Rovio, the Finnish app-makers-turned- cartoon-makers-turned-movie- makers behind everyone’s favorite time-waster, Angry Birds, have announced two animation veterans as the co-directors for their upcoming feature about said furious fowl: Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly.
Kaytis was an animator at Disney for many years, supervising characters on Bolt, Tangled, Wreck-It-Ralph and Frozen. Reilly storyboarded on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, directed on The Smurfs and was head of story at Sony Pictures. The news of their hiring has been received well in the animation world since they are both considered to be authentic animation advocates as opposed to some managerial laymen.
Where this movie will take us in the world of birds flying at pigs in an effort to save stolen eggs is still up in the air. If the newly produced cartoon about the characters is any indicator, it will be Flash-y, giggly and bizarre. Even in the popular cartoon (Rovio claims to have had over a billion views) there is very little in the way of character development, so which way the wind will take us is anyone’s guess. The fact that two guys who seem to genuinely care about the craft are in on the project can certainly be nothing but a positive indicator, though.
Clay Kaytis is specifically near and dear to my heart as the creator of The Animation Podcast, a podcast which he hosted a few years back and on which he interviewed some of the most amazing classical animators of all time including Andreas Deja, James Baxter, Eric Goldberg and Glen Keane. Everyone should take some time to listen to this excellent show.
As for Angry Birds, we’ll just have to hold our breath and sit on our eggs til 2016.