Marketed as a sequel to the 2000 film, Netflix’s 2023 animated film, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, unfortunately, has nothing new to offer. The film follows the same characters, similar themes, and exactly the same conflict that we witnessed some 23 years ago. At the end of the film, one is left wondering: was this sequel really necessary, or was the streaming giant trying to reap the nostalgia factor? Whatever the case might be, we were just happy to see some familiar “chickens” on screen again, even though none of it left a deep impact. The events of Dawn of the Nugget take place a few months after the previous film’s timeline.
At the end of the previous film, the couple, Ginger and Rocky, had managed to escape the prison farm of evil Mrs. Melisha Tweedy. The woman had decided to slaughter the chickens and turn them into pies so that she could increase the profits. The chickens, on the other hand, were left with no other option but to make “the great escape” in order to protect their lives. They finally settled on an isolated island in the middle of a forest so that they could achieve their happy ending and live in peace and harmony forever. However, as the couple gave birth to a new family member, a new set of problems followed, which they had to deal with in order to protect their own.
Why did Molly leave the island?
On the new island, Ginger gave birth to a beautiful and adventurous daughter whom she named Molly. It was quite evident from the beginning of the film that Molly shared her mother’s rebellious spirit and was filled with curiosity. She wanted to explore the land and waters beyond their humble abode, but Ginger and Rocky were quite concerned about the safety of their child, which made Molly feel like a prisoner. It was the same story all over again.
One day, Ginger and the other chickens heard some drilling noises in the vicinity and found out about the construction of a new road leading to a suspicious “Fun Land Farm” for chickens. Ginger could smell the foul play and therefore decided to camouflage the entire island to avoid unwanted attention; however, at the same time, Molly saw an “eye-catching” truck moving on the road. The idea of a happy chicken sitting inside a bucket fascinated the youngling so much that she decided to run away from the island against her parents’ wishes. On her way out, she came across another rebellious chicken named Frizzle, who told her that Fun Land Farms was a dream destination for every chicken, and they couldn’t just miss going there. Therefore, the two younglings got themselves captured by one of the truck drivers and ended up in a prison disguised as a “Disneyland” for the chickens.
Who Designed “Fun Land Farms”? And Why?
Not much of a surprise, but Mrs. Tweedy made a grand entry in the film to explain her evil motives regarding her new ventures. It was implied that she remarried and found herself a genius scientist, Dr. Fry, as a husband. The doctor, a pioneer in genetic engineering, was madly in love with Mrs. Tweedy for reasons we failed to understand. Nevertheless, Dr. Fry never missed an opportunity to impress his lady love and therefore designed a hypnotizing collar that would take away a chicken’s natural instincts of fear and panic and would make them feel happy even during a life-threatening event. In such a scenario, their muscles wouldn’t get stiffened, which often leads to a dry and flavorless chicken dish. In short, Mrs. Tweedy’s obsession with “chickens” hadn’t ended, and she just found herself a new husband so that she could seek revenge on the “birds” that made her miserable in the first film.
For the second part of her plan, Mrs. Tweedy had designed a miniature fun-park for the chickens with a hidden elevator in it. The staircase led to a burner, which would process the chickens into nuggets, therefore giving the film its title. Mrs. Tweedy had collaborated with Reginald Smith, a parody of Colonel Sanders, so that she could sell these chicken nuggets through his chain of restaurants, Eat-a-lot. Mrs. Tweedy had coined a perfect plan, and she would have been successful if only her rebellious old friends hadn’t intervened.
How Did Ginger Save Her Daughter?
After finding out that Molly had left the island, Ginger didn’t leave a stone unturned to bring her back. Earlier, Ginger made a safe choice to camouflage the island in order to protect her daughter and other chickens on the island. Everyone was quite surprised by this move because it wasn’t a decision that the rebellious Ginger would take. It was Ginger’s motherly instincts that had kicked in, because of which she acted in self-interest even when she had the chance to save hundreds of trapped chickens outside their safe haven. However, through this film, she finally realized that those who let evil people do evil things often end up becoming a part of their devilish scheme. It is one’s duty to stop the evil from spreading because, someday or another, it ought to plague their own paradise.
In the end, Ginger and her band of rebellious misfits finally infiltrated the highly secured facility. The team located Molly, who was trying to save Frizzle from the mind-control collar. However, at this juncture, the chickens insisted on leaving the premises with Molly, but Ginger had a change of heart. She wanted to protect every single chicken locked inside the facility because, without their help, they would eventually meet their maker. The chickens fought like true heroes against their worst nemesis, Mrs. Tweedy, who wanted to throw all the chickens in the burner to turn them into nuggets so that they could finish Mr. Smith’s first consignment. However, in the end, as fate would have it, Mrs. Tweedy fell into the same burner, where the machine ironically detected her as a “large chicken,” symbolizing the fact that we are all living creatures made of the same flesh and bones. The heartless machine didn’t distinguish between the two creatures, therefore further implying the fact that Mrs. Tweedy had lost her humanity in her pursuit of revenge and was ready to take the lives of innocent creatures to fill her own pockets. However, as Mrs. Tweedy went through the burner, the entire setup overheated and exploded. The chickens, on the other hand, managed to escape on a truck while taking away some of Dr. Fry’s cool gadgets so that they could play with them on their island.
During Dawn of the Nugget’s ending, Ginger realized a very simple fact: she had the power and means to save others like her, and she shouldn’t waste her powers in the pursuit of looking for a happy ending. Ginger had realized that there was so much evil in the world that her job as a rebellious chicken wouldn’t come to an end anytime soon, and therefore she called the film’s ending a “happy beginning” as she started striking nearby chicken farms with her team of misfits so that she could save as many chickens as she could. Ginger and others knew what true freedom felt like, and it was in the end that they realized that every living creature deserved the “same.” As living creatures of the same habitat, we shouldn’t kill or trap other beings just to feel superior. Yes, that’s the message of the film, I guess. In the end, Ginger also came in terms with her daughter’s adventurous spirit and took her along during the numerous rescue mission to save the fellow chickens.