A: Our primary challenge was to create Angry Birds that were lovable characters. We wanted the audience to love the guys as much as we do, and that comes from great writing, smart character development through the storyboard and animation process, and finding the right cast for our characters.
Our other biggest challenges related to the scope of the film.
The hardest part of creating a 90-minute story with Angry Birds was keeping it under 90 minutes! Once we got in there and developed the story, we found that we had so many great characters and moments to show. We created a lot of hilarious sequences that just didn't make it into the final film. Maybe some of those concepts will show up in a sequel. (Wink. Wink.)
The scale of the world we created was quite the undertaking. We have two complete civilizations in Bird Island and Piggy Island. They have different geographies, technologies, cultural histories, vehicles, not to mention all of the citizens of each island. This is a cast of hundreds of unique birds and pigs. Planning, designing and building all of that was a huge undertaking for our art team, led by Production Designer Pete Oswald and Character Art Director Francesca Natale.
A: Angry Birds is unique in the fact that it's actually an independent film, fully financed outside of a big studio system by Rovio, creators of the original game. They put their money where their mouth is and decided to make this film their way and maintain creative control. Because of that, our creative leadership team was very small, about eight people in total. We all worked together to develop the story, world and characters of the film. We had the freedom to try new comedic concepts that might have been shut down by a larger process. No big committees to answer to, which is a unique experience in Hollywood. It was all on us to make the film we wanted to see on the screen.
Angry Birds is similar to the blockbuster animated films you're used to because we contracted Sony Pictures Imageworks to animate the film. These are the same artists who created Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Hotel Transylvania. And it is GORGEOUS! If you ask us, it's the most beautiful film they've animated. It was a pleasure working with such a talented crew to bring our story to life.
A: It wouldn't be Angry Birds without a huge amount of anger, would it? The Birds as a community actually aren't angry in the beginning. They are comically naive, having lived their whole lives on Bird Island in peace, protected by the legendary Mighty Eagle, a hero no one has seen for decades. Red doesn't share the same outlook, based on his own life experiences. He's more in touch with his darker emotions and a lot more realistic about how life can be unfair.
When the Pigs show up and steal the Birds' eggs, there's plenty to be angry about.
It was fun to explore the idea that anger isn't necessarily a negative emotion. Like Aristotle said, "Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy."