Angry Birds is a Finnish action-based media franchise created by Rovio Entertainment. The game series focuses on a flock of birds referred to by the same name who try to save their eggs from green-colored pigs. Inspired by the game Crush the Castle, the game has been praised for its successful combination of fun gameplay, comical style, and low price. Its popularity led to many spin-offs; versions of Angry Birds created for PCs and video game consoles, a market for merchandise featuring its characters, Angry Birds Toons, a televised animated series, and two films; The Angry Birds Movie and its sequel The Angry Birds Movie 2. By January 2014, there had been over 2 billion downloads across all platforms, including both regular and special editions.
By July 2015, the series’ games had been downloaded more than 3 billion times collectively, making it the most downloaded freemium game series of all time. The original Angry Birds has been called “One of the most mainstream games out right now”, “One of the great runaway hits of 2010”, and “The largest mobile app success the world has seen so far”. The first main-series video game sequel, Angry Birds 2, was released on 30 July 2015.
The first game in the series was initially released on 11 December 2009 for iOS. At the time, the 2009 swine flu epidemic was in the news, so the staff decided to use pigs as the enemies of the Angry Birds. The company released ports of the game to other touchscreen smartphone operating systems, including Android. In early 2019, all remaining Angry Birds games released before October 2014 (with the exception of Friends) were discontinued and removed from app stores, though Bad Piggies was added back in early 2020. Rovio has declined to explain their reasoning behind the decision apart from a brief tweet and support response, both giving different answers. However in June 2021, by popular demand of the fans, Rovio announced that the classic games will be available on the stores again sometime in the future.
Characters and synopsis
The plot revolves around nine birds – Red, Chuck, The Blues (Jay, Jake, and Jim), Bomb, Matilda, Stella, Bubbles, Hal and Terence – as they use their slingshot and unique abilities to protect their eggs from the pigs who desire to steal and eat them. The eggs act as a hope for their future, hoping someday they bring peace to the island with the help of birds like the Mighty Eagle and Silver. The pigs are led by King Pig Smooth Cheeks (the main antagonist who appears in the games), or King Mudbeard (the former antagonist of the film series and was Smooth Cheeks’ father in the games). With the former, has the henchmen of Corporal Pig, Foreman Pig, Chef Pig, and Minion pigs. In the games, the story takes place in Piggy Island where the birds and pigs inhabit, whereas in the films the birds and pigs have their own islands of Bird Island and Piggy Island.
A 3D computer-animated film adaptation, The Angry Birds Movie, was released on 20 May 2016, which fully anthropomorphizes the characters for the first time in franchise history, giving them limbs and voices. Developed, produced and financed by Rovio Entertainment, it is animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks and distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures Entertainment under their Columbia Pictures banner. It is directed by animation veterans Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly in their directorial debut. Jon Vitti wrote the film’s screenplay, and John Cohen and Catherine Winder served as the producers. Rovio also hired David Maisel, former executive producer of Marvel Studios films such as Iron Man, to be the executive producer of its feature-length films.
A sequel, The Angry Birds Movie 2 was released on 13 August 2019,[non-primary source needed] which was co-produced by both Rovio Animation and Sony Pictures Animation. Directed by the creator of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Thurop Van Orman, the sequel breaks from the series’ source material by having the Birds and Pigs ending their rivalry to form an alliance to battle a larger threat, as well as becoming one of the most well critically received video game film adaptations ever made, garnering an unprecedented score of 73% from Rotten Tomatoes.
There have been several toys made from Angry Birds characters. The game’s official website offers plush versions of the birds and pigs for sale, along with T-shirts featuring the game’s logo and characters. In May 2011, Mattel released an Angry Birds board game, titled “Angry Birds: Knock on Wood”. Over 10 million Angry Birds toys have been sold thus far. Rovio opened the first official Angry Birds retail store in Helsinki on 11 November 2011 at 11:11 a.m. local time. It expects to open its next retail store somewhere in China, considered the game’s fastest-growing market. Merchandise has been successful, with 45% of Rovio’s revenues in 2012 coming from branded merchandise.
The most notable toys are the Telepods, created by Hasbro. These figures are created for Angry Birds Star Wars II, Angry Birds Go!, Angry Birds Stella, and Angry Birds Transformers. Telepods use a similar digital toy hybrid concept as Skylanders or Disney Infinity characters, but there is a different technology behind it. These are figures used to “teleport” a character of the corresponding figure into the game by scanning a tiny QR code via the device’s camera. The Telepod platform technology was invented by ReToy, a bMuse company, in partnership with Hasbro. Telepods figures are not only for this use, but can also be used with the toy set that comes with the toy, like other Angry Birds board games.
One of the 2012 New Models for Hot Wheels cars from Mattel is based on the Red, Blue, and Yellow Birds from Angry Birds. The package card bears both the Hot Wheels and Angry Birds logo.
In 2016, Lego released six sets based on The Angry Birds Movie.
Print publications adaptation
On 2011, Rovio published a cookbook titled “Bad Piggies: Egg Recipes”, along with doodle books based on some characters of the game. After a few weeks of the release of Angry Birds Space, they also released Angry Birds Space books about numbers, alphabets, and stickers.
On 20 March 2012, National Geographic published a paperback book titled Angry Birds Space: A Furious Flight Into The Final Frontier shortly before the release of Angry Birds Space which became available on 22 March 2012. National Geographic also has a book titled Angry Birds Feathered Fun for learning all about birds.
In the same year, Rovio created a contest with the prize Angry Birds: Hatching a Universe, a book about the franchise and all the characters. It was released for sale by Titan Books on May 24, 2013; And again by Insight Editions on June 4, 2013. The book was written by Danny Gordon with a foreword by Mikael Hed.
As of 10 March 2014, IDW Publishing announced that they will be publishing Angry Birds Comics starting in June 2014, with Paul Tobin being the writer.
In the summer of 2017, GoComics announced that it will be running a comic strip series based on the world of The Angry Birds Movie, with each issue available to view on its website. The strip ran for over a year, from 3 August 2017 to 20 September 2018.
Food products adaptation
In early 2012, Olvi started to manufacture Angry Birds soft drinks, after licensing with Rovio with two different tastes: Tropic (tropical fruits) and Paradise (pineapple-mandarin). In September 2012 Olvi released two new tastes to the soft drink collection: Lagoon (pear-apple) and Space Comet (orange-cola).
Parks and attractions
Angry Birds Land adaptation
The game’s characters have been used, officially or otherwise, in amusement park attractions. In September 2011, the Window of the World theme park in Changsha, China opened an unlicensed Angry Birds attraction. Visitors to the park use a large slingshot to launch stuffed versions of the bird characters at green balloons that represent the pigs.
Upon learning of the attraction, Rovio Entertainment reported to be considering working with the theme park to officially license it. In March 2012, Rovio announced plans for an official Angry Birds Land, that opened on 28 April 2012, at the Särkänniemi adventure park in Finland. Angry Birds Land opened in May 2014 at Johor Bahru City Centre in Malaysia.
The first Angry Birds themed park in the UK, was created in Sundown Adventureland, an attraction in the Nottinghamshire countryside.
Most recently it was announced that UK theme park Thorpe Park would open their own Angry Birds Land themed area within the park in May 2014. The new area consists of the reinstatement of the 4D Cinema with a 10-minute-long Angry Birds film with 4D effects, a new addition of themed Angry Birds Dodgems and a slight re-theme of existing drop tower ride Detonator.
Angry Birds Activity Park adaptation
Rovio also opened “Activity Parks” of the game. The first one was opened in Lightwater Valley that features dancefloors, and playgrounds that includes slides, and massive touchscreen devices for visitors to play Angry Birds. The attraction also opened in Vuokatti. Vuokatti features obstacle courses and races, and a separate “Angry Birds Town” with cars for kids to ride.
On 16 March 2021 FB Angry Birds Activity Park Malaysia announced that the park will close its operations on 5 April 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Angry Birds Space Encounter adaptation
In June 2013, Rovio and NASA opened an Angry Birds Space theme park at the Kennedy Space Center titled “Angry Birds Space Encounter”. It features various experiences to the Angry Birds Space video game, such as creating characters and shooting birds at pigs. The attraction was also opened in the Space Center Houston.
Angry Birds World adaptation
It was announced that the first Angry Birds World theme park will open at Doha Festival City. The first phase (which includes the indoor part) opened on 3 June 2018.
Angry Birds Not-So-Mini Golf
On 23 May 2019, Rovio announced that it will build a miniature Angry Birds golf course at American Dream Meadowlands in East Rutherford NJ USA. The golf course opened on October 1, 2020 but the mall opened on October 25, 2019.
The Angry Birds characters have been referenced in television programs throughout the world. The Israeli comedy show Eretz Nehederet (in English: a Wonderful Country), one of the nation’s most popular TV programs, satirized recent failed Israeli-Palestinian peace attempts by featuring the Angry Birds in peace negotiations with the pigs. Clips of the segment went viral, getting viewers from all around the world. The sketch received favorable coverage from a variety of independent blogs such as digitaltrends.com, hotair.com and intomobile.com, as well as from online news media agencies such as Haaretz, The Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian, and MSNBC. American television hosts Conan O’Brien, Jon Stewart and Daniel Tosh have referenced the game in comedy sketches on their respective series, Conan, The Daily Show, and Tosh.0. In the 30 Rock episode “Plan B”, guest star Aaron Sorkin laments to Liz Lemon, “Our craft is dying while people are playing Angry Birds and poking each other on Facebook”. He then provides a tip for Liz to improve her score in the game. In February 2011, American journalist Jake Tapper mockingly introduced U.S. Senator Chris Coons as the “Angry Birds champion of the Senate” during the National Press Club’s annual dinner. Some of the game’s more notable fans include ex-Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, who plays the iPad version of the game, and author Salman Rushdie, who claims he is “something of a master at Angry Birds”. Basketball star Kevin Durant is an avid fan of Angry Birds, and regularly plays other NBA stars in matches, although he is wary of cheating. In August 2011, the Milwaukee Brewers played the Angry Birds theme song during the pre-game introductions of the arch-rival St. Louis Cardinals players, in reference to former Cardinals’ manager Tony LaRussa’s propensity to bean opposing players. Angry Birds also appears briefly, for comic relief, during a scene in the 2013 film G.I. Joe: Retaliation, in which Zartan plays the game while waiting for the world leaders’ response to his threats of annihilation. Angry Birds were featured in the 2013 Helsinki episode of Veep. Angry Birds was referenced in the film The Starving Games, a parody of The Hunger Games. A group in the Indian show Dance+ have done a dance based on Angry Birds.. Angry Birds was referenced in the Family Guy episode “Turban Cowboy” where one failed skydiving attempt by Peter results in him landing in a level. The TV show Robot Chicken also parodied Angry Birds in one sketch.
Angry Birds and its characters have been featured in advertisements for other products. In March 2011, the characters began appearing in a series of advertisements for Microsoft’s Bing search engine. At the 2011 South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, Nokia used scrims on a downtown building to project an advertisement for its new N8 handset that included the game’s characters. A June 2011 T-Mobile advertisement filmed in Barcelona, Spain included a real-life mock-up of the game in a city plaza, while Nokia used the game in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to promote an attempt to set a world record for the largest number of people playing a single mobile game. Finnair has also used Angry Birds in their advertising, including taping an Airbus A340 airliner with the Angry Birds figures and holding an Angry Birds tournament on board a flight to Singapore. Rovio has also prepared a number of web-based promotional variants of Angry Birds themed around creations of other companies, such as Finnish snack company Fazer, Spanish pizza delivery chain Telepizza, and Japanese television network Fuji TV, as well as promotions of American brands including Cheetos, Wonderful Pistachios and Coca-Cola. In November 2013, Indian brand Parle started a marketing campaign in which a trading card is included in each packet of Parle’s Wafers and it included a related contest to win Angry Birds merchandise. In February 2016, Cadbury India had Angry Birds small figurines or tattoos in Cadbury Gems packs or Surprise balls. In June 2016, Kurkure India started an offer to win daily themed prizes and a trip to Angry Birds Activity Park in Malaysia.