"These Birds Can’t Fly but Can Sure Get Angry"
What You Need To Know:
THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE is interesting and colorful, with some very funny and even touching moments. The main message is positive. Anger is seen as a negative, destructive emotion when misused for selfish reasons, such as frustration or pride, but it’s justified under certain circumstances, such as defending a loved one. There is some rude humor, innuendo and destructive cartoon violence in THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE, however. So, caution for older children is advised.
(BB, Pa, FR, L, VV, S, M) Strong moral worldview extolling parenthood, appropriate self-control, not letting your anger get the best of you but letting your anger express itself when you come across a grave injustice, getting along with other people, and protecting innocent life, marred by some rude comedy and undeserved hero worship, plus the leader of an anger management class seems to be a devotee of Eastern mysticism and one of her students mentions being in a Zen-like state but this content is also treated like a bit of a joke; a character several times says what sounds like “Oh my Gosh” or “Oh my God” (it’s hard to tell, though the last time it definitely sounds like “Oh my God”), plus several uses of the word “butt” and a large eagle character is shown urinating in a lake with the urine stream clearly depicted for many seconds; although no character dies, there’s a lot of destructive cartoon violence such as angry bird kicks an annoying small bird, angry bird smashes cake into face of another bird, much property is destroyed, explosions, characters fall, and characters launch themselves against the enemy as flying missiles, which results in massive, but instantly self-healing, injuries; some innuendo includes bird jokes that the anger management class is a vehicle for finding sex, a reference to female breasts, and a character says the female birds better “get busy” making more eggs after a bunch of pigs steals all the unhatched eggs from all the birds in a bird village; no nudity but a bird character mentions that all the pig character are naked with no clothes; no alcohol; no smoking or drugs; and, lying, deception and theft.
THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE, based on the popular video game, shows what happens when an angry, shunned bird, living uncomfortably among an island society of colorful flightless birds, tries to warn the other birds about a visiting group of green pigs, who have a secret, nefarious agenda. THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE has some funny, touching moments, with a strong moral worldview focused on controlling your anger, but it’s marred by some rude humor, innuendo and destructive cartoon violence requiring caution for older children.
Even if it’s a remote island in the middle of nowhere, and even if all the inhabitants are cute fuzzy feathered brightly colored birds, that powerful emotion called anger is also live and well in their culture. Red (Jason Sudeikis) is one bird with a temper. With an acid tongue, a very short fuse and an almost inexistent capacity for patience, Red has a tendency to react quickly and physically to all real or perceived affronts. On one of those occasions when Red fails to control himself, he squashes a birthday cake on his employer’s face. Then, crime of all crimes, he almost crushes an egg about to hatch.
That’s just the last straw for Red’s fellow island inhabitants. His actions land him before a Judge (Keegan-Michael Key) in the high court. During the proceedings, Red doesn’t help his case by ridiculing the magistrate’s height, and the judge finds no recourse but to condemn Red to the worst sentence possible in the island, a mandatory anger management class.
The class is led by the charming, yet very human (as birds go), Stella (Kate McKinnon). Red must stay in the class until Stella believes that Red no longer has an uncontrollable temper, even if it takes forever.
Red isn’t the only one with a similar problem. His angry classmates, Bomb (Danny McBride), Chuck (Josh Gad), and Terence (Sean Penn) are very colorful bird characters themselves, but definitely their own varying levels of anger eruptions, such as blowing things up or causing all kinds of mischief to whoever’s responsible for their perceived frustrations.
Suddenly, a large ocean vessel reaches the island’s shore, in the process wrecking Red’s own isolated house on the beach. On the boat are what appears to be a small number of green “piggies” from a neighboring island. They come bearing big smiles and wonderful new gadgets promising lots of fun and prosperity, such as a giant slingshot. The island’s bird inhabitants are thrilled, and welcome the unexpected visitors with great excitement and expectation.
However, Red is highly suspicious of the pigs. His suspicion grow when he discovers there are many more pigs on the boat than Leonard, their leader, told the birds. The other birds don’t listen to Red’s warning, so he and his two new friends, Chuck and Bomb decide to climb the island’s tallest mountain where the birds greatest hero, Mighty Eagle, lives. Mighty Eagle turns out to be pompous and lazy, however. He tells Red and his friends that it is up to them to learn from his wisdom and save themselves from the pigs.
Back down in the village, the pigs gather all the birds in a large tent and perform a show for them. While everyone’s in the tent, the other pigs steal all unhatched eggs from the birds and sail away. Can Red and his friends rally the birds to get back their eggs?
The Angry Birds Movie in 3D comes in the wake of the successful video game franchise of the same name created by the Finnish company, Rovio Entertainment. A multitude of variations of the game have also been produced since its inception, with many spin offs for play in every conceivable digital electronic device, including even an Angry Birds Star Wars game. The movie itself, like the game, is colorful, fun and comical. The animation is state of the art, smooth and very colorful, although 3D again turns out to be overrated. The actors’ voices playing the various characters are perfectly suited for their roles. The story isn’t complicated but still built with enough plot elements and twists to sustain interest and reach a fairly satisfying depth in its 97-minute running time.
THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE has two main themes.
The first and primary theme focuses on the anger issues developed in the title. Tellingly, the root of Red’s anger issues is a deep sadness at being shunned by the other birds because he was an orphan with no parents. Eventually, after the pigs take their eggs, the birds learn that it’s sometimes okay to express your anger, especially when a grave injustice occurs or when you must defend a helpless loved one.
The other theme focuses on the rather human character flaw that makes us prone to the twin temptations of adulation and materialism. The pigs take advantage of these flaws in the bird population so they can steal their eggs. Both theme are resolved in a biblical, morally inspiring way, although the only “Supreme Being” on the island is Mighty Eagle, who turns out to be as flawed and moral as the rest of the birds.
THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE has some very funny moments as well as a few tender moments that tug at the heartstrings. Sadly, these positive moments are marred by some inappropriate adult comments, toilet humor, brief rude language, and intense cartoon violence that is a bit frenetic and involves lots of destruction. There’s also some name-calling. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children.
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