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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Angry Birds Movie 2 is a sequel to the 2016 movie -- and both were inspired by one of the best-selling mobile games of all time. As in the original, there's a lot of silliness here, as well as some mildly rude and suggestive jokes. But there's also a focus on teamwork, courage, and communication. Now that Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) has won the trust and admiration of his fellow birds, he's no longer the titular angry bird -- that title belongs to a new threat: Zeta (Leslie Jones). This movie improves on the original's messages and storyline, but it still has plenty of the butt jokes, endangered eggs, and physical comedy that made the first movie so popular. There are a few mildly eyebrow-raising jokes about mating season, naked pigs, and speed-dating. A few scenes make it clear that animals are in danger, but (spoiler alert?) everything turns out just fine for everyone. It's likely to appeal to mid-elementary-school-aged kids and tweens.
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What's the story?
THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2 follows the events of the original, which led to grumpy Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) being hailed as a hero for saving Bird Island from the green pigs, who live on their own Pig Island but still manage to play pranks on their bird neighbors. But once destructive frozen orbs start being catapulted at both Piggy and Bird Island from a mysterious third island, the birds and pigs declare a truce. Red and his pals Bomb (Danny McBride), Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), and Chuck (Josh Gad) recruit Chuck's genius sister, Silver (Rachel Bloom), to combine forces with pigs Leonard (Bill Hader), Courtney (Awkwafina), and Garry (Sterling K. Brown) on a mission to take down Zeta (Leslie Jones), the nefarious leader of the third island, before she destroys their homes.
Is it any good?
Silly pranks, an ace voice cast, and a super-team mission storyline make this fast-paced sequel more fun than the original. It's a predictably well-intentioned second installment, in which the birds and pigs are forced to work together against an even more formidable foe. It also shows how Red's insecurity lingers, since he was only recently accepted and respected. Although some of the movie's jokes and sight gags are recycled (because, frankly, it's unlikely that little kids will ever get tired of naked piggy-butt jokes), the addition of the third mystery island is interesting enough to keep younger audiences guessing.
The movie has a couple of romantic subplots that fall into familiar categories: "hate to love" (in this case, more like "exasperation to flirtation") and "second chance" (this review won't spoil the big reveal). One of the romances seems a bit too mature for younger kids to follow, but there's enough of a "happily ever after" to please moviegoers who are used to Disney princess-level resolutions. The app-inspired, high-contrast visuals and the cutesy nature of the birds and piggies will appeal to kids, as will the lighthearted, silly body humor. This is by no means a family film treasure, but it's sure to elicit enough laughs to make it 100 minutes of tween-friendly fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the comedic violence and peril in The Angry Birds Movie 2. How much violence is appropriate for younger viewers? How is the impact different between animated violence and the live-action kind?
What role does romance play in the movie? What kind of romance is OK for younger viewers?
- In theaters: August 13, 2019
- On DVD or streaming: November 12, 2019
- Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Rachel Bloom
- Director: Thurop Van Orman
- Studio: Columbia Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship, Horses and Farm Animals, Wild Animals
- Character strengths: Communication, Courage, Teamwork
- Run time: 96 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: rude humor and action
- Last updated: January 29, 2021
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