A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Angry Birds Movie is a loud, silly, sometimes crude -- and sometimes funny -- animated film based on the popular app. The main character, Red (Jason Sudeikis), is truly an angry bird: He tries to exist in polite society, but his bad attitude won't let him, so he's forced into anger-management class. As you might expect, there are plenty of scenes of birds being kicked, punched, and hurled through the air, as well as explosions. Eggs are stolen from their parent birds and put in peril, and their parents are visibly upset. There's also some drinking (out of coconuts, etc.) and few sexual situations/innuendoes (which will likely go over many kids' heads), including an unpleasant Peeping Tom scene. Language includes "idiot," "weirdos," quite a few "butt" jokes, and cursing stand-ins like "pluck my life." Although there's only one main female character, the movie has some messages about taking responsibility and not judging others. But mostly its goal is to be funny -- putting it squarely in the category of movies that kids will like and parents will tolerate.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) is a lonely bird with a terrible temper. He loses his cool and ends up in anger-management classes, where he meets a group of misfits: Chuck (Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride), Matilda (Maya Rudolph), and Terence (Sean Penn). When their tranquil island of flightless birds is invaded by green piggy explorers, it's up to the birds to get in touch with their anger and save the day.
Is it any good?
There's a little bit of a moral about being inclusive, but that's not why this movie was made: It's about angry outbursts, birds catapulting through the air, and big explosions. Still, for a movie based on an app, ANGRY BIRDS has a lot of story to it. You'll learn why the birds are so angry and what led to their ongoing war with the green pigs. It takes a while to get to that war, but once it does, the movie has plenty of action.
And while this certainly isn't the best animated buddy comedy, its also not terrible. The animated world that's been created is fun to look at, and there are some funny scenes -- although a good bit of it is rude humor. The cast is really good, especially Sudeikis, Rudolph, and Gad (who's more or less doing a slightly edgier version of Olaf). The set-up is a little slow, but the end is all action. And you don't need to know anything about the game to understand what's going on. Bottom line? Little kids might find it too loud, with too many pratfalls and explosions, and parents might find it a little annoying. But elementary schoolers who know the game will be entertained.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the cartoon action in Angry Birds compares to others you've seen. Does this kind of violence have more or less impact than what's in live-action movies? Why?
Red lashes out at others and isolates himself because he doesn't feel like he fits in. Have you ever felt that way? What did you do? What are some more constructive ways to behave when kids -- or adults -- aren't kind to you?
Red urges the birds to get mad and fight for their children. Do you think it's ever OK to fight?
Some of the birds use words that sound like swear words. Do you think that's OK? Get tips on talking to kids about swearing.
Red makes fun of a family for having a wheat allergy and ordering a gluten-free cake. Do you have allergies -- or friends with allergies? Are you (or they) ever made of fun of because of it? How do you handle it?
- In theaters: May 20, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: August 16, 2016
- Cast: Kate McKinnon, Peter Dinklage, Jason Sudeikis
- Directors: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly
- Studio: Sony Pictures Releasing
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: rude humor and action
- Last updated: November 15, 2019
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