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With: 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 (voices)
Written by: Jon Vitti, based on a story by Mikko Polla, Mikael Hed, John Cohen
Directed by: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly
MPAA Rating: PG for rude humor and action
Running Time: 97
Date: 05/20/2016

The Angry Birds Movie (2016)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Beak Softly

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Emerging at the end of 2009, the enormously popular downloadable video game has apparently sold some 2 billion units to date (I myself have spent countless hours playing), and so the inevitable movie (produced in English, even though the game is Finnish), the computer-animated The Angry Birds Movie provides an origin story for the bird vs. pig feud.

Jason Sudeikis voices Red, the angriest of the birds whose behavior has made him an outcast. He's sent to anger management courses with the speedy yellow bird Chuck (voiced by Josh Gad, bringing a touch of his "Olaf" from Frozen) and "Bomb" (voiced by Danny McBride). When devious piggies -- led by Leonard (voiced by Bill Hader) -- visit Bird Island, Red is the only one that doesn't trust them, and eventually becomes the one to save the day. The movie starts with a sour note, as the angry Red is fairly unlikable and Sudeikis goes for laughs rather than sympathy. Likewise, McBride is too abrasive, and Gad is too Broadway. But at the same time, the movie is whirlwind of dazzling, tropical colors and swift, exciting action. The final slingshot showdown is admittedly pretty fun.

Sony's Blu-ray release is a superb example of sound and color. There are many extras, all very short and aimed at kids and jokes rather than any kind of in-depth behind-the-scenes explorations. These include several short cartoons, deleted scenes, a Blake Shelton music video, a featurette about Heitor Pereira's score, and a featurette about how to make your own real-life Angry Birds game. There's also a featurette about how to sync the new Angry Birds game with the movie (which I haven't done).

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