Plot: Red has had anger issues since he hatched and as he has grown up, he struggles to keep his temper under control. An incident where he ruins a birthday party and smashes a cake in someone’s face proves to be the last straw, one outburst too many and he has to deal with the consequences. He is mandated to attend anger management classes, but he doesn’t even make it inside the first session before losing his temper, this time at a wooden sign outside. Inside the class, he has no desire to take things seriously or get to know the other birds, but he does wind up drawing the attention of Bomb and Chuck, who hope to befriend him. As he tries to keep to himself and avoid responsibilities, new arrivals on the island have everyone’s attention. Red doesn’t trust these visiting pigs, but is he just once again unable to control his temper or is this one time Red can keep things in check and help his new friends?
Entertainment Value: Based on the insanely popular mobile games, The Angry Bird Movie didn’t inspire much faith in me, but as it turns out, this is a solid origin story that stays true to the game’s lore, but builds on that simple foundation to offer a fun, colorful adventure. I wouldn’t have expected that in a million years, but this is no mere cash in and I think the movie makes the most of the source material. The narrative is brisk and serves as a prequel to the games, as we’re shown life on the island before the pigs arrive and how that conflict first began. In other words, yes the birds launch themselves at the pigs’ buildings, but that is just part of the movie and there is a bigger picture, that centers on Red. The humor is along the lines of similar family aimed animation, with sight gags, pop culture references, and pratfalls, as well as an emphasis on wild characters and wacky situations. I think the movie entertains at a consistent level, with material that should get laughs from just about all age groups. Again, not an animation classic, but a fun watch.
I loved the visuals here as well, with a vibrant, very colorful approach that captures the design elements of the game well, but then expands them to a richer scope as a feature film should. The island world is filled with all kinds of details, some that just serve as world building elements, while others are hidden jokes or just interesting little touches that reference the game. I also loved the character designs here, as they keep the core visuals of the game, just ramped up. Seeing the various types of birds in such vivid, detailed versions was quite cool. The animation is smooth and well crafted as well, so in terms of visuals, the movie more than delivers. The cast has a lot of famous voices, such as Jason Sudeikis, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Kate McKinnon, Ike Barinholtz, Peter Dinklage, Hannibal Buress, and in an odd, non vocal role, Sean Penn. In the end, The Angry Birds Movie is silly fun that rises above the usual video game adaptations and has appeal well beyond even the game’s fanbase.