The Angry Birds Movie 2 is the sequel to the shockingly enjoyable animated film based on the characters from the eponymous mobile game. However, whereas the first entry was little more than an amusing romp that took advantage of its hilarious and star-studded voice cast, this is an earnest and surprisingly deep commentary on fame.
Picking up after Red (Jason Sudekis) saves the titular anthropomorphic avian creatures from the pigs and their leader King Leonard (Bill Hader), the sequel forces the two warring groups to put aside their differences to fight a common enemy — an evil eagle (Leslie Jones) who intends to take over both their islands. Although the story isn’t particularly innovative, it is plenty enjoyable enough for the younger audiences at whom this movie is primarily aimed. Their adult companions may be able to see what is coming a mile away, but the kids will be amused by the adventures of Red and the gang.
However, what is perhaps more impressive about the film is the deeper themes which it addresses. The most prominent is Red’s struggle to understand his role as the hero of his island and to deal with his resultant ego. This message is definitely a very positive one for young people to see, as it encourages humility and teamwork. The emotional arc that Red has over the course of the movie is unexpectedly nuanced, especially for a kids’ movie.
There is also a subplot involving three younger birds, the “Hatchlings”, as they attempt to rescue three eggs from which they keep getting comedically separated. Although this starts out as little more than a humorous sidebar, but after a few of these scenes, it actually proves to be one of the funniest parts of the film. A gag involving the song “Ground Control to Major Tom” is particularly funny.
A majority of the movie’s humor is of the slapstick variety, which will appeal to younger audiences who are drawn to the film, but there is enough variety to keep their adult companions interested too. A few innuendos here and there that will fly over the kiddos’ heads will help keep adults’ interest, but ultimately, it is the charm of the cast and the overall cuteness of the movie that will keep you interested.
The voice cast is massive, and they all do an excellent job in their roles. Although it is easy for a voice cast to seem entirely like they are phoning in their performances, the members of this cast all seem like they are having a fun time. Returning cast members including Sudekis, Hader, Josh Gad, and Danny McBride are all funny, but more often than not, it is the new additions that steal the show. Jones is hilarious as the villain, and Awkwafina, Sterling K. Brown, and Tiffany Haddish all have funny side roles.
The film’s animation is very good too. The design for both the characters and the worlds are quite interesting. As a result of the movie being based on an app that is light and playful, the visual style follows suit. The use of color, for example, is nice and bright. As a whole, the film is aesthetically appealing, even if it isn’t as gorgeous as some other movies are.
The Angry Birds Movie 2 is just as refreshing as its predecessor, albeit in a very different way. Both super funny and rather meaningful, this is the better of the two films to take your young kids to at the end of this summer season.
The Angry Birds Movie 2 opens in theaters on August 13.