The Angry Birds trailer makes me angry
The Angry Birds movie is – finally – a thing that will happen. After years of talking about it and a teaser image released last year, we now have a trailer for the film, which will be released in “Summer 2016”.
At first glance, this trailer doesn’t look like Angry Birds at all. There’s a huge disconnect between these creepy, not-quite-bird-like characters, and the app’s cute 2D designs that have become so popular they’ve evolved from a mobile game to a toy line, clothing and other merchandise, and various spin-off games, as well as cute cartoons in the original style.
(Also see: The Angry Birds movie looks very familiar – but it doesn’t look like Angry Birds)
You can see the trailer for yourself below:
The 3D designs are weird and the birds look more like bears, with feathers. There’s a close-up of “Red,” the red bird that most people think of when they think of “Angry Birds,” clenching their fingers, and it all looks weird.
Part of the problem is probably the tone. The film stars actors like Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, and Danny McBride, as well as many of the usual faces you’ll see working with them. Movies like Horrible Bosses, We’re the Millers, and Drinking Buddies are great fun, but they’re also the complete opposite of what you’d expect from Angry Birds. It’s almost like someone took the script from Jason Sudekis’ next movie, made a few changes, and just called it Angry Birds.
We’ve seen Angry Birds cartoons in the past that could serve as a model for the movie, but the two things couldn’t be more different if you tried. The movie chooses to go with legs, wings, and dialogue that makes it feel like it doesn’t really belong in an Angry Birds movie. Are we overreacting? You be the judge and compare the clip above with this Angry Birds cartoon clip made by Rovio:
There’s no doubt that the star cast that has been assembled for this Sony Pictures movie is capable of amazing things. But there’s little reason, at this point, to believe the Angry Birds movie is one of them. Plus, a lot has changed in the real world since plans for the movie were announced too – the Angry Birds star faded, Rovio released a Candy Crush clone, even though it’s laying off 260 employees in the world, and its IPO seems unlikely. You need to question the overall health of the business at this point.
The latest version of Angry Birds followed the in-app purchases approach, pushing away even more fans. Add it all up and you have a brand whose value is nowhere near its peak two or three years ago. An Angry Birds movie today will either work on its own merits (in which case, why bother with the expensive IP?) or because of the hardcore fans who still make it valuable. And if the fans are the ones you rely on, then why is the Angry Birds movie so far removed from the game we still obsessively play?
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