There's nothing unique about being a Disney fan. It's very easy to say you like something that was obviously meant to have mass appeal. So in my everlasting attempt to stand out, I decided that rather than become the billionth sale for Disney's big furry flick of the year, I'd try and vouch for the underdogs – those dark-horse films such as Rock Dog, Sly Cooper, and what we're discussing here: Angry Birds.
It's a lot harder to make a case for a movie when no-one has any expectations for it. It was like fighting a losing battle, but I was happy to at least give these some attention.
And now, the first of these films which I championed has been released! I was fortunate enough to see it on release weekend and I can say that the theater was definitely packed. Was this film the embodiment of perfection or did it leave something to be desired? Let's see.
About two comic lists back, there was some confusion about the top 100 bestsellers list Previews also runs, which are also covered in these lists, so from now on we'll try and explain that before just starting up a random list of titles from a month that isn't the actual month being previewed. That would begin this month, but there weren't enough furry titles to make the list to make it worthwhile.
The trailers for anthropomorphic animated movies are coming thick and fast. Here is the teaser trailer for The Angry Birds Movie, due out (unless the date is changed) May 20, 2016. The concept is by Finnish video game company Rovio Entertainment, of course, but the CGI movie is by Sony Pictures Imageworks’ new animation studio in Vancouver (where Sony Pictures Animation moved it from Hollywood for British Columbia’s tax breaks). It’s what Sony Imageworks will be working on now that Hotel Transylvania 2 is finished.
The feature is directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly, from a screenplay by Jon Vitti. Voices include Jason Sudeikis as Red, Josh Gad as Chuck, Maya Rudolph as Matilda, Danny McBride as Bomb and Peter Dinklage as Mighty Eagle, with Bill Hader as Leonard, a Minion Pig.
It had to happen, perhaps: A feature film based on a phone app. Of course, it is one of the biggest phone apps of all time: Angry Birds. According to an article over at Neon Tommy, Rovio and Sony Pictures have teamed up to announce the cast and crew for the upcoming Angry Birds movie. (In case you couldn’t guess, it’s going to be CGI.) “Cast as the lead roles in the animated movie, Saturday Night Live alums Jason Sudeikis (We’re The Millers) and Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids) will play Red and Matilda, alongside Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, who will be playing Mighty Eagle. Some other big names that will be joining the cast include Josh Gad (Frozen), Bill Hader (Skeleton Twins), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), and YouTube stars Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla of Smosh. Behind the scenes, John Cohen (Despicable Me) and former Marvel Studios president David Maisel will be producing the film, while Clay Kaytis (Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph) and Fergal Reilly (Spider-Man 2) have been announced as directors.” The birds will fly in July of 2106.
The unstoppable international phenomenon known as Rovio Studio’s Angry Birds continues with the new Angry Birds full-color comic book series from IDW Publishing. It’s written by Jeff Parker and illustrated by Paco Rodriques. “Angry Birds is based on the wildly popular mobile game by Rovio in which less-than-pleased birds launch all-out attacks on nefarious porkers. IDW’s series is just the latest feather in the cap for Rovio’s monster franchise, which has already spawned countless toys, shirts, games and more, including a film set to land in 2016.” Now you know. Check out the interview with Jeff Parker over at Comic Book Resources.
I have no interest in video games. But I could not help hearing about Angry Birds, created in 2009 by Rovio Entertainment in Espoo, Finland. They seemed to be everywhere in the last couple of years; on billboards, in Coca-Cola and Cheetos advertising, in political cartoons, in news articles that UK Prime Minister David Cameron and famous author Salman Rushdie are fans, and that Angry Birds theme parks have opened or are under construction in places as far afield as Finland and Malaysia. Finally, animated Angry Birds episodes have appeared on TV and YouTube (I watched those), and theatrical features in both stop-motion and CGI animation are in development.
Insight Editions is one of the publishers specializing in lavish full-color coffee-table books about CGI features. It has published books (which I have reviewed for Animation World Network) on the art of Rango, Madagascar 3, Puss in Boots, and Rise of the Guardians, among others. It has done a similar de luxe presentation here; not only on the video games and the merchandising and so on, but on the individual characters – the Angry Birds (Red, Chuck, Terence, Matilda, Bomb, Bubbles, Jim, Jake, and Jay, Stella, etc.); their adversaries, the Bad Piggies (King Pig, Chief Pig, and their many minions); and the other supporting birds (Mighty Eagle, Freddie Bird, Hal the toucan, and others.
Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, everyone! A belated Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
First off, a quick note: Voting for the 2013 Ursa Major Awards — celebrating the best in Anthropomorphic Everything from 2012 — has just opened, and will remain open until May 15th. Visit the Ursa Major web site to see the nominees and sign up to vote. Then come check out the winners at a special ceremony at this year’s Anthrocon!
We’ll forgive you if you think this is another April Fool’s gag, but it isn’t: Word is out that Rovio’s world-conquering game Angry Birds is being developed into an animated series. Look for it to hit (ha ha) this fall. Rovio have confirmed that 52 animated shorts are in production, each of them 2 – 3 minutes in length. The shorts will be released on numerous mobile devices and, to quote the company, “on all possible devices” — including smart TV’s. What’s more, there’s an Angry Birds feature film in development for possible release in 2013 or 2014. You can read all about it on the ABC News blog.
If you’re not busy flinging feathered folk at pig castles, you might check out these new Angry Birds tie-in books (from rovio.com, of course). How best to describe Angry Birds: Bad Piggies’ Egg Recipes? Here, we’ll let them do it: “Be a pig for a day, no worries in the world, no Angry Birds trying to knock you down. The kitchen is your pigpen and life’s good! So go ‘head, crack an egg or two and fling your awesome self to new levels of egg-cellence with these easy and fuss-free (for the most part) recipes, addictively fun activities and impressive party moves. From the classics to off the wall, these top-secret egg recipes will fill your tummy and tickle your brain!” You heard ‘em. Also available are the Angry Birds Big Red Doodle Book and Angry Birds Big Green Doodle Book, filled with fun drawing activities for Angry Birds fans of all ages.