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The Angry Birds Movie by Heitor Pereira (Review)

posted Jun 1, 2016, 4:42 PM by Kaya Savas

Heitor Pereira is no stranger to animation, and he has carved out quite an impressive niche for himself. His bubbling and fun personality made him a perfect fit for the Despicable Me films, which in turn I’m sure got him the phone call to do The Angry Birds Movie. In a funny way, fate has brought Heitor into a realm he loves so much. Once upon a time he was supposed to score Rio, Fox’s animated film about birds in Brazil. And it would have been perfect, Heitor is Brazilian and he has a passion for birds. He owns a collection of bird whistles, travels the globe to bird watch and is fascinated by them all around. As we all know, the scoring duties for Rio went to John Powell, who did a magnificent job. But fate has brought another bird related project to Heitor, and he was able to really build a score that is energetic and fun with a great sense of melodic flow.

The Angry Birds Movie is based on the hit mobile game, there is just a tiny reference to the iconic main menu music at the start but beyond that Heitor has brought his melodic skills to build all original themes for the characters. Using actual bird calls, Heitor ended up orchestrating bird whistles into the melodies you hear in the final score. That level of innovation gave the score a unique flavor and a unique sense of character. The music is mostly robust and energetic that matches the colorful action of the characters, but I found lots of moments that really let the melodies and textures take hold. The track “I Need Your Help” is a great example of scoring with texture and melody. There is an organic passion to the whole journey that doesn't feel manufactured or forced, and I think that’s the brilliance of what Heitor does. The film doesn't quite provide any moments for deeper emotional resonance such as something like How To Train Your Dragon does, so we never get to see the score move into that area. But I did find some character moments that I found to be touching even if they didn’t envelope me in a deeper state of emotional pull.

The Angry Birds Movie has a score that is bright, colorful, fun, melodic and overall simply joyful. Heitor Pereria brings his immense passion for birds to this score by utiizling bird calls and great melodies to pull you into the score. The score is not a crazy over the top energy blast, but instead has a great sense of pacing and flow. I actually find Heitor's work here stronger than his score for Minions and the Despicable Me films, in that the music truly feels part of the characters and the world and is telling a story versus adding musical punch. It’s a fun and heartwarming score that never becomes cooky or cartoonish, and is definitely one worth revisiting again and again.