A field guide to the flock of ‘Angry Birds’ characters – USA TODAY

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Catch a preview of ‘The Angry Birds Movie,’ in theaters May 20.
Sony Pictures

There may be a Falcon in Captain America: Civil War, but only one movie this summer features a whole flocking mess of personality.

The Angry Birds Movie (in theaters Friday),a big-screen animated take on the popular video-game app, sees a peaceful island of flightless birds have to go to slingshot war when a band of green pigs steal their eggs. The challenge for filmmakers: Take the little icons from the game and turn them into “fully realized comedic personalities,” says Fergal Reilly, one of the directors of Angry Birds alongside Clay Kaytis. “It stands completely different from the game, but you can still see the DNA in the movie.”

Reilly gives USA TODAY a rundown on the fine feathered friends who audiences will meet on Bird Island:

Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis)

Abandoned by his parents and hatched in a lost-and-found room, Red has been angry pretty much his entire life, and that’s made the cranky curmudgeon an outsider in his own community. “We used to describe him in pitches as a red black spot on an otherwise happy island,” Reilly says. There is a heart of gold to the guy with the huge expressive eyebrows, though he has no patience for elderly birds taking too long to cross a street, or getting sent to anger-management class: “The heart and soul of Red is the fact that he says and does the things that we wish we could do.”

Chuck (Josh Gad)

One of the three other angry birds Red meets in class, Chuck is more hyper than mad and does everything in super-speedy fashion. “He talks faster than he thinks so there’s a constant stream of verbal diarrhea coming out of Chuck’s mouth, and that gets him into trouble because he just speaks his mind,” Reilly says. His character was taken from the basic aspects of the yellow triangular bird from the game, and filmmakers gave him a big long beak “that pokes into everybody’s personal space. He’s constantly needling Red and other birds for their attention. He’s like that little annoying friend you might have had in high school.”

Bomb (Danny McBride)

Like his best pal Chuck, Bomb is also a misfit because of his anger issues — and because he’s basically a walking, talking IED. “He seems like the big lovable jock but he suffers from intermittent explosive disorder,” Reilly says. “He can’t control when he blows up. That causes all kinds of problems on Bird Island because he can be so destructive when he gets angry. He learns to harness it to help the birds out, but in the beginning he has a problem making connections.”

Terence (Sean Penn)

Big bird Terence is a bit of stunt casting — almost as a gag, Penn was recruited to play the role even after the filmmakers told him he had no speaking lines, Reilly says. “Terence only emotes through grunts and groans and guttural noises.” He ended up in anger management for an untold reason — there were sirens, screams and panic involved, according to Reilly — and like Red, Terence doesn’t let anybody get too close to him. “Terence also has the uncanny ability to pop up when you don’t expect him,” the director says. “He’s a very mysterious bird.”

Matilda (Maya Rudolph)

Don’t let the smiling facade fool you — the anger-management teacher is actually “a reformed angerholic,” Reilly admits. “She acts like she’s super calm and hippy-dippy and she’s always trying to manage and counsel the birds. But you get the sense underneath that Matilda has a real problem, and she’s just trying to keep a really tight lid on it.” The directors developed the character with Rudolph, who in one scene offers a brief glimpse into the darker parts of Matilda’s soul “and gives you a hint as to what’s underneath the surface.”

Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage)

In the Angry Birds game, players can pay for Mighty Eagle to come in and solve all problems, but in the movie he’s like a star celebrity or jock whose best days are way in the rear-view mirror. A legend on Bird Island with his own statue, he’s a pompous guy who’s full of bombast that nobody has seen in forever. He’s “almost a security blanket,” Reilly says. “Whatever Mighty Eagle might have been in the past, the birds are hanging on to it. And so is Mighty Eagle. He’s hanging on to the residue of a glorious past. Deep down he’s afraid of what the birds might think of him now.”

Stella (Kate McKinnon)

One of the younger birds along with Willow (Charli XCX), Stella is the bubbly tour guide who shows the pigs’ leader Leonard (Bill Hader) around the island but is also one of the first into the antagonists’ city to search for the stolen eggs. “She’s always ready for any adventure,” Reilly says. “She’s almost like a cheerleader for the birds. At a pep rally, she’d be the one doing the cheering and stuff.”

Judge Peckingpah (Keegan-Michael Key)

Like Mighty Eagle, the Judge has an over-inflated sense of self — so much so that the elder bird on the island stands on top of his “underbird” Cyrus (Tony Hale) and wears a big feather coat “to make himself look a lot larger than he actually is,” Reilly says. Red tells it like it is and “exposes the judge for being kind of a pompous old windbag. But the Judge has a really good heart. In the end, he realizes the error of his ways and listens to Red.”

A field guide to the flock of ‘Angry Birds’ characters – USA TODAY

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