Sometimes, we can all get to that point in life that when things get rough, we lose our temper. The Angry Birds Movie is an energetic, fast and fizzy adaptation of the popular children's game that had people of all ages glued to their smartphones or tablets. The film gives a loose origin story to the feathered creatures of Bird Island and slightly detailed detours into their mad world.
First-time directors Clay Katis and Fegrel Reilly, who were both longtime animators with major credits on Disney and Warner Bros. features, took a risk on the touch-screen creatures to carefully design 3-D animations that we see on the big screen today. Even though the movie came years after the popular app might have faded into the past of popular kids games, the film would be able to bring its own franchise and is accessible to many who have never touched the app.
Written by Jon Vitti (The Simpsons, Alvin and the Chipmunks) comes a movie catapult filled with stray media references, coarse gags and delightfully terrible puns — yet it makes for a morally interesting narration about the rivalry between the birds and pigs. In the movie we're zipped through the lush, tropical foliage of Bird Island, meeting our main character, Red (Jason Sudeikis) who is forced to take anger management classes after losing his temper at some unlucky customers. In his class he meets Chuck (Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride) and Terence (Sean Penn), and they're taught coping mechanisms by therapist Matilda (Maya Rudolph).
When the island is visited by the birds' enemies — pigs from the distant Piggy Island — these uninvited guests with a penchant for Blake Shelton come bearing gifts for the feathered creatures. Anyone familiar with the game will know that the birds are not exactly happy with the new visitors, but the movie loosely shows us that Red is the only one who is suspicious.
Although this film is filled with terrible puns and nudge, nudge, wink, wink references, the filmmakers didn't seem to be too worried about the subtext that leads to an array of one-and-done jokes. Having said that, there is definitely a meaningful allegory to be found here.
I can say that The Angry Birds Movie would be one that families and kids of all ages could enjoy, despite the terrible puns. Parents don't need to worry so much about content and there are life lessons to be learned, from the dangers and disappointments of hero worship — in the case of this movie, the worship of Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) — to making a stand for individual thought and expression.
Check out The Angry Birds, in theaters now!