Three-minute preview: 'The Angry Birds Movie'

  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Remember when the Angry Birds were everywhere? That was about six years ago. 

Well, those times are coming again, as mobile gaming smash Angry Birds is hitting cinemas with an all-star cast to back it up. Prepare yourself with our three-minute primer, no-bird-puns guaranteed. 

Who's in it and what's it about?
Leaning heavily on comedy talent for its US voice cast, The Angry Birds Movie is led by Jason Sudeikis of 30 Rock, Horrible Bosses, and The Cleveland Show, who becomes plump Angry Birds mascot Red. 

It's Red who tells the story of how he learned to deal with anger and frustration, along with classmates Chuck (Josh Gad of Pixels and Frozen), Bomb (Danny McBride, of Eastbound & Down like Sudeikis), and Terence (Sean Penn, who's known more for serious roles in Mystic River and Milk), with the no-longer-angry Matilda (Maya Rudolph of Bridesmaids and Big Hero 6) as their teacher. 

For when unexpected piggy visitors arrive on the birds' island, Red thinks they're up to no good, and decides to find out what's really going on. 

The cast list extends to include Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele, Keanu), Bill Hader (SNL, The Awesomes), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, X-Men: Days of Future Past), Tony Hale (Veep, Arrested Development), Titus Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and the two hosts of YouTube channel Smosh. 


Who's behind it?
Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly may be making their directorial debuts, but both are well experienced: Kaytis comes from animation on Disney's Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled and more, with Reilly a storyboard artist on Hotel Transylvania, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Iron Giant and even Space Jam.  

Writer Jon Votti has worked on everything from The Simpsons and Alvin and the Chipmunks to Saturday Night Live and Da Ali G Show

Is it any good?
While it's not exactly on the same skyscraping level as Disney's Zootopia, Angry Birds is turning out decently enough according to Rotten Tomatoes' 50% approval rating and Metacritic's 49% average score, with 258 IMDb users giving it a 6.6/10 average rating as of May 10. 

When's it out?
Debuting in US, Canadian and Chinese theatres on May 20 (South Korea the day before), the animated feature commences international rollout on May 11: France, Belgium and the Philippines are among a half dozen early releases before it opens in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Russia, South Africa, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina and more over the rest of the week. Singapore receives it from May 26, with Japan earmarked for Oct 1. 

Got any trailers?
Check out April's Official Theatrical Trailer, part of a 35-plus video playlist put together by the Angry Birds YouTube channel. — AFP Relaxnews

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