Flightless birds lead a mostly happy existence, except for Red (Jason Sudeikis), who just can’t get past the daily annoyances of life. His temperament leads him to anger management class, where he meets fellow misfits Chuck (Josh Gad) and Bomb (Danny McBride). Red becomes even more agitated when his feathered brethren welcome green pigs and their leader Leonard (Bill Hader) to their island paradise. As the swine begin to get under his skin, Red joins forces with Chuck and Bomb to investigate the real reason behind their mysterious arrival.
Once I first heard that they were making an animated feature film based on the popular mobile game, Angry Birds, I was very skeptical and I don’t think I was alone. The game itself didn’t have much of a story so I wasn’t sure where this film would go. This means that they would obviously have to make up its own story so I was curious as to where it would go. The group of voice actors that they’ve lined up here has given me confidence that it could all work out.
For those worried about how authenticity of the animation, the film was made by the same company behind the mobile game, Rovio, so they managed to perfectly recreate the world of the game on screen. While there are a lot of animated films available in 3D, it rarely manages to add anything to the overall experience. What differentiates this film is that it is available in 3D but this time it made the film look a little better by accentuating the film world giving it a good amount of depth. The world we see on screen was beautiful to look at and was full of color and detail from the bird houses to each bird’s individual feathers. The individual character animations were also well done, managing to customize the animations based on each character’s personalities thus differentiating them while also emphasizing their individuality.
Sure the animation is great but none of that matters if the voice acting is up to par and thankfully, it is here. The voice acting was great all around here, helping to bring these great characters to life (I’m not sure if they were created for the film or if they’re carryovers). Sudeikis is the perfect embodiment of Red, making him engaging and compelling. Any other voice would have definitely not have been as good. Gad (Chuck) and McBride (Bomb) were great as Red’s friends. Gad was definitely up to the task, capturing Chuck’s energy and being the comic relief. McBride was a little more subdued as Bomb, mostly balancing out Chuck’s energy while still having some moments of his own. All three actors’ performances were great but what really elevated them was the writing, especially the dialogue between them was great. The film also featured Sean Penn in a role you would probably not expect.
While there wasn’t much source material to pull from here, the story here was simple enough for children and felt very game-like. This is a children’s film after all so it should leave them entertained while keeping adults engaged as well. The film caters to both by having some potty and slapstick humor for the kids while offering references that only adults will understand and probably enjoy. The humor worked for the most part but did not offer anything overly mind-blowing nor memorable. The story was exciting enough but took a little too long to get started since the first 2/3 featured a little too much meandering without really getting to a point which kind of got a little frustrating. Also being a children’s film, the plot was rather predictable and non-surprisingly allows the possibility for further films.
Overall, this a surprisingly good adaptation of the mobile game series offering great characters with decent laughs but nothing overly mind-blowing.