The Angry Birds are almost ready to fly into theaters. Rovio Entertainment announced today that the Vancouver location of Sony Pictures Imageworks will serve as the primary animation house for the video game adaptation. With the announcement, the Angry Birds film takes another step closer to premiering on the big screen.
Sony Pictures Imageworks first opened its doors in 1993. The VFX company worked on many feature films prior to their debut animated feature in 2006 entitled Open Season. The studio followed Open Season with blockbuster hits like the Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs series, The Smurfs films and Hotel Transylvania. While the company is still young, they have yet to had a film financially flop in their nine theatrical releases. Along with sequels to The Smurfs and Hotel Transylvania, Sony also has a Popeye film in development at Imageworks. With the Angry Birds film inching another step closer to completion, Sony Pictures is building a quite the catalogue of films underneath the animation banner.
Angry Birds is a video game franchise developed by Finnish computer game developer Rovio Entertainment. The first game in the vast series was released for Apple’s iOS in 2009. Over twelve million copies of the game were downloaded from the Apple app store which prompted Rovio Entertainment to begin development on several versions available for other touch-screen based smartphones and tablets. It has since expanded into the PC and video game console market as well. With over two billion downloads across all platforms, Angry Birds has become the highest downloaded freemium game of all time. The franchise has seen several special editions including takes on licensed properties like Star Wars and the Sony Pictures animated film, Rio. Angry Birds has players utilizing a slingshot to hurl birds through the air at green pigs positioned on or in various buildings with the intent on destroying all the pigs on the given field. As players advance through the game, more birds become available, each with their own special unique ability.
The 3D computer animated film is scheduled for a wide release on July 1st, 2016. The Angry Birds movie will be developed, produced and financed by Rovio Entertainment and distributed by Sony Pictures. This is Rovio’s first feature film produced but the company is hoping to build a lasting cinematic franchise with the Angry Birds property. The film is currently being written by Jon Vitti who is best known for his work on the Fox animated television shows The Simpsons and King Of The Hill. Angry Birds will be helm by former Disney animation department veteran Clay Kaytis and long-time Imageworks storyboard artist Fergal Reilly. The film will be produced by John Cohen and Catherine Winder. The voice cast of the Angry Birds film has not yet been announced.
Angry Birds is expected to be Sony Pictures Imageworks largest production to date, employing more animators than they ever have previously. With the announcement of the chosen primary animation house, the Angry Birds movie is yet another step closer to smashing onto the big screen.
By Benjamin Murray