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The Rich, Textured Fiction of Angry Birds Will Be Explored Via a Cartoon Series

Finally, we will delve into the elaborate back story of why pigs steal bird eggs and why those birds are angry about it and also why there are slingshots, maybe.

In a kind of twisted, backward way, the progression of the Angry Birds franchise is something like a direct mirror image of The Simpsons. No, I don't mean that in terms of content (at least, not until Angry Birds does a Monorail episode) but rather cultural ubiquity. The Simpsons, upon debuting as a stand-alone series in 1989, became a massive cultural icon almost overnight. As a result, the merchandising machine became massive. You couldn't turn a corner in 1991 without bumping into some jackass in a Bart Simpson "Don't Have a Cow, Man!" t-shirt. Eventually that merchandising spun off into the video game realm, albeit with products of quality ranging from merely sort of okay to utterly dire.

So, there's definitely going to be a space episode, right? That seems pretty much guaranteed.

As for Angry Birds, it began humbly enough as an amusing iOS trifle, but almost overnight transformed into the single most-downloaded franchise on any mobile platform. That insane profitability immediately led to the merchandising machine kicking up once again, resulting in more crappy plush toys, t-shirts, ballcaps, and whatever the crap else getting dumped in nasty looking gift shops and tourist traps the world over. Nowadays, you can't turn a corner without bumping into some unfortunate 12-year-old decked out in Angry Birds gear. And now, completing the reverse of the circle The Simpsons created all those years prior, Angry Birds will be a cartoon series.

Angry Birds developer Rovio revealed the new series to European press over the weekend, citing an in-house animation studio (that the developer purchased last year) as the division dedicated to making Angry Birds a cartoon reality.

While this might sound like great news for those who have oft pondered the myriad mysteries of the Angry Birds game universe (like who it is, for instance, that builds those giant slingshots, since nobody in this world seems to have arms), you may be somewhat disappointed to learn that Rovio's interest is less on filling in the many plot gaps left by the popular mobile games, but rather spinning the various "characters" out into their own zany adventures filled with zaniness, and also probably anger.

"Angry Birds is not just about the game-play," said Rovio's head of animation, Nick Dorra, to the BBC. "It will, in the future, be less and less about the slingshot and more about the characters and their adventures and all different kinds of games in different forms."

So there you have it. Just like The Killing wasn't really about Rosie Larsen's killer, and Mass Effect 3's ending wasn't really about the choices you made over the course of the series (at least, that's what everyone keeps telling me--I don't actually know), Angry Birds isn't really about the slingshot. Or the game-play, even. It's about characters and adventures. And merchandising opportunities. Sweet, bountiful merchandising opportunities.

The Angry Birds cartoon does not currently have a release date, but Rovio plans on producing 52 episodes and releasing them "on all possible platforms," which roughly translates to "whoever will give us money," I'm fairly certain. The BBC story additionally hints that Rovio is likely working on some kind of Angry Birds movie, because of course they are.

Alex Navarro on Google+
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Posted by Alex

In a kind of twisted, backward way, the progression of the Angry Birds franchise is something like a direct mirror image of The Simpsons. No, I don't mean that in terms of content (at least, not until Angry Birds does a Monorail episode) but rather cultural ubiquity. The Simpsons, upon debuting as a stand-alone series in 1989, became a massive cultural icon almost overnight. As a result, the merchandising machine became massive. You couldn't turn a corner in 1991 without bumping into some jackass in a Bart Simpson "Don't Have a Cow, Man!" t-shirt. Eventually that merchandising spun off into the video game realm, albeit with products of quality ranging from merely sort of okay to utterly dire.

So, there's definitely going to be a space episode, right? That seems pretty much guaranteed.

As for Angry Birds, it began humbly enough as an amusing iOS trifle, but almost overnight transformed into the single most-downloaded franchise on any mobile platform. That insane profitability immediately led to the merchandising machine kicking up once again, resulting in more crappy plush toys, t-shirts, ballcaps, and whatever the crap else getting dumped in nasty looking gift shops and tourist traps the world over. Nowadays, you can't turn a corner without bumping into some unfortunate 12-year-old decked out in Angry Birds gear. And now, completing the reverse of the circle The Simpsons created all those years prior, Angry Birds will be a cartoon series.

Angry Birds developer Rovio revealed the new series to European press over the weekend, citing an in-house animation studio (that the developer purchased last year) as the division dedicated to making Angry Birds a cartoon reality.

While this might sound like great news for those who have oft pondered the myriad mysteries of the Angry Birds game universe (like who it is, for instance, that builds those giant slingshots, since nobody in this world seems to have arms), you may be somewhat disappointed to learn that Rovio's interest is less on filling in the many plot gaps left by the popular mobile games, but rather spinning the various "characters" out into their own zany adventures filled with zaniness, and also probably anger.

"Angry Birds is not just about the game-play," said Rovio's head of animation, Nick Dorra, to the BBC. "It will, in the future, be less and less about the slingshot and more about the characters and their adventures and all different kinds of games in different forms."

So there you have it. Just like The Killing wasn't really about Rosie Larsen's killer, and Mass Effect 3's ending wasn't really about the choices you made over the course of the series (at least, that's what everyone keeps telling me--I don't actually know), Angry Birds isn't really about the slingshot. Or the game-play, even. It's about characters and adventures. And merchandising opportunities. Sweet, bountiful merchandising opportunities.

The Angry Birds cartoon does not currently have a release date, but Rovio plans on producing 52 episodes and releasing them "on all possible platforms," which roughly translates to "whoever will give us money," I'm fairly certain. The BBC story additionally hints that Rovio is likely working on some kind of Angry Birds movie, because of course they are.

Staff
Posted by pegasuswinks

IN SPACE!

Edited by TheMightySkullboy

How long until the game based on the cartoon?

Posted by Morningstar

About time really.

Posted by iAmJohn

Who the fuck is the person that looks at Angry Birds and says: "These are appealing characters and I would love to see more of them"? I mean, besides my mom's friends.

Posted by Moncole

Rovio should sell Angry Birds cookies because I like cookies with my milk

Posted by louiedog

There are adults who pay good money to see Michael Bay's shitty movies because they're based on cartoons that were themselves based on a line of toys.

Posted by cikame

At the moment the UK is relatively untouched, my mum played it for a few days but i haven't seen anything Angry Birds in awhile now.

Posted by StealthRaptor

@iAmJohn said:

Who the fuck is the person that looks at Angry Birds and says: "These are appealing characters and I would love to see more of them"? I mean, besides my mom's friends.

I think maybe your mom has more friends than you think.

Posted by phrosnite

Hahahaha. People...

Posted by Demoskinos

I can't blame rovio for capitalizing on the merch side of this but... god I can't fucking stand it. Its just insane. I've seen people wearing Angry Birds Space T-shirts already. I mean fuck... the concept of the game isn't even new! I guess people just like the damn cartoon birds.

Online
Posted by Animasta

Alex sometimes I feel you are half human half snark, is this true

Edited by Village_Guy

Wat...? What is next? Action figures? Candy? Cookies?

No thank you, I'll stick to my lovely ponies - no need for any angry birds here.

Posted by csl316

Who built the slingshots is like telling us who exactly built the Reapers. I want some mystery in my Angry Birds lore, dammit.

Posted by CornBREDX

This is very reminiscent to me of the character arc of Drew Blank in the game Toonstruck. Having to make a crappy cartoon about cutesy bunnies that he hates and would rather be making a cartoon about a zany, irreverent, whats-it character he created. He can't though because cutesy bunnies "sell" and zany character new comer may not go over with the consumer. I don't know why- something about the dangers of corporate franchising maybe.

I guess its coo' those guys have this kind of opportunity but the franchising is kind of ridiculous for such a not much to it game that kind of rips off other games I played before. I mean, I saw candy with the angry birds name on it at my local HEB. That's kinda crazy to me, but ya I have seen the same with other franchises so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Ehh, whatever. It's just not for me, right?

Posted by crusader8463

@StealthRaptor said:

@iAmJohn said:

Who the fuck is the person that looks at Angry Birds and says: "These are appealing characters and I would love to see more of them"? I mean, besides my mom's friends.

I think maybe your mom has more friends than you think.

I don't know. They made a nifty cartoon out of the Viva Piñata games and that had as little story as this.

Posted by Dalai
@TheMightySkullboy said:

How long until the game based on the cartoon?

Angry Birds: The Movie: The Show: The Game? 
 
Coming Summer 2014.
Posted by Winternet

@Animasta said:

Alex sometimes I feel you are half human half snark, is this true

I think it's more like the Minotaur. Alex is a snark head on a human body.

Posted by AngelN7

Why the intense disgut with merchandising of a popular product? sometimes I feel the GB crew tend to retain their teenage personalities of "ugh everything sucks" this is to me a big case of who cares?

Edited by louiedog

@Dalai said:

@TheMightySkullboy said:

How long until the game based on the cartoon?

Angry Birds: The Movie: The Show: The Game? Coming Summer 2014.

First the game, then the cartoon, then the cartoon movie, then the Michael Bay movie, then the third person Angry Birds Movie game which is just a ripoff of that Kinect game that's been shown off which admits to ripping of Angry Birds which originally ripped off other games.

Posted by Icemo
Someone please make this stop...
Posted by Little_Socrates

Good on them. I certainly have no interest, but Angry Birds needed to either make the leap and succeed or fall off into obscurity. The cartoon is their do-or-die effort; if this doesn't pan out, Angry Birds receives its expiration date in the following year or two, receiving similar status to your Yu-Gi-Oh! and Kirby merch.

(Though Kirby desperately deserves to get out of that hole.)

Posted by Krakn3Dfx

Finally, the deep, rich mythology of the Angry Birds universe can be explained.

Posted by GunslingerPanda

This is hardly "News," it's been known for like a year.

Posted by Freshbandito

@AngelN7 said:

Why the intense disgut with merchandising of a popular product? sometimes I feel the GB crew tend to retain their teenage personalities of "ugh everything sucks" this is to me a big case of who cares?

Have to agree with this, is it really hurting anyone? people seem to buy the stuff and like it.

Posted by Malarkain

I for one cannot wait for the inevitable line of Angry Birds sex toys.

Posted by TheSouthernDandy

I'd rather watch a cartoon about Alex and his adventures.

Posted by Nardak

I also dont understand this disdain towards the merchandising of Angy Birds considering that a certain Giant Bomb crew member bought a lot of Skylander stuff.

Considering that the Skylander stuff is mostly aimed at kids means that the parents of those kids are put in a very akward position of having to buy a lot of very expensive stuff for one game. I was kinda hoping that this "disdain" would also be aimed at other gaming merchandise. But it seems that the Angry Birds merchandise is for some reason specially irritating for the crew of Giant Bomb.

Posted by Gladiator_Games
@louiedog: Many thumbs up and pluses to you sir or madam or both!
Posted by avidwriter

@Icemo said:

Someone please make this stop...

Yea, seriously. This is getting out of hand now.

Posted by jaks

As much as I kind of enjoy Angry Birds sometimes, part of me (around 99%) wishes that fucking company would go belly up so I don't have to read about this shit anymore. I remember when EA bought Popcap and the CEO came out and said that Rovio would sell for at least twice that; like anybody fucking asked him.

Posted by Alex

@Nardak: I wouldn't even say I have any real, active disdain for it. It is what it is: a very popular brand that is being merchandised to death. It happens to lots of franchises. I think more than anything else, I'm just more amused by the Angry Birds merchandising considering how utterly unsubstantial it is. Most stuff that gets merchandised like this starts out with something that at least has a little back story to it, I.E. The Simpsons, or even Skylanders, as the games did provide some context for WHY you should be buying all this crud. Angry Birds has cute, round, bird things, and that's pretty much it. And now Rovio is trying to spin out the franchise into something more substantive for the sake of keeping that merchandising train going. It's just an interesting, bizarre reverse on the usual methodology.

So, yeah, I might have been a little sarcastic in the story, but I hardly hold any real disdain for Angry Birds or its merchandising. I'm just as sick of seeing Angry Birds t-shirts now as I was seeing Bart Simpson t-shirts in the '90s.

Staff
Posted by avidwriter

@Village_Guy said:

Wat...? What is next? Action figures? Candy? Cookies?

No thank you, I'll stick to my lovely ponies - no need for any angry birds here.

Like that's any better. It's children's show, just accept it and move on. Geez.

Posted by BaconGames

Leveraging a visual brand that popular is something that some businesses only dream of. It's a gold mine and its exactly how they're treating it. And like all other fads and kitsch items, we will look back at it like those Bart Simpson shirts and say "boy that was a funny/stupid thing in 20XX".

Posted by sear

I want to die. Can I die? Please?

Posted by Fuga

jesus christ why can't this shit just die

Posted by louiedog

@Alex said:

@Nardak: I wouldn't even say I have any real, active disdain for it. It is what it is: a very popular brand that is being merchandised to death. It happens to lots of franchises. I think more than anything else, I'm just more amused by the Angry Birds merchandising considering how utterly unsubstantial it is. Most stuff that gets merchandised like this starts out with something that at least has a little back story to it, I.E. The Simpsons, or even Skylanders, as the games did provide some context for WHY you should be buying all this crud. Angry Birds has cute, round, bird things, and that's pretty much it. And now Rovio is trying to spin out the franchise into something more substantive for the sake of keeping that merchandising train going. It's just an interesting, bizarre reverse on the usual methodology.

So, yeah, I might have been a little sarcastic in the story, but I hardly hold any real disdain for Angry Birds or its merchandising. I'm just as sick of seeing Angry Birds t-shirts now as I was seeing Bart Simpson t-shirts in the '90s.

An excellent explanation. That should stop people from accusing you of having a cow over Rovio's piggish merchandising.

Posted by SpicyRichter

God I hate society

Posted by Delta_Ass

Don't ever change, Alex. You're tops.

Posted by TheKing

@AngelN7 said:

Why the intense disgust with merchandising of a popular product? sometimes I feel the GB crew tend to retain their teenage personalities of "ugh everything sucks" this is to me a big case of who cares?

Exactly this.

Posted by Jayzilla

This is great news for some of the deeper thinkers here at GB! Heck, some of the people here find My Little Ponies to be a stimulating experience, so this has to be ground shaking news for them! Grats!

Posted by MistaSparkle

Couldn't Michael Bay make it at least so he could be like, "Well they're not angry and they aren't birds anymore either..."

Then it'll just be a normal cartoon! You know, that or Transformers... :/

Posted by EuanDewar
Eventually that merchandising spun off into the video game realm, albeit with products of quality ranging from merely sort of okay to utterly dire.

OH DUDE WHAT, FOR REAL SIMPSONS: HIT AND RUN WAS SICK

Posted by artgarcrunkle

Everything is awful, forever.

Posted by bonbolapti

I just worry that they have no other personality than being angry.

Posted by MikkaQ

Funny, this is one of those things I assumed had already happened. Whelp, that's... gonna be a boring show.

Posted by HubrisRanger
@iAmJohn

Who the fuck is the person that looks at Angry Birds and says: "These are appealing characters and I would love to see more of them"? I mean, besides my mom's friends.

I don't know how often you hang our with anyone under the age of 12, but kids are fucking BANANARAMAS for Angry Birds.
Posted by Milkman

Honestly, I'm shocked it took this long.

Posted by kollay

Wondering if I can bust out some cereal while watching it.

Posted by Video_Game_King

Did anybody else think "this is a Harry Partridge April Fool's joke, right? Right....?"

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