Angry Birds movie adapts the game in a well-created universe

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(Image via Sony Pictures)

There’s a pretty good chance you’ve heard about Angry Birds. What started off as a simple mobile game from developer Rovio Mobile in 2009 has become a full-scale empire complete with a toy line, apparel, and an animated series. Now it looks to an entirely different market, cinema, complete with a new look.

I have to admit, I was very skeptical going into the movie. I was never sold on giving the birds arms and feet since I’m used to the simplistic designs of the games, but it makes sense since it’d be boring to see bouncing birds on screen for almost two hours.

With the movie set to release in May, Sony invited a few members of the press to a special “Sneak Beak” event. The event was hosted by Angry Birds producer John Cohen, along with a few voice cast members from the film including Jason Sudeikis (Red), Josh Gad (Chuck), Danny McBride (Bomb) and Bill Hader (Leonard). John Cohen began by introducing some of the team members behind the film including Catherine Winder (Hanna-Barbera, Star Wars: The Clone Wars producer), screenwriter Jon Vitti (The Simpsons, King of the Hill and SNL), and animator Clay Kaytis (Frozen, Wreck-it-Ralph).

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We were shown a few different scenes which included a look at Red and his anger issues, being sent to an anger management program known as “Angry Birds”, the arrival of the pigs on Bird Island, and most importantly, the battle sequence where you see the birds use the slingshot. John Cohen brought up the fact that it was important to create a story that complemented the game, including why the birds would have the slingshot in the first place.

Before the event ended, Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, and Bill Hader talked about getting prepared for their respective characters and if they had played any of the games before. All of them played the game at some point, and Jason and Bill made some funny jokes about playing old school Angry Birds growing up, with Josh actually being a huge fan of the Angry Birds Star Wars crossover. As for their roles, Jason was happy he just voiced himself and joked about having such a difficult and angry life being married, waking up in the morning and even said that people compared him to Ed Helms from The Office. Josh, who plays Chuck, talked about having a friend who talked a mile a minute and wouldn’t stop and drew from that, making him a silly yet lovable character. Bill said the original voice that they came up with for Leonard was eventually scrapped and eventually his character was pretty much his dad.

I saw around 10 minutes of footage split into the different acts. It was like a clean slate with tons of possibilities since there really isn’t a story for the games other than a bunch of angry birds using a slingshot to dive bomb pigs in order to retrieve the stolen eggs.

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