Saturday, May 21, 2016

Angry Birds movie has surprisingly good animation

Movie Title:      Angry Birds
Grade:   C+

Rating:   PG, 1 hour 35 minutes

In a Nutshell:   First of all, Angry Birds is a movie that should have come out about 6 years ago, when the Finnish company, Rovio Entertainment, released the app on smart phones and everyone went crazy for it.  Surprisingly, the animation was very good and I love gags that run through the length of a movie.

If you are a fan of the game, you’ll get a kick out of this movie.  If not, kids will be still entertained, since they're not looking for a deep plot anyway.  I wasn’t expecting much from a movie about an app, but it made me laugh out loud a few times and the audience I sat with loved it.  No doubt, viewers are going to take another look at their app that has probably been sitting idle on their phones for awhile.

Uplifting theme: 
  •  Take responsibility for your behavior.
  • “Anger is a weed growing in our garden.” – Judge Peckinpah (Keegan-Michael Key)
  • Friendship, belonging, acceptance
  • The underdog story
  • "Wisdom isn't something that is given.  Wisdom is attained." - The Mighty Eagle
  • "What the caterpillar calls the end, the world calls a butterfly." - Matilda 

Things I liked:
  • Josh Gad’s character, Chuck, steals the show.  I watched an interview with Josh Gad on “The Tonight Show” where he admitted he got winded while talking so fast.  He thought the tech team could just speed up his words in the editing process, but no such luck.
  • They actually did a pretty good job adapting the app to a feature film, especially considering the app has no real story.  We find out why the birds are angry and where the slingshots and castles come from.
  • Red had a nice house on the beach with a pool and waterfall.
  • Keep watching during the rolling credits to see a few more gags.
  • The baby birds were adorable.  I loved it when they sang to Red.
  • It’s very colorful and fresh.
  • Did you know that country singer Blake Shelton is the voice of one of the pigs?  (Earl Pig)
  • Jason Sudeikis does a great job as Red.  Other voice talents from Saturday Night Live include Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, and Kate McKinnon.

Things I didn’t like:
  • You don’t have to spend the extra money to see this in 3D.
  • That’s funny they would hire Sean Penn to simply grunt during the entire movie to play the character Terence, when they could have paid me far less to do the same thing.
  • Some of the action scenes happened so quickly that I wanted everything to slow down so I could better see what was going on.
  • None of the birds on the island can fly, except for the Mighty Eagle, voiced by Peter Dinklage.  They never explain why.
  • Some of the humor is pretty crude.

Funny lines:
  • "Something doesn't seem Kosher about these pigs." - Red
  • “Don’t look, Bobby.  The anger might be contagious.” – a mother bird
  • “Daddy!” – baby bird
  • “How YOU doin?” – flirty pig
  • “You can’t eat eggs!”- Red
“What are ya gonna do?  I’m a foodie.” – King pig

  • “I’m not blushing. I’m just red.” – Red
  • "They're probably in the castle!" - Red     
  • What's a castle?" - bird

Bird sight gags you might miss:
  • Mother bird throws up in her kids’ lunch bags.
  • “Home Tweet Home” sign
  • Store sign that reads “Early Bird Worms”
  • “Shell yes!”
  • “Hotel California – Eagles” plaque in Mighty Eagle's house

Pig sight gags you might miss:
  • Jon Hamm is the name of one of the pigs.  He’s not nearly as handsome as the Mad Men actor.
  • Piggy-back rides
  • Pig Latin
  • Hamlet
  • Ball hogs bowling
  • Hogwild
  • “Let’s pig out.”
  • “Pardon our dust.  Something Pig is coming.”
  • Hamnesty International”
  • 2 pig twins from the movie “The Shining”
  • Instaham

Tips for parents:   

  • The profanity includes “OMG” and the word “pluck” to replace any potential F-bombs.
  • There is a very inappropriate adult joke and gesture about ladies getting “busy” to have more eggs/children.
  • Lots of visual butt jokes.
  • There are a lot of pop culture references that will go over the heads of young ones.
  • There is a little bit of a mixed message.  In the beginning, anger is considered to be bad, as the main characters are sent to anger management school.  Then, at the end, everyone has the permission to get angry.  Of course, it’s for a good reason, but young kids might want to act out after seeing it.
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