People who are baffled as to why they’ve made an Angry Birds movie — whose first trailer was released on Wednesday — have it all wrong. The claim of the movie’s detractors is that “perturbed poultry” is a thin premise for a feature film, but the truth is that numerous other films — and a couple of TV shows — have, in the past, already explored the vast emotional spectrum of Earth’s majestic chirpers, squawkers, coo-ers, quackers, and honkers. And yes, in these oeuvres, their anger is just as real, and just as crucial, as their majesty. The problem with Angry Birds is not that it’ll surely depict birds who are angry — this we need more of! It is rather that it posits itself, in its title alone, as the definitive, precedent-setting work depicting birds’ anger, when in the past, so many other birds have been angry! Some, you’ll note from the list below, were never visibly miffed, but their internalized anger is just as worthy of attention. You’ll also see that the list deliberately excludes The Birds, as their anger is merely a caricature of avian rage. Rather, we’ve chosen to focus on the lesser known, forgotten birds of film and TV history, and on those birds’ forgotten angries.
The Unwilling Turmonica of Friends
If we examine this turkey — who was firstly never even credited on this episode of Friends, and should for that alone be an angry bird — it is impossible not to see just how angry this bird is. A bit of backstory: Monica, who is human, puts a turkey, who is bird, on her head to cheer up Chandler, who is somewhere in between. The dance you see above is not the dance of a sentient turkey making its own decision to sexualize itself for Chandler, but rather an act of cruel puppeteering on the part of the callous Monica Gellar, who — just wait, it gets uglier — is a chef, sometimes of turkey. As Monica makes the helpless bird flail its giblets for the sick, salivating pleasure of Chandler Bing, we can see through the turkey’s spectacles an escalating fury. Many fan theories suggest the turkey is responsible for the murder of the six Friends in the following episode, “The One Where Rachel, Joey, Monica, Chandler, Ross and Phoebe Are Murdered By A Turkey.”
The Scorned Tofurkey of Everybody Loves Raymond
Oh, oh, it’s so funny how nobody wants to eat the Tofurkey on Everybody Loves Raymond. NOT. Do you find societal rejection and body shaming funny? Surely this tofurkey — who’s likely had it hard enough — didn’t need to be dressed up in Dorris’ finest tassels, paraded out to the torpid, lobotomized family’s patriarchs, only to be laid out on the table and slowly insulted by them.
Think “tofu” is jovial, docile, and willing to adapt to any situation and flavor it’s put in? Well, not when it’s in the shape of a bird — who are known to get angry!
The Unseen Bird, Who Is Imprisoned
Okay, um, why did they have to keep the bird in there in the first place? Earth to whoever directed this trash: how would you feel not only being stuck, unable to even manage a piddling flap, but also never even making an appearance in the film named after you and your prison? There’s no doubt about it: this bird is angry.
First of all, even ignoring the fact that they cast Natalie Portman instead of a bird — and, to her credit, she gives so much of herself to her portrayal of a bird that we’ll let it fly — the Obsidian Duck is an angry bird. This angry bird has tried and tried to plié and pas de bouree its way to success, but its overbearing mother, afraid of empty nesting, is getting in the way, and so, in a fit of anger — not uncommon, as we’re seeing, for a bird — Ms. Duck copulates furiously with Mila Kunis, an act that leads her down a path to self-destruction, impeccable ballet, and, dare I say, an Oscar?
“Which one is the bird?” is the question this mind-bending film asks, leading both the viewer and the bird — whomever that may be — to befuddlement, and eventual, yes, anger.
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Yaaaas, Kween (bird)!!!
The Self-Immolating Bird of Mockingjay
Now that’s political! So far, I’d say, if we’re making comparisons, this is the angriest bird.
Clue‘s Mrs. Peacock, Who Feigns Birdom
In case you’re one of the few people who doesn’t know the story of Clue, the film follows Mrs. Peacock to a mansion, where she commingles with other ornamented guests until one of them is murdered. But do not, like the other guests, be duped by her fake-out of a name: she is not a bird, and therein lies the shocking twist of the film, which concludes with a rather tragic revelation of her detaching her magnificent tail (um, if she’d done her research, she’d have known the male-tail was a dead giveaway) and her waddle. She gives a confessional speech and resolves to simply exist as Mrs. _____, a vibrant specimen of fowl reduced to a walking void.
Yet. She is still angry. It’s visible in the way she holds her cigarette, as if to say, “I’m an angry bird.”
Self-Explanatorily Angry Bird
Nobirdy likes you, Mr. Sandler!
Many Birds, All Angry
In case you didn’t catch the hints from the above GIF, this one’s cheating, because this is not one bird, but at least 10 (? It’s hard to tell exactly how many, and yes, I understand how that’s problematic, thank you.) And why, you ask, could they possibly be angry, when they’re among friends? These birds are, in the futuristic Home Alone 2, called “precogs,” and are plagued by visions of everything that’s awful in the future. In this scene, they’ve just seen this:
(What upsets them most about this transformation is the sudden folding of the pizza. If he’d wanted a calzone, they wonder, why didn’t he get one in the first place?)
The Bird Whose Doctor Failed Her
“Her sex change operation got botched, her guardian angel fell asleep on the watch, now all she’s got is a Barbie Doll crotch, she’s got an angry inch, angry inch” — and she has to deliver letters to puerile, self-righteous wizards when all she wants to do is sing glam rock. And there’s very little chance, even with J.K. Rowling’s penchant for post-HP revisionism, that the author will ever bring her back from the dead and let her live out her dream. Shit’s bleak beak.
The Winged Monkeys of The Wizard of Oz
These iconic characters have become an appropriative joke — relegated to tacky Halloween costumes — as seen in this image of insensitive Boston Terriers. And they’re not happy about it. Go back to Boston, terriers!