Judge Patrick Naugle uses his ginormous head to break things too.
Our review of Angry Birds Toons: Season One, Volume 1 (Blu-ray), published December 29th, 2013, is also available.
Foul vs. Swine: Round 2!
The Angry Birds are back and…well, angrier than ever! In Angry Birds Toons: Season One, Volume 2, the frustrated foul once again do all they can to thwart the kleptomaniac advances of the dastardly green pigs. Through jungles, rivers, mountains, desserts, and farms (and even a few holidays, like Easter), the birds are always on the lookout and making sure their eggs are safe, their friends are happy, and the pigs are put in their rightful place!
I'm old. How do I know that? Because when I think of video games, I think of Donkey Kong and Pac-Man, not Call of Duty or Dead Rising. There was a time when all you to play was a single controller and one button, and that was the entire game. These days when I see an Xbox controller, there are about 15 different buttons, 3 controllers included ON the controller, and who knows what else that only serves to confuse anyone who isn't "hip" and "with it". I just can't relate. In fact, the last video game system I owned was a Nintendo Wii, which I pretty much gave up on a few years ago (and is now collecting dust underneath my TV). You can imagine my joy when the Apple App Store started releasing games like Angry Birds. It was like turning back the clock for old school video game nerds. Point and flick, that was all there was too it. Heck, you didn't even need a controller or a button!
As most people know, Angry Birds has taken the gaming world by storm. The little phone app has become a true juggernaut, raking in millions (if not billons) of dollars for creator Rovio Games as they've slapped the Angry Birds likeness on just about every conceivable product known to man. Shower curtains, juice tumblers, band-aids, fruit snacks…the Angry Birds are ubiquitous. It was only a matter of time before they were spun off into a Saturday Morning-like cartoon series, which is exactly what fans will get with Angry Birds Toons: Season One, Volume 1. This single disc Blu-ray release featuring 26 short cartoons from the first season, many of which are available online.
True to the spirt of the show, Angry Birds Toons is a very simplistic series that sports a lot of bright colors and zero dialogue. When you make the decision to keep your main characters as mutes, that sort of limits what you can do with the plot threads. Luckily, each of these short cartoons is only 2-3 minutes long, so by the time they've started they're pretty much over. The show follows the exploits of Red (the main red bird), Chuck (the yellow triangle bird), Matilda (the round egg bird), Bomb (the black bomb shaped bird), the Blues (three small blue birds), and Terence (a giant red bird). Their enemies are the green pigs, who come in all shapes and distinctive looks. Mayhem ensues. Roll end credits.
There really isn't a whole lot to Angry Birds Toons. One of the upsides of the wordless characters is that it allows for some zany, Looney Tunes style action to take place (which is something I'm a fan of). The characters sort of bounce all around, never really getting hurt, and the noises they make—chirps and coos from the birds, snorts and grunts from the pigs—give the characters more personality than you'd anticipate. Although the characters aren't deep, I still found myself feeling affection for them because, if I'm being honest, they were kind of cute. If nothing else, kids will certainly eat up the second volume of Angry Birds Toons; if a show like this can hold the attention of a 38-year-old man, I'm pretty sure it will do the same for a 10-year-old child.
Each episode of Angry Birds Toons: Season One, Volume Two is presented in 1.78:1/1080p high definition widescreen. These short cartoons are each filled with bright colors, and the high def presentation helps them to pop off the screen. Although these don't look perfect (there are limitations with the art), these certainly look a lot better than if you watch them on YouTube. There isn't much to report on the Dolby 2.0 Stereo track. No major surrounds or dynamic range to get excited about. This is a plain and simple audio mix that gets the job done, and little else. No alternate soundtracks or subtitles.
Bonus features include an extra cartoon short ("Easter Egg Hunt"), a few animated clips about the characters ("Meet the Characters"), and a four-part behind the scenes look at the making of the cartoon series ("Characters Design", "Producing, Directing, and Coordinating", Composting, Tools, and Color Grading", and "Sound Design, Voice Acting, and Music").
Much like the game its based on, Angry Birds Toons is a light, inconsequential time waster. But as time wasters go, it's pretty fun.
Not guilty of mindless anarchy.
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