Adaptation Adventure

'The Angry Birds Movie' Blu-ray Review: From the phone screen to the big screen

August 16, 2016Ben MK

Once upon a time, movie adaptations were reserved for books, classic TV shows and videogames. Now, even mobile apps have started to get in on the action, and it all begins with The Angry Birds Movie, a film based on Rovio Entertainment's hugely successful series of mobile games for iOS and Android.

So, how do you turn a mobile game where players swipe their fingers to catapult birds through the air in an attempt to knock down every freestanding structure in sight into a feature-length film? Why, with a star-studded cast that includes Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Sean Penn, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Tony Hale and Peter Dinklage, two of the creative minds behind movies like Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph and The Iron Giant, and one of the writers of shows like The Office, The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live, of course.

Directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly and written by Jon Vitti, The Angry Birds Movie follows Red (Sudeikis), a particularly angry bird living among flocks of happier birds on the appropriately named Bird Island. An outcast with a grumpy temperament, Red meets a speedy, yellow bird named Chuck (Gad) and a black bird with a literally-explosive temper named Bomb (McBride), and together they set out to unravel the dastardly scheme of King Mudbeard (Hader), a portly green visitor from Piggy Island, who's also harboring a ship-full of secrets.

Surprisingly, the result is a lot more coherent and entertaining than you might expect, thanks to a storyline that adds significant depth to the game's shallow premise, zippy comedic pacing and enjoyable, energetic performances from the entire cast. Make no mistake, there's little chance that The Angry Birds Movie will be confused for the next, great Pixar masterpiece; however, at the same time, you're not going to regret spending an hour and a half with these characters either. Maybe there's hope for that Fruit Ninja movie after all.

The first thing that will strike you about The Angry Birds Movie is its vibrant color scheme. From Red's bright red plumage, to Chuck's banana yellow feathers, to the head-to-toe green of King Mudbeard, the film boasts a hyper-stylized and insanely varied color palette that shines in spectacular fashion on Blu-ray. A reference-quality transfer through and through, this 1080p image also delivers pixel-perfect clarity and detail, revealing every feather the computer animators have placed on each of Bird Island's residents, as well as every piece of debris that results when the birds launch themselves via catapult at the various structures on Piggy Island. Turning to the audio, the film's DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound mix proves to be a fantastic complement to the visuals, whether it's the dialogue, the songs from classic artists like Black Sabbath or more contemporary artists like Imagine Dragons, or the cartoonish sounds of chaotic destruction that fill the air during the movie's action-packed climax.

Sony's two-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes an UltraViolet digital copy, a DVD and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Hatchlings! (9:38) - Four animated shorts ("Early Hatchling Gets the Worm," "Easter," "Mother's Day" and "Holiday") starring the Hatchlings, plus a brief featurette about their character design and their role in the movie ("Meet the Hatchlings").
  • Angry Birds Action! How to Sync (1:08) - An ad for the "Angry Birds Action!" app, inviting viewers to play it while watching the movie.
  • Deleted Scenes (6:33) - Six scenes ("Bonus Scene - Chuck's Rescue," "Happy Birthday!," "Red's Apology," "Coconut Story," "Whoopie Cushion" and "Mighty Eagle").
  • Dance Along Birds and Pigs (3:35) - The birds and the pigs dance along to Blake Shelton's "Friends."
  • Crafty Birds (4:45) - A how-to showing kids how to make a miniature catapult and little green piggies out of everyday objects.
  • Creating the Real World of Angry Birds (8:29) - Actors Jason Sudeikis and Josh Gad host this look behind-the-scenes at the movie's visuals, from the organic designs of Bird Island to the man-made architecture of Piggy Island.
  • Bubbles and Hal (1:35) - A 2D-animated short, starring Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox as Bird Island's Hal and Bubbles.
  • Meet the Birds (10:26) - A look at the characters of Red, Chuck, Bomb, Matilda and Terrence, the evolution of their character designs, and the actors who voice them.
  • Meet the Pigs (5:05) - A look at Bill Hader's and Tony Hale's vocal portrayals of Mudbeard and Ross, as well as at the character design of the pigs in general.
  • Blake Shelton Music Video "Friends" (3:04) - A video for the song from the film.
  • Making Music with Composer Heitor Pereira (10:31) - Pereira talks about the movie's score, his creative process and how he composed The Angry Birds Movie's various musical themes ("Red's Theme," "Pig's Theme," "Chuck's Theme," "Action Music!," "Mission Theme" and "Red's Anger Theme").
  • Photo Gallery - 101 images in total, featuring 52 pieces of "Character" production art, 23 pieces of "Piggy Island" production art, and 25 pieces of "Bird Island" production art.
  • In-Theater Policy Trailers (2:58) - Three shorts aimed squarely at theater-goers ("A Gift Card for Chuck," "Join Your Friends" and "Silence Your Birdphone").
  • Symphony Mode - A feature-length, isolated music track that allows viewers to "watch Angry Birds without all the squawks and oinks."

The Angry Birds Movie is available from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as of August 16th, 2016. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Cantonese, Mandarin, Mandarin - PRC, French, Korean, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English, English SDH, Cantonese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 37 Mins.

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