The Wacky Hen (2019)

Written for Raf News Jan 2021

An eye-sore compared to the other hens, it is by some strange stroke of luck that Turu, the titular oddity, is bought for an elderly woman’s farm. Stranger still, that in lieu of laying eggs, she has taken to speaking the language and is prone to bang out the odd tune.

Watch La Gallina Turuleca (Turu, The Wacky Hen) ESP | Prime Video

Stranger things have happened in children’s animated films, and you can see elements of them propping up this simply plotted romp. When elderly saviour and vocal coach Isabel falls from her roof and is carted off to hospital (a Disney film would have surely seen her offed), Turu chases her to the big city by way of a travelling circus.

Dubbed from the original Spanish, The Wacky Hen incorporates contemporary pop songs to keep the energy high, with montages and car chases to the keep the little one’s attentive. The sense of mild peril is constant, what with the circus being threatened with foreclosure if they can’t get a decent audience, and Isabel seeming to suffer a bout of concussion induced amnesia. But it never feels too serious and it’s clear how it will play out: Turu packing the tent to the rafters with a thankfully reworked version of The Macarena (the translation of the original school disco number I had only discovered in later life).

Though the message and moral is that it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, the implication is that so long as you’re talented. For Turu it’s a matter of having one-eye in the land of the blind as no other animal can talk; fortunate for our feathered hero as she wouldn’t have survived the first round elimination of Sing.

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