Free Birds isn't nearly as bad as I expected it to be. I laughed lots of times!
Also, it gave me hope that we'd get another strong animation studio in the field. The director is a Pixar veteran, and the animation had character.
That said, a strong script was wrapped around an uninteresting premise, and much of the footwork in the plot was comprised of dance steps we've seen before in other, better films. Should I complain about originality, or a lack thereof? Kids who haven't yet been immunized with the Pixar library or How to Train Your Dragon will likely enjoy this film just fine. Jaded adults who have seen lots of animated films will likely look at Free Birds with clinical interest, indicating on their mental clipboards where the formulae show through.
The best part of the show, for me at least, was George Takei as the voice of the time machine. Second best? The fluff-off between a pair of buff, male turkeys. Very well-done. As I said above, this film gives me hope that we'll see great movies from this group in the future. They need to start with great stories, though. This one wasn't that.
Free Birds didn't disappoint, but certainly wasn't awesome. As of this writing it comes in at #23, adding to the unusually shallow mid-field I've had this year.