Sony Pictures Animation invited press for a sneak preview of The Angry Birds Movie. Four of the voice cast – Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride and Bill Hader – were in attendance, along with some real birds. We saw some scenes from the film and also grabbed the directors of the film, Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly, afterwards to learn even more about the highly anticipated film. Here are 8 things we learned about Angry Birds, which opens May 20.
This Is How You Make A Video Game Movie
So far, the best movie based on a video game may be one of the Angelina Jolie Tomb Raiders, and even that’s stretching it. Reilly and Kaytis think they’ve cracked it, by creating completely original characters out of Red (Sudeikis), Chuck (Gad), Bomb (McBride) and Leonard (Hader).
“I think that’s actually a benefit for us that it was such a simple storyline: eggs, birds, pigs,” Kaytis said. “[If the game had a story], we would’ve had to answer certain questions or be true to things that already existed, but this really gave us the leverage to create the world we wanted to make and tell the story we wanted to tell, within the constraints of what people are expecting. It was actually very freeing and we had a lot of license to switch characters and personalities, from what may have been established before. Or just creating new relationships that just didn’t exist, or a new characters. We have a bunch of characters that were never in the games. Maybe they will be one day. It allowed us to break out of that core and just make our own movie.”
You Don’t Have To Know The Game
Angry Birds is an enormously popular mobile game with several sequels like Angry Birds Rio, Angry Birds Star Wars and even a Bad Piggies spinoff. So fans will love the movie, but you won’t have to be a gamer to love it.
“You don’t have to know,” Sudeikis said. “It’s like, this is high praise I feel, but it’s like Life of Brian. If you have an understanding of The Bible and the history of religions, you love the movie on that level as well. Otherwise, it’s just a very fun, funny movie even if you don’t.”
The Pigs Invent The Instrument Of Their Destruction
In the film Red is an angry bird on an island of peaceful birds, so he is sentenced to anger management classes. Eventually, the pigs come to the island, led by Leonard. The pigs actually bring the birds the slingshot, which we all know the birds will use against them. It’s poetic justice.
“I love that idea,” Kaytis said. “It’s their own undoing really. They think they’re just wowing the birds with this technology. It’s kind of a meta way of approaching it but it actually works really well in the story and when it happens, when you watch the full breadth of the movie, it’s really satisfying.”
Of Course Josh Gad Sings
Chuck is the yellow bird and true to the game, he is fast, racing around a track inside his own house and a spiral ramp outside. Gad talks really fast as Chuck too, but he revealed they won’t let his musical talents go to waste.
“There’s a little singing,” Gad said. “There is a little singing in Angry Birds. It’s part of my contract at this point for every film that I do to just sing a little bit. Chuck will give you a little of his vocal glory in this film.”
Piggie Island Is A Real Three Dimensional City
By the climax of the movie, the pigs have stolen all the birds’ eggs, so Red has to rile the birds up to attack Piggie Island. They launch from the slingshot and we get to see the destruction of Angry Birds on a three dimensional 360 degree scale!
“We kind of started with the reverse psychology,” Reilly said. “We wanted to build something really fantastic for the audience but then from a story standpoint, we wanted to blow everything up. We designed everything to be destroyed so it had to look cool and it had to be believable to the audience, but then we also had to be, because it was immensely complex to create a whole city. Eventually it is a whole city you can walk around in, go into buildings. We had to design it in reverse so it would be a spectacle to watch blow up. It was really fun. It was like being a kid building legos and then blowing stuff up.”
The Movie Explains Why The Birds Are Angry
At the beginning of the movie, Red, Chuck and Bomb are strange anomalies. When it comes time to get their eggs back, Red shows the rest of the birds why it’s important to get angry sometimes.
“That is one of the things that I liked about it because I do think anger is something that we’ve gotten better at acting like it doesn’t exist but it clearly still does,” Sudeikis said. “Letting it out every now and then actually is a healthy thing every now and then. May it never go too far one way or the other. Don’t hold it all the way in and don’t let it all the way out but a little toot of anger every now and then is a nice thing.”
There Are Jokes For Adults
There’s plenty of bird slapstick for the kids, with Bomb accidentally blowing up his own surprise party, and dripping ice cream from the trees that looks suspiciously like bird poop. Adults will get some of the references to our world. One scene had two worm shops in the background, only Early Bird Worm Shop has all the customers while Late Riser’s Worm Shop has no worms and is closed. On Piggie Island we see billboards and posters for Fifty Shades of Green, Kevin Bacon in Ham-ilton and Calvin Swine ads.
They’re Still Changing It
Even though it’s only three months before the film opens, the filmmakers are still trying new things. Sudeikis said he did a new recording session on Monday, and Hader did new lines last week.
“Last week, I went in,” Hader said. “They said, ‘You know that scene? It’s all different now.’ It’s not like we show up and there’s an Angry Birds script, and we just record it and go home. You’re constantly redoing scenes because these guys are working so hard. “