buck cluck chicken little

Analyzing the Disney Villains: Buck Cluck (Chicken Little)

Origin: Chicken Little (2005)

Motivation: Buck Cluck was the town baseball star, responsible for the sleepy town’s only little league championship. But that’s all he has. After the first town panic, he does everything he can to preserve what little reputation he has around Oakey Oaks. My question is, what does this past reputation serve him? It doesn’t seem like he’s getting anything out of it anymore. Maybe the memory of his glory days is the only thing keeping him going.

Character Strengths: He’s pretty good at deflecting blame or avoiding responsibility towards his son. He has his eyes turned to the town, and so when he says something they tend to believe him (or do they?). This is a guy who peaked during high school, and as Wil Wheaton said once “If you win at high school, you lose at life.” I guess you could put some blame on the town for being so co-dependent on him, but there aren’t enough fingers on one hand to point at that many people.

Evilness: Buck Cluck is depressed. If this wasn’t a Disney movie, the only place you’d see him is in his armchair, nursing a bottle of booze and watching baseball. He lost his wife and has no idea how to raise his son. Personally, I think one of the greatest sins is parents who are unkind or evil to their kids. He even jokes about his bad parenting at one point. At best, he’s a “fair weather father”, which is not an option when you’re a widower and you’re kid’s still young enough to be in elementary school. You gotta step your bitch-ass up and dedicate yourself. Instead, he puts himself as far away from his son as possible, so as not to get any of the fallout. The very beginning of the movie, he tells Chicken Little he should basically disappear.

Tools: Not much to put here. This movies not about gadgets or doohickeys. It’s about family, and the effect that neglect and troubled parenting have on the young.

Complement to the Hero: This one’s easy. We’ve got a jock dad and a nerd kid. The nerd kid is always nervous, friends with with unpopular kids, bad at sports, always getting in trouble. At the beginning of the movie, they hammer the point home (unsubtly) that his son is nothing like him. I think Buck just has no idea how to deal with a person like that. But when it’s your own kid, you gotta learn.

Fatal Flaw: Fear of embarrassment, passiveness, obsession with order, need for towns approval. Fortunately, unlike a lot of villains, Buck realizes his fatal flaw before it’s too late and he’s eaten by hyenas. He’s not so far gone that he can turn back and realizes getting the love from the town is not worth as much as the unconditional love from his son.

Method of Defeat/Death: When his son runs away during the alien invasion, they have a confrontation at the movie theater. Chicken Little tells him what he’s feeling and Buck realizes how he’s been pushing his son away through his abuse and neglect. Chalk it up to men being emotionally stunted. It’s a heartfelt moment that belongs in a sitcom, not a movie.

Final Rating: Two stars

Previous Analyses
The Spirits (Frozen II)
King Candy (Wreck-It Ralph)
Abuela (Encanto)
Prince Hans (Frozen)
Shere Khan (The Jungle Book)
Aunt Sarah (Lady and the Tramp)
Yzma (The Emperor’s New Groove)
Percival C. McLeach (The Rescuers Down Under)
Ichabod Crane (The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad)
Lady Tremaine (Cinderella)
Governor Ratcliffe (Pocahontas)
Pinocchio’s Villains (Pinocchio)
Sykes (Oliver and Company)
Alameda Slim (Home on the Range)
Rourke (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
The Evil Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
Ursula (The Little Mermaid)
Dr. Facilier (The Princess and the Frog)
Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)
Willie the Giant (Mickey and the Beanstalk)
Hades (Hercules)
The Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)
Jafar (Aladdin)
Shan Yu (Mulan)
Man (Bambi)
Clayton (Tarzan)
The Horned King (The Black Cauldron)
Mother Gothel (Tangled)
Cobra Bubbles (Lilo and Stitch)
Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmatians)
Madame Medusa (The Rescuers)
Captain Hook (Peter Pan)
Amos Slade (The Fox and the Hound)
Madam Mim (The Sword in the Stone)
Claude Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
Scar (The Lion King)
Prince John (Robin Hood)
Edgar (The Aristocats)
Ratigan (The Great Mouse Detective)
Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at http://www.ericjuneaubooks.com where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.

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