Video games being adapted to film or television have been problematic historically. Somewhere in translation, the entertainment of it all can get flat out lost. For The Angry Birds Movie, that's not the case. The Sony Pictures film is largely entertaining for audiences young and old who have played the once global phenomena of a game or have not.
Often times, the problems arising in the adaptation process come from trimming story aspects or adding to the wrong characters. For Angry Birds, the game never had too much of a story to alter so the writers had all but completely free reign. All that was in place was birds don't like pigs, plain and simple. So, The Angry Birds Movie keeps it just that while adding a bunch of heart and comedy.
Red (Jason Sudeikis) is an outcast and he's, well, angry about it. His upbringing was a tough one. It's a story similar to Rudolph or Shrek and several other classic animated films but still feels fresh enough to enjoy. In an effort to keep the plot moving forward and simple enough for kids to follow, Red is the voice of reason (and the audience) when the villainous Pigs suddenly show up on Bird Island.
Of course, Red is the best known character from the Angry Birds games, so it's only fair he is the main character of the movie. He's not alone in being brought to the big screen, though. True to their video game counterparts and allied with Red are speedy yellow bird Chuck (Josh Gad) and big black explosive bird Bomb (Danny McBride). While some witty dialogue and play-on-words jokes for adults are quite clever, the cleverest aspects of The Angry Birds Movie are certainly how they added personality and character to the birds based on their video games reputations and abilities.
Sure, the movie is certainly targeting the younger flock but much like Shrek, it's one that the parents can enjoy as well. As mentioned earlier, the play on words jokes deliver for the more mature audiences without offending the little ones. For example, angry ole Red finds himself stuck at a crosswalk as a line of baby birds crosses the street and he recommends, "bird control." We adults get a good laugh out of the pun and when the kids do, too, it's only because of its contagiousness.
The Angry Birds Movie also delivers on its animations. While there isn't much popping out and screaming, "Wow, look at the detail!" (which we surely would've if it came out a few years ago) the animators almost add more personality to the birds than the voices do. The body language of the birds only emphasizes the excellent voice work captured from the cast. When Maya Rudolph's Matilda finally loses her cool, it's not just the grumbling and restrained outbursts from Rudolph's voice which fully capture the comedy of the emotions but the widening eyes and ruffled feathers.
Sure, The Angry Birds Movie has little depth to it and actually had the confidence to leave a door open for a sequel but it's fun. That's all it is. It doesn't feature the complexity of a Captain America: Civil War or Jungle Book but it does what it set out to do. Sudden emotional moments hit hard and unexpectedly but are quickly turned back in cheers and laughter. The kids will laugh non-stop and spend the car ride home singing Blake Shelton songs.
We don't have another classic, unforgettable animated film on our hands but The Angry Birds Movie brings some fun for all ages to the box office to help kick off the summer season. A genuinely fun cast, talented animators, and simple story come together for a good time at the movies, especially for kids.
Bottom Line: The Angry Birds Movie is definitely one of the more enjoyable video game adaptations for the big screen, likely because it stays true to the game's style: simple and fun. 3 out of 5 stars.