Look, we know, okay? On the surface of it, a mobile game about launching birds into stacks of bricks in order to explode a series of roly-poly pigs does not make for the dense, engaging subject matter upon which to base a movie. But at the same time, the less there is to adapt, the less there is to mess up. Angry Birds, miraculously, does very well out of that equation, transforming the game’s decidedly slight scenario into a surprisingly fun, funny, and well-crafted animated family comedy.
Directed by Clay Kaytis (animator on Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph) and Fergal Reilly (storyboarding for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), from a zingy script by Simpsons writer Jon Vitti, The Angry Birds Movie also has a heck of an impressive cast, including Peter Dinklage, Kate McKinnon, Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, and Sean Penn (yes, really, Sean Penn). The source material might not be inspiring, but it turns out that if you throw the right talent at a project, you can indeed make a silk purse out of a (green, roly-poly) sow’s ear.