While not technically a sequel in the most strict sense, The Big Bird Cage is a prequel to the classic Disney movie, The Big Bird Family. As the name implies, it picks up where the events of the first film left off, before Woody’s second Christmas in the city. Like the first film, this one also stars Johnny Depp as the lovable Big Bird, along with several new and returning characters. Though the plot may seem to take place entirely outside of the Big Apple, the origins of the titular bird make an appearance.
In the third installment of the Big Bird franchise, the beloved nanny/bird-shooter finds herself locked in the women’s prison, while the headstrong bird decides that he needs to step things up and take on the outside world once again. Once there, though, the inmates are suddenly placed under military control, and the escaped convicts lead the prison authorities into a mad hunt for the escapees. This time, though, the escapees bring along some unwelcome visitors…
The Big Bird Cage
The plot of the film is this: after being freed from the prison, the escaped convicts decide to celebrate their freedom by traveling to an island in the Pacific Ocean, where they intend to exact revenge on the people (including the head of state) who had locked them up. Along the way, the Big Bird… becomes the primary target of their ire. It’s here that the old tale of the Wild West being taken away by the prisoners of the big birdcage comes in handy.
The movie begins with a rather large number of smokey scenes, including one involving the prison guards burning down the church that houses the family of the escapees. Johnny Depp’s character slowly realizes that something is wrong, so he sneaks out of the building. However, while he is gone, he hears screaming coming from inside the church and goes in, locking the family inside. He then proceeds to search for the warden and finds him reading the daily newspaper and giving orders to the other guards to let the inmates go. He then sneaks back into the prison and tries to free the other escapees, but he is stopped at a gate, just before they are about to jump over a barbed-wire fence that forms around the top of the prison.
Meanwhile, Anitra puts up a struggle against the other revolutionary leaders, assisted by the guards. Eventually, she manages to slip past the guards and make her way into the main part of the prison. There, she meets the prisoner identified as the ‘Redneck’ whose name was given because he was wearing an alligator headpiece. As the two women fight, they learn from the newspaper boy that the other escapees have been taken to the pen across the yard from the main part of the prison, where the big birdcage is located.
A Much Ado
Inside the big birdcage, three inmates escape. Two of them are promptly recaptured by the guards while the last one manages to get away with two other escapees. Once the other inmates return to their cells, the warden sends them to another part of the prison. Karen Mckevic and her partner arrive just in time to save the other two, and the other inmates soon find themselves surrounded by the remaining guards and the warden himself.
With the rebels threatening to take over the state, the Governor is desperate to get the entire prison emptied. However, he needs the help of someone to perform the duties of the warden. Entering the big dollhouse, the two soon find that there is already a guard in the household. Before long, the other inmates come running in asking for help in cleaning the house, cleaning the grounds, and cleaning the big birdcage.
After helping them clean the place, the two makeup with each other and say their goodbyes. Shortly thereafter, the two drive the baton-wearing warden and his partner out of the cage. When asked why they needed to storm the prison, the two reply that they were searching for the escaped felon and asked for their help. The next morning, the two are seen talking to Karen Mckevic by the guard who is standing in the doorway, asking for directions to the big birdcage.