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Angry Birds/The Angry Birds Movie


Stars: Voices: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Peter Dinklage, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Keegan-Michael Key, Sean Penn, Titus Burgess, Kate McKinnon, Ike Barinholtz, Hannibal Buress, Billy Eichner, Danielle Brooks, Tony Hale, Blake Shelton

Director: Fergal Reilly, Clay Kaytis

Yet another videogame generates a movie, following in the already proven profitable footsteps (or here, presumably, claw-steps) of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Pokemon, Mortal Kombat et al.

Here the setting is a remote island populated by cheerful flightless birds whose idyllic life is disrupted by an invasion of pigs. So in essence, the driving force of the amusingly loony proceedings boils down to “Who is best? Two feet or four?” providing of course that trotters and claws count as feet.

What does count, however, is Our Eponymous Hero, Angry Bird Red, who is enjoyably introduced with a slapstick sequence seething with pratfalls, as he attempts to deliver a large egg to a party and ends up slapping a face with a cream cake in best vaudeville style.

Red, after literally reducing in height his avian judge at his subsequent trial, is sentenced to attend anger management classes. And when the porcine invaders strike, it’s up to him and his pals Bomb and fast-moving Chuck to save the day…

The simple straightforward story (screenplay by Jon Vitti) is exactly what directors Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis need to deliver a briskly paced deluge of smartly animated gags, verbal and physical, which should please the target audience of youngsters.

Accompanying adults might well unexpectedly find themselves laughing, too.

The animation is excellent, knowledge of the inspiring video game is not necessary and key vocal casting is excellent, with Jason Sudeikis enjoying himself in the title role, and Josh Gad and Danny McBride as his feathered comrades in arms. I did not recognize Sean Penn’s credited contribution but am happy enough to live without knowing to whom he gave the bird this time.

(Interestingly Angry Birds flew high at the box-office, rising above Captain America: Civil War and Bad Neighbours 2).

Alan Frank

USA/Finland 2016. UK Distributor: Sony. Technicolor.
97 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 22 May 2016