Dating back to 1621 Massachusetts, Thanksgiving is one of the biggest national holidays in America, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.
Shops close for the day, curtains fall across Broadway and families come together around the dinner table to give thanks for the previous 12 months.
The centrepiece of this gathering of the generations is a succulent roast turkey.
In Jimmy Hayward’s computer-animated comedy, the feathered fowls strike back, attempting to change the main course of history so that they can be granted a stay of execution every winter.
Free Birds offers a surprising alternative to turkey for the Thanksgiving feast, which should appeal to both vegetarians and carnivores, but manages to vastly increase the calorie count and fat and carbohydrate contents. Considering America’s battle with obesity, it seems unlikely families will be trading in the giblets in order to pile on another couple of pounds.
The film’s unlikely hero is a turkey called Reggie (Owen Wilson), who realizes that the abundance of food offered up by the farmer is merely a plot to fatten the flock.
Having caused a fuss, Reggie is kicked out of the coop and, by chance, he is chosen by the President’s cherubic daughter (Kaitlyn Maher) as the one bird to be pardoned from the carving table.
Transported to Camp David where he enjoys a daily routine of pizza and trashy TV, Reggie thinks his troubles have evaporated until Jake (Woody Harrelson), founder and sole member of the Turkey Freedom Front, kidnaps Reggie and pressgangs him into a top secret mission of the utmost importance.