On a tropical island inhabited only by flightless birds, Red (Jason Sudeikis) stands out in more ways than one. The entire island lives in relative comfort and perfect harmony. The few malcontents are sentenced to mandatory anger management classes, led by the nauseatingly perky Matilda (Maya Rudolph). While delivering a cake to a chicks birthday party, Red arrives late and can’t control his temper when the recipient refuses to pay for the order, due to Red’s tardiness. The altercation lands Red in anger management class. This is where we meet other characters like Chuck (Josh Gad) a mischievous yellow speedster. Bomb, a round black bird with a short fuse who, when angered physically explodes. Lastly there’s Terence (Sean Penn). Terence is the same type of bird as Red (apparently unrelated), but many times larger and only speaks with a short grunt or a long grunt. No one knows of the horrors committed to land Terence in anger management and it’s probably best that it remains that way. One fateful day the island is visited by its first visitors ever: a ship full of wayward pigs from Piggy Island. The Birds welcome their new friends into the flock, except for the skeptical Red, who questions the omelette loving visitors’ goodwill.
When I was made aware of an Angry Birds movie, I thought that it was a last gasp from Finnish developer Rovio Entertainment, to rekindle interest in the franchise. At it’s peak, there wasn’t a know smart phone user without Angry Birds on their devices. Luckily that isn’t the case as The Angry Birds Movie is based on the Angry Birds Toons shorts that wrapped its third season very recently. Like the series The Angry Birds Movie is full of distinct, colourful characters that kids will enjoy, references to the game the players will enjoy and too many bad bird jokes. Luckily the film keeps a brisk pace after a bit of a slow start, yet still remaining faithful to the source material.
It would’ve been easier to dismiss The Angry Birds Movie as another cash grab but, to my surprise, the film sets itself up to be a viable franchise going forward. It helps that the foundation was laid by a fun, if simply ridiculous story, a talented cast of voice actors and some of the best animation seen this year. the colours are vibrant while the birds are surprisingly detailed. It wouldn’t win against Zootopia, but The Angry Birds Movie should be a Best Animation nominee. The film expectantly hints at continuing the avian/swine battle. It should as long as production values are kept at the current standard. Red isn’t as memorable as a Shrek or Nemo, but much like the game; the movie franchise is ripe for expansion.
Rated: PG @ 97 mins
NOTE: In 3D Where Available