The Angry Birds Movie (2016)

Based on the popular video game, Angry Birds, comes the hilarious animated movie version, which spawned a sequel in 2019.

The Angry Birds Movie (2016) is about an island of flightless birds who have their own guardian, the Eagle (Peter Dinkage). Three little and not so little, but extraordinarily cute, juvenile-esque birds – Red, Chuck and Bomb – call on the Eagle when their island is visited by suspicious green pigs.

Before which Red, Chuck and Bomb have been attending anger management classes with the biggest, grumpiest bird on the island, Terrence, classes which don’t go down as intended, of course.

Lots of humour aimed at kids, although some older kids may find it off-putting and stupid, although adults may join in with the juniors and find it a hoot, as well. Lots of slapstick and one-liners, the tasteful anger jokes keep coming. Lots of laughs throughout.

What’s noticeable about the animation itself, is that it’s quite lucid and cartoonish. But, in terms of artfully executing the placement of story, feeling like a painterly Rembrandt juxtaposition — all quite subtle — and skillfully hiding its video game origins.

It’s also a great little family film that has a feel-good message for families, about not getting taken in by false sales tactics, taking responsibility, and using one’s wits and guts to fight for what rightfully belongs to the family. The swine’s in this are up to something no one except Red suspects.

There is brief low-key language that may need a warning for the children, which is, by the way, for comedic effect. The Eagle isn’t your conventional eagle, he’s a laugh, and his ‘lake of wisdom’ gets peed in – which may contradict the ‘sacred’ –these comedy parts may not be taken too seriously.

The film may otherwise have some theological subtleties, of doing what one can do, but also hoping for ‘divine assistance’ to come to one’s aid, borne out in the bird’s taking responsibility for their plight – believing in themselves – and also believing the Eagle – a kind of ‘divine assistance’ or divinely orchestrated assistance – to help defend the island.

Some nice one-liners at the expense of pigs and add to those a feel-good animation that’s bright and chirpy; I’m looking forward to seeing Angry Birds 2.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

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