The Film: The Angry Birds Movie (2016)
What We Know So Far: Based on the wildly popular video game puzzle series, the story is as of yet unknown, but it appears to be an origin story of the feud between the birds and the pigs, which if you’re unfamiliar with the game, will sound appropriately silly. The animated film is coming from Columbia Pictures and is directed by Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis, featuring the voice talents of many popular film and TV stars, including Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, and Bill Hader.
The Trailer (Official #1)
David: I’ll admit that I was not a fan of the game, having only played the very first handheld release on IOS in 2009. I didn’t finish it either. The puzzle aspect was (is) intriguing, but I lost interest after a few hours, perhaps due to how easily distracted I am by other things but probably more so because of my total lack of skill. What I liked best was the characters and the absurdity of their “story”, which seems tailor made for an animated film, even if it is seven years after the fact. The rather lengthy trailer, which no doubt contains moments that are sure to be excised from the final cut, is very funny and certainly sets the tone for some clean, family fun. I have to say, I’m looking forward to it.
Dan: I don’t play many video games (that aren’t NBA2K) so I’m not too familiar with Angry Birds. I’ve seen people play it, but that’s the extent of my experience. I’m also not a fan of animated family movies, so this trailer had to get my attention in different ways. Thankfully, the voice cast is made up of some hilarious actors. Saturday Night Live continues to provide Hollywood with a lot of talent (recently taking over the Emmys). From this early glimpse at Angry Birds, former SNL comedian Bill Hader leads the way for funniest character. That said, Josh Gad looks to be a close second. I’m not anticipating this movie, but at least it looks to have a few laughs for adults too.
What to Look For in the Trailer
David Says: Got to be the pig. While there is a lot going on and we meet some of the primary characters from the game, the Sneak Peek Moment is surely when Leonard the Pig (Hader) arrives and introduces himself as a species, not by name, to which Chuck the Bird (Gad) inquires, “What’s a pig?” To me, this sets up the idea that the Birds live (as seen from the opening shot) exclusively to themselves on a remote island far removed from the rest of the world. With Leonard’s entrance, and the malfunctioning ramp, we see that that pigs might be motivated, but they aren’t technically savvy and it might be a clue to the story’s connection to the game’s destructible environments. That and the stacks of TnT lining the back of the boat. Good stuff.
Dan Says: The trailer begins with the super cheesy song, “Close to you.” We meet our hero (SNL’s Jason Sudekis) having a picnic by himself in the park. A hot “chick” flirts with him. It’s the classic comedy scenario of the beautiful girl actually flirting with someone behind the shy nerd. This kicks off the story rather well, as our hero seeks help to control his anger problems. Looks like he’ll need to harness the power of his emotions in order to defeat the bad guys. My Sneak Peek Moment comes at the end of the trailer. Sudekis’ character walks by a bouncy sign. It wobbles on a spring, to the left and right, mocking the angry bird with its positive message, “Be Happy… Smile.” It seems like he’s able to control himself, even when the sign hits him. He’s able to walk by… for a second. Only to return with a flying tackle. The dialogue-free drawn out sequence works really well. It not only makes us laugh, toying with our expectations, but also tells the story through visuals. No matter what language you speak, or if you have learned to speak yet, this Moment will make you “Smile.”