So I decided to rest over at the theater tonight and watch the new animated release The Angry Birds Movie. I have never played the game before and had mixed responses to the trailer but after being pleasantly surprised (one of the few) by Ratchet and Clank, I was hoping for the same with Angry Birds. Unfortunately I left feeling mostly disappointed.
Not that Angry Birds is a complete loss. The animation is pretty good particularly with the texturing on the feathers. It looked lush and they capture the fast movement of the birds very well. I also was fine with all the voice talent although the celebrity aspect of it did nothing for me. There were a few good jokes and kids will probably have an ok time. This is not Norm of the North bad by any means.
Unfortunately that’s about the end of my praise. The film centers on a bird named Red who you guessed it is angry all the time. Going into the film I figured he would learn his lesson by the end and stop being angry. Instead Angry Birds makes the strange choice of having the kind, happy birds actually be gullible and stupid. The movie confuses confidence with anger and the stupid nice birds learn to be angry. Isn’t that a strange message for kids? It’s one thing to have a character named Anger in Inside Out as a piece of a healthy person but to have the main moral emphasis of the movie be promoting anger is very weird.
Just like Minions last year Angry Birds uses a lot of music cues to get supposed humor. I don’t think any of the songs will be that familiar to kids (bands like Pete Townsend, Ozzy Osbourne, the Carpenters and more) and I don’t even think these artists are that popular with young Moms and Dads so who they are trying to appeal too? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have bands from the 80s or 90s if you were appealing to the parents? Current artists if you were trying to appeal to kids? Regardless, the music jokes were loud, forceful, stretched out and unending. I got tired of them after a while.
These pigs come to steal the eggs of the birds. All of the birds but Red are charmed by the pigs because of the great dance party they throw. Red’s cynicism and grumpiness gets a little old after a while. It felt like certain scenes such as the hoedown party lasted a long time. There were also uncomfortable adult jokes which I really hate in movies aimed at families or children. These weren’t just subtle but out there jokes about sex, mating and harvesting eggs. That’s unseemly in my opinion.
Red goes to find an eagle that is going to save them but this sequence felt very drawn out and it separates the lead characters from the conflict with the pigs leaving said conflict and villains underdeveloped. The eagle potty humor and other jokes did nothing for me.
The final action scene was kind of fun and I’m told uses elements from the game in a very clever way, but that can only take you so far. I felt like the characters were shouting at me a lot and I grew tired of that. I wanted the story to breathe more and calm down.
Overall, it’s harmless. Some small kids will enjoy it but the shouting, overbearing music and the strange message about anger are big problems for me. Ratchet and Clank is a silly simple space adventure where this is more caustic and frustrating. I can see why some enjoy it but it was just not for me. I’m actually a little disappointed as I am always pulling for smaller studios to make a dent in the animation scene. Unfortunately Lego Movie this is not.
It was also frantically edited so I felt a little jerked around with everything happening on screen.
I’d be willing to forgive a lot if I wasn’t so annoyed by the characters and other choices made within the movie. Too bad!
What did you think of Angry Birds Movie?
Overall Grade- C
My youtube review