Skip to main content

Review: ‘The Angry Birds Movie’ – What parents should know

Based on the mobile gaming app beloved by kids and adults alike, “The Angry Birds Movie” will hit theaters this weekend, and it’s already breaking records overseas. If the reaction to Greenville’s recent screening was any indication, it should easily take the No. 1 spot at the box office in the U.S., too.

I can’t remember the last time Upstate Parent readers were so excited to win passes to a movie, and the number of entries we received to join us at that screening tops any we’ve ever given away.

But, is it worth the price of admission?

“The Angry Birds Movie” is set on Bird Island, where Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) is something of an outcast because of his easy temper and penchant for spouting sarcasm. Red is a cranky children’s entertainer, and a mishap at a chicklet’s birthday party lands him in an anger management class. Led by the New Age-inspired therapist Matilda (voiced by Maya Rudolph), Red meets other angry birds — the hyperactive Chuck (voiced by Josh Gad), the not-so-bright but explosive Bomb (voiced by Danny McBride), and the oversized, menacing Terence (voiced by Sean Penn). When a ship full of exploring pigs arrive on Bird Island with seemingly friendly intentions, Red is quick to suspect fowl play — sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun. Relying on his new classmates and reluctant friends, Red learns the diabolical reason the pigs have arrived, and eventually, must lead the other flightless birds when the going gets tough.

If you love bird-related puns, you’ll hear plenty in “The Angry Bird Movie.” I predict kids will love and have fun watching this animated film, and I did, too. Not all parents will enjoy the silly humor or the borderline-inappropriate innuendos throughout though.

While there is no outright profanity, the writers suggest it with phrases like “Pluck my life” and “Shell yes!” There is also some gross humor, such as when a mama bird regurgitates food for her children’s lunch boxes and another bird poops on a police officer from a tree. Characters also lie, steal and break the law, and an all-out war erupts between the birds and pigs. The birds also party and bully one another at times. Once all of the birds become angry — yes, we finally learn why the birds are angry — there is some cartoon destructive violence that is also played for laughs.

For the most part, “The Angry Birds Movie” aims mainly to entertain, and you’ll probably laugh more often than not.

While there’s nothing profound about “The Angry Birds Movie,” it surprisingly has a few good lessons for viewers, too. A subplot involving Mighty Eagle (voiced by Peter Dinklage) warns of the pitfalls and disappointments of hero worship, and the overall message seems to be that all emotions, including anger, serve a useful purpose.

All in all, “The Angry Birds Movie” is an entertaining movie that should delight most kids during a short trip to the movie theater.

“The Angry Birds Movie” is rated PG for rude humor and action. It opens May 20 in theaters nationwide.