A LEGO movie was a surprisingly good idea. The 2014 film, which invented a new life for the plastic figurines in Toy Story style, even received an Oscar nomination for best original song. So, after the initial incredulity wears off, an Angry Birds movie starts to seem like not such a terrible idea, either. After all, the game was such a massive success, the audience must be out there somewhere — right? And with the backing of a major studio in the form of Sony, as well as a cast that includes perennial favorites Peter Dinklage and Jason Sudeikis, it could well be the next Lego Movie. Angry Birds has been quietly in production for some time now; it's released a couple of trailers in preparation for its May premiere. But let's rewind for a moment — Why is there an Angry Birds movie at all?
There's legitimate reason to wonder how, and why, the beloved app got the movie treatment. After all, there's no movie for Flappy Bird or Words With Friends or Candy Crush or Neko Atsume. (Though the last one would probably be the best use of everyone's resources.) The movie will purportedly offer an origin story as to why the birds are so very angry, and how the pigs became their mortal enemies.
So why, indeed? Given the quite recent success of the Lego Movie, there's good reason for Angry Birds' studio to believe it'll be a hit with theater-goers. Angry Birds has a pretty wide-ranging audience, from the young adults who composed the core of its gamers to the children attracted to anything humorous and animated, to the adults who will chaperone them all. Judging by the trailer, it's cute enough for the youngest audiences, with enough subversive humor to pique older audiences' interests.
"A lot of movies say that they're for everybody, but Angry Birds really does have something for every person in the whole family to enjoy," the film's star recently Josh Gad told Yahoo. This extends even to the film's cast — with stars like Bill Hader, Sudeikis, Dinlage, Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon, and Hannibal Buress among its vocal talent, amassing a cast like that is reason enough to proceed with production on a movie.
Rovio, the Finnish developer that created the app, has been branching out steadily since Angry Birds debuted for Apple devices in 2009. Over the past few years, it's published a cookbook entitled Bad Piggies' Egg Recipes , a wink at the Angry Birds game, and a young-adult series entitled "Storm Sisters" by Finnish writer Mintie Das. From gaming to books and now to the big screen, movies seem like the next great frontier for a company like Rovio looking to expand its reach beyond the black mirror of the iPhone.
And then there are the aforementioned elements of the plot that actually serve a purpose within the Angry Birds universe: The film will provide a back story for the tiny characters gaming audiences have grown to love. It both ties into and builds on the existing material, making the game relevant after it's passed its prime. (It hit 1 billion downloads in May 2012 — if even a fraction of that audience shows up on opening weekend, the studio can probably call the venture a success.)
Angry Birds, the movie, might reignite interest in Angry Birds, the app. It draws on pre-tested material — Sony can safely bet that these characters will succeed and that the film has a built-in audience — and expands the canon beyond the limitations of the game. So while, at first glance, it might seem like a silly idea, Angry Birds might actually be the next Lego Movie-esque success story. And even if it's not quite on par with the "Everything Is Awesome" source, it should still be worth your time.
Images: Sony (2)