Why Angry Birds Are Angry

One of the world’s most popular game apps, “Angry Birds”, gets its own movie, and it could be more emotional and amusing than you would expect

By Pamela Chow; Photos: Courtesy of Disney

#153_ent_ABPK02_att040_marketing_comp_s3d_lf_v4_4kdcf_vd16

When mysterious green pigs begin stealing the birds’ eggs, it’s up to this ragtag team of outcasts to foil the pigs’ diabolical plans.

In the “Angry Birds” game, we’ve been shooting the little avian balls of fluff from slingshots since 2009. Now, the world will finally find out why exactly they’re so angry.

On an island populated by happy, carefree and flightless birds, the temperamental character, Red (voiced by funny man Jason Sudeikis of We’re the Millers and Horrible Bosses), short-fused Bomb (Danny McBride from This is the End) and speedy Chuck (Josh Gad, who voiced Olaf in Frozen) have always been outsiders.

One day, the peaceful paradise is upturned when mysterious green pigs arrive and begin stealing the birds’ eggs. Now, it’s up to this ragtag team of outcasts to unmask and foil the pigs’ diabolical plans.

#153_ent_4_arv570_114381_1021_mkt_still_LG

Red (Jason Sudeikis) and Chuck (left, Josh Gad) are misfits who pluck up the courage to foil the schemes of the green pigs on Bird Island.

Surprisingly relatable characters

It may sound simple but the movie has surprises up its sleeves even for avid fans of the “Angry Birds” game.

Director Clay Kaytis shared, “People assume they know what the movie is going to be because they’ve played the game, but the truth is [the movie] is going to surprise people.”

You may, for example, be astonished by the personalities of some of the Angry Birds. Producer John Cohen said that they each are “fully fleshed-out characters with distinct personalities and fun, unique powers”.

#153_ent_cow300_comp_s3d_lf_v73_4kdcf_vd16

What evil plans do the green pigs have in store for the birds on Bird Island?

Seeing red

Take Red, possibly the angriest of the Angry Birds. He has few friends, preferring to live alone with his crankiness, sarcasm, and aloof attitude. However, when the pigs arrive, only Red will have the courage to stand up to the bullies in town.

Said Sudeikis about Red’s character, “He definitely sticks out for what seems like the wrong reasons at the beginning, but it turns out that he might be on to something.” To give you an idea of just how angry Red is, consider this: Sudeikis likens it to receiving “a lot of parking tickets”.

He joked, “Before I recorded, I’d come out to my car, find a big, expensive parking ticket, and I would be perfectly in character.”

ABPK06_HannibalBuressAngryBirdsMovie2

From Olaf to outraged

Another notable character to look out for is the quick-moving and fast-talking Chuck — who may not always have his motor-beak under control, and which thus often lands him in trouble. Cohen describes Chuck as “the polar opposite of Olaf”.

He explained, “Where Olaf was sweet, innocent and child-like, Chuck has a real edge. He doesn’t have any kind of filtering mechanism, always puts his foot in his mouth and has a real comedic bite to him.”

Chuck is brought to life by comedian Gad, who revealed that this was “one of the most exhausting characters” for him. He shared, “He’s a mile a minute and his mouth is going faster than his brain can compute things… It was a lot of effort playing Chuck.”

Amusingly, Gad built his character’s chemistry with the other birds through rather unorthodox means.

“I printed cardboard cut-outs of them and held numerous conversations and even tried playing board games with them, which proved very unsuccessful,” said Gad.

ABPK08_dec010_comp_s3d_lf_v20_4kdcf_vd16

Stars of a feather flock together

What may also surprise many is the line-up of stars that came together for the movie. Besides comedians Sudeikis, McBride and Gad, the Angry Birds film also features the voices of Sean Penn (Mystic River, Milk), Keegan-Michael Key (“Key & Peele”, “MADtv”), Bill Hader (Inside Out, “South Park”) and even “Game of Thrones” icon Peter Dinklage.

Music powerhouses Demi Lovato, Charlie XCX and Steve Aoki also contributed brand-new tunes to the Angry Birds soundtrack.

With such an awesome team of talents, Angry Birds seems set to shoot past expectations.

ANGRY BIRDS [PG]

Director: Fergal Reilly & Clay Kaytis
Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Bill Hader & Peter Dinklage
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Animation
Run length: 97 min
Release: 26 May

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of Weekender, Issue 153, May 27 – June 9, 2016, with the headline ‘Why Angry Birds are angry’.

 

ADVERTISEMENTS