By Carlos Aguilar.

Sony Animation’s upcoming feature, “The Angry Bird Movie,” is based on the hugely popular game that plagued the world’s cell phones not too long ago and which continues to spawn new merchandise and iterations. This feature-length adventure was produced in partnership with Rovio Entertainment, the company behind the original app, and is directed by Clay Kaytis (“Frozen,” “Wreck-It Ralph”) and Fergal Reilly (“Hotel Transylvania, “Spider-Man 2”).

Ahead of the film’s release date, a group journalist was invited to Sony Studios to take a first look at some footage and listen to a handful of the star-studded voice cast talk about their roles in this colorful world. Not surprisingly, the sequences we were treated too showcased an astounding amount of detail and clever visuals gags that make the birds’ island a unique setting for the action to take place. The visuals are clearly a departure from what audiences have seen in the game and the animated series based on it. Animator’s took many liberties with the material and crafted an elaborate universe tailored to the needs of the feathered creatures.


Another element that is highlighted and expanded on in the film is the relationship between the birds and the pigs. We learn how they first came into contact and how their initially friendly interaction turned into a conflict, thus making the birds angry. It’s impressive to see that way in which the team behind the film took the seemingly simple game and turned into an underdog adventure that blends sharp humor with a nice message of acceptance. In attendance were Jason Sudeikis (Red), Josh Gad (Chuck), Bill Hader (Leonard), and Danny MacBride (Bomb), whose banter is palpable both on screen and outside.

Heading the voice team is the always-fun Jason Sudeikis, who voices Red, the only angry bird in a world where everything seems to work perfectly and where discomfort and complaints have not place. When asked to describe his character the actor candidly described his particular place in the story,” He is angry from the get -go and feeling a little bit like the wise, or at least the angry man, on a ship of fools. H is a contrarian, he is a little frustrated, and he is definitely the black sheep. He reminds bit a little bit of McMurphy from ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.’


Gad, who is no stranger to voicing memorable animated characters as he did with Olaf in Disney’s “Frozen, poked fun at the fact that his character in this new film has a very different physique from him, “Chuck has much better metabolism than I do. He is a speed demon and what I was immediately attracted to, aside from the color of his feathers, was this idea that he just can’t stop himself. He is always going. His mind going faster than his mouth can keep up with. There was something just so fun about that.”

Pulling from his comedic talents, Danny McBride expressed his connection with his character, “Bomb is also angry and he is also a bird. He has an explosive personality. He explodes when he gets angry and he wants to improve that. He wants to be able to focus his anger. He is embarrassed that he gets so angry and that he can’t control his anger. That’s a lot like me, and that’s why I did this.” Evidently, comedian Bill Hader would suit in a cheeky way as he described how the role of the film’s villain came to him, “I play Leonard. My agent called me and said ‘They are making an Angry Birds movie, and they want you to play a pig,’ you guys draw your own conclusions.”


Keeping with the theme of the film, the actors shared some of the things that make them angry and though all their answers offer hilarious insights, Josh Gad was the most topical and timely. “Hypothetical equations, like how a reality TV star could be the next president of the United States. Things like that, I guess” said the actor eliciting a big laugh from the audience.

“The Angry Birds Movie” is scheduled to fly furiously into theaters on May 20th.

The movie takes us to an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds – or almost entirely. In this paradise, Red (Jason Sudeikis – We’re the Millers, Horrible Bosses), a bird with a temper problem, speedy Chuck (Josh Gad in his first animated role since Frozen), and the volatile Bomb (Danny McBride – This is the End, Eastbound and Down) have always been outsiders. But when the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to these unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to.