In addition to simply being a self-reflexive insult by being a movie adapted from the app Angry Birds, the Angry Birds Movie now has another reason to be the object of your disdain.
Because of the fantastical simplicity of their plots, kids’ movies can often seem like accidental allegories, and it’s a rather fun exercise to project whatever’s on your mind onto them. This is an exercise in which everyone can partake, and unfortunately, that includes white supremacists. And the New Republic has noted a trend amongst the (likely rather small) group of vehement white supremacist film essayists to see their political agenda embedded in…The Angry Birds Movie.
They’ve allegedly particularly found their hero in the film’s main character, Red — a flightless bird with anger management issues — voiced by Jason Sudeikis. Knowing the xenophobic anxieties of the likes of many of Trump’s supporters (yes, Donald Trump and The Angry Birds Movie-as-white-supremacist-allegory clearly share some fans), it isn’t hard to see why they may fall for the otherwise critically panned kids’ movie based on an app about birds and pigs.
In case you don’t know the plot, it follows Red and his fellow residents of Bird Island after a boat carrying a group of pigs from the equally inventively-titled Piggy Island docks. The pigs allege that their intentions for coming to Bird Island are good, and they start integrating into bird society, but Red remains suspicious, until his fears are vindicated when pigs are spotted planting explosives around the island in an attempt to steal the birds’ eggs.
The New Republic links to two articles, one in Counter-Currents Publishing (a platform for the white nationalist “North American New Right” who’ve published the likes of Truth, Justice and a Nice White Country and Green Nazis in Space) by a certain Gregory Hood. He writes:
When the West was great, our children were raised with stories and sagas, folk tales and common prayer. Today, they are raised by corporate franchises, worship SJW superheroes, and experience reality through a screen. We must resist and turn to older, better ways. But in The Current Year, all too often the best many parents can do is find some movie that’s not completely pozzed they can take their children to. That movie has emerged. It’s time to redpill your children. It’s time to take them to see The Angry Birds Movie.
After going through a long decoding of one of the most simplistic plots in history — summed up by birds, pigs and eggs — he concludes:
The moral lesson of the movie isn’t that we should tolerate other cultures or that we are all the same under the skin. Instead, it’s that we should be suspicious of Ausländers and that some groups are simply enemies, full stop. Peace was never an option.
The second article is from VDARE (the “premier news outlet for patriotic immigration reform”), by James Kirpatrick, who writes:
When it comes to immigration, they will usually give us sob stories about immigrants with hearts of gold victimized by evil white racist Amerikkan oppressors. And when it comes to children’s films, we usually get a syrupy sweet story about how We Are Really All The Same and how children should learn to celebrate differences. “Angry Birds” is not a film like that.
He deems the film a “cautionary tale” and links the endangerment of the “happy, decadent” bird society by the pig imposition to immigration.
Ultimately, it seems these far-right publications are just glomming on to undertones that were already present when the obviously-more-left-wing mainstream critics wrote about it on its release in May. When Vox reviewed the movie last month, they said:
Somewhere within it is a weirdo parable about how immigrants will rob you and wreck your life, and then head back to their native land, and the movie seems blissfully unaware of this reading.
So, for xenophobes lacking in anti-immigration art to speak to their ugly cause, one can see where this logic (of deeming a film based on a mindless app about chubby, inflamed fowl your cause’s potent protest film) would come into play. When I pointed out this story to Flavorwire Editor-in-Chief Tom Hawking, he said, “Inexplicably angry and possessed of pea-sized dinosaur brains: yeah, I can see how white supremacists could identify w/ Angry Birds.” Lucky for them, there’s also a Fruit Ninja Movie in the works.
Meanwhile, read our very important piece on 12 film and TV birds who were angry first.