “sacrificed” by his flock and “pardoned” by the President, Reggie lives a life of luxury with pizza and television as part of his daily routine. However, Reggie’s world is turned upside down when the seemingly insane turkey Jake shows up and takes Reggie back in time to prevent turkeys from being placed on the traditional Thanksgiving menu. Now, Reggie must discover what is truly important, his cushy lifestyle, or the safety of his kind?

‘Free Birds’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Free Birds (2013)Reggie (Owen Wilson) is not your average ordinary turkey. He has been blessed with more intelligence than the average turkey. However, that intelligence has also cursed him with the knowledge that turkeys are on the menu at Thanksgiving time. He has desperately tried to warn his flock about the dangers of the holiday and the farmers that feed them, but Reggie’s warnings have made him an outcast. One night, the other turkeys realize that Reggie was right all along when an army of humans show up to collect a turkey for Thanksgiving. The flock sacrifices Reggie to the humans in an attempt to save themselves. To his surprise, he is named the “pardoned turkey” by the President of the United States (Jimmy Hayward) and taken to live at Camp David as the “pet” of the President’s daughter (Kaitlyn Maher). Reggie is soon living the good life watching television and eating pizza.

One night, Reggie is kidnapped by a muscle bound, but not very smart turkey named Jake (Woody Harrelson). Jake is a member of the Turkey Freedom Front who tells Reggie that he has been sent by the Great Turkey to find Reggie and take him back to the first Thanksgiving with him to prevent turkeys from being placed on the traditional menu. The two birds steal a time machine from a secret government facility. The time machine, named S.T.E.V.E. (Space Time Exploration Vehicle Envoy) (George Takei), takes Reggie and Jake back to 1621, shortly before the first Thanksgiving. While S.T.E.V.E. shuts down to recharge, Jake and Reggie begin to explore the area. They are ambushed by colonial hunters led by Myles Standish (Colm Meaney). Jake and Reggie are rescued by a group of native turkeys who are led by Chief Broadbeak (Keith David) and his two children Ranger (Jimmy Hayward) and Jenny (Amy Poehler).

Broadbeak explains that the turkeys have been forced to hide their colony since the settlers moved to the area. The Chief explains that the turkey colony cannot risk fighting back without the settlers taking them. The next day, Broadbeak orders Jake and Ranger to spy on the settlement camp while Reggie and Jenny spring all the humans’ hunting traps. Reggie finds that he is becoming attracted to Jenny, while Jake and Ranger compete against each other during their mission. Eventually, Ranger and Jake find out that the settlers have begun their preparations for their Thanksgiving feast. They also discover where the human colony stores their weapons.

Meanwhile, Jenny is unconvinced Reggie is from the future, but is impressed with his ability to handle himself during their mission. However, the two turkeys encounter Standish and his dogs in the forest and are forced to hide out in a recharged S.T.E.V.E. The time machine takes them into orbit and Jenny realizes that Reggie has been telling them the truth. Reggie asks Jenny to travel back to the future with him once they save the turkey colony, but she rejects his offer.

Jake then drags Reggie away and tells him he has a plan to attack the settlers. Reggie expresses his frustration with Jake and his outlandish stories and plans. He threatens to leave in the time machine to go back to his present. Desperate to keep Jake with him, Reggie tells his friend that the trip was more about him making up for his failure to save turkey eggs while escaping a factory farm when he was young. However, Jake still claims that he was sent on his mission by the mysterious Great Turkey. Reggie still questions Jake’s veracity and sanity, but agrees to go along with the plan.

They infiltrate the human colony and successfully blow up the weapons shack. Jake takes a gunpowder horn with him as a trophy, and he inadvertently leaves a trail of gunpowder behind him that leads the humans back to the turkey colony. Standish and his men flush the turkeys out from underground, capturing enough of them for their planned feast with the Indians. Jake saves the turkey chicks, but Chief Broadbeak sacrifices himself to help many of the turkeys escape through the tide pools. Jenny is sworn in as the new chief and orders the remaining turkeys to prepare to attack the human colony.

Reggie knows that the turkeys have no chance. He returns home to present day and leaves Jake behind. Once there, he encounters two versions of his future self who tell him that he needs to go back to help the colony. S.T.E.V.E. tells Reggie that he is the Great Turkey who sent Jake on his mission in the first place. He takes the time machine and travels back in time to tell a young Jake to seek him out.

Meanwhile, Jenny, Jake, and Ranger lead the turkeys in an attack on the settlement just as Chief Massasoit (Robert Beltran) and his tribe are arriving for the celebratory feast. Reggie returns with S.T.E.V.E. and stops the humans’ munitions from destroying the turkeys. Inadvertently, Standish is trapped in the time stream. Reggie exits the time machine with a pizza pie from the Pizza Dude (Scott Mosier). Reggie convinces the human settlers and the Indians that pizza is a more acceptable food than turkeys, which takes turkeys off the traditional Thanksgiving menu. Reggie decides to stay with Jenny and the turkey colony while Jake takes S.T.E.V.E. to have additional adventures across the time stream.

In a mid-credits scene, Jake returns almost immediately after he left although he tells Reggie that he has actually been gone for years. Jake tells his friend that he has come to seek his help in stopping the monstrosity that is the tur-duck-ken.

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Relativity Media released Free Birds on November 1, 2013. Jimmy Hayward directed the film starring Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, and Dan Fogler.

User Rating: 2.8 ( 2 votes)
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