Free Birds - Movie Content Review

Free Birds - Movie Content Review - Picture of Reggie and Jake

Free Birds is a Thanksgiving themed movie where two turkeys, Reggie and Jake, go back in time to “get turkeys off the menu”.  Reggie is a self-centered outcast when he’s found by Jake and dragged into a time machine.  They arrive a few days before the first Thanksgiving and learn to work with the local turkeys to keep everyone from being eaten by the humans.

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Watch of Prime Video - Picture of Reggie and Jake on the movie's cover


In the beginning the movie does a good job of setting up Reggie as an outcast who has embraced the idea of only caring about himself.  Then throughout the rest of the movie that idea is torn down as Reggie learns the value of family, friends, and teamwork.  While the lesson is not as clearly articulated as Reggie’s original selfish state, it is woven throughout the movie pretty well and your children should be able to see it if you have a guided discussion with them.


Free Birds - Language - Picture of Reggie hanging upside down and Jenny holding his beak closed while making the shhh sign


There are no swear words used in this movie.

Free Birds - Fears - Picture of Reggie screaming as Jake carries him away


When the humans are trying to capture the turkeys, they attack their tree home and set it on fire.  There are a couple instances where characters are abducted or escape captivity.

When the time machine is operated it creates swirling clouds, wind, and lightning; but it’s portrayed in a suspense building way rather than a scary way.

There are no scary monsters, clowns, scary darkness, or strong villains.

Free Birds - Family & Relationships - Picture of Jake holding many baby turkeys

Family & Relationships

“That’s Paul, he’s getting a divorce” is rattled off by a child, Paul makes a sad face, and that’s the only scene he’s in.   A parent turkey sacrificially dies to save their child.  In the beginning Reggie doesn’t fit in with his fellow turkeys and there’s some light bullying while the story establishes him as an outcast.  In one scene the president’s daughter is unfiltered, bratty, and gets her way after throwing a fit.

There’s a few mentions of wanting to kiss a girl and a kiss partially off screen, as well as one adult targeted joke (that I don’t think children will notice) about “being dogs” that is buried in a misunderstanding about real dogs.  There’s a few instances where a male character ends up inadvertently looking at another male character’s butt (referred to as “Glutes” in the movie, sometimes with an included muscle flex) and then recoils in disgust.

There’s no sneaking out or running away.

Free Birds - Other Content - Picture of Jake on the ground with a weird facial expression

Other Content

There’s very little magic in this movie:  the turkeys talk, there’s a time machine, and the time machine is described as magical at one point.  The President imitates Bill Clinton and the only political thing he does is pardon a turkey.

There’s a fair bit of cartoon violence like characters bouncing down a hill or out of a tree.  Death is constantly implied, but that is to be expected when the major plot is to stop humans from eating turkeys.  Things like traps, cages, dynamite, fire, and missed gunshots are used against the turkeys.  One character gets sucked up into the sky and disappears forever.

Time travel is a major plot component of Free Birds.  The movie spends some time in the present before time traveling to the past, where the bulk of the movie happens, which is simple enough for children to understand.  However, at the end of the movie the time machine is used to go back to the future several times, where multiple copies of Reggie carry on a conversation.  This scene can be extremely confusing for children.  Reggie also goes back in time to a key event that has been discussed throughout the movie, but since Reggie is obscured during the scene, some children may not understand how he was involved.

On several occasions Jake invades Reggie's personal space to uncomfortably hold him.  In one scene Jake ends up dancing with another alpha male turkey.  I'm not sure if these scenes are simply awkward and silly, or if there's intentionally a homosexual element to them.

There's several mentions of "The Great Turkey" who appeared surrounded by a shining light to Jake when he was a child and told him his purpose in life.  Throughout the movie it's implied this was kind of like a direct message from God moment; but through a flashback to the incident we learn how it really happened, and there were no gods involved.

There is no evolution.

Free Birds - Movie Content Review - Picture of Reggie and Jake


Free Birds is a silly family Thanksgiving movie with not much to object to, and a story that is broadly entertaining.  You’ll probably need to have a conversation with your kids so they notice the message, and you’ll have to dispel some confusion related to time travel.


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