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When birds and pigs works together, anything is possible.

After the events of the first Angry Birds Movie, things are looking up for Jason Sudeikis’ Red. He’s now hailed as Bird Island’s big hero and is a key player in an ongoing prank war with the porcine inhabitants of Pig Island. That is, until both islands come under attack!

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“All of a sudden, the pigs want a truce?” says Sudeikis. “Why? Because there’s another island that’s hurling unidentified flying objects – some kind of ice bombs – into their respective neighborhoods. So, the pigs have to pair up with the birds, which kinda bums Red out a little bit. He’s not sure he can maintain his hero status, but he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do, right?”

“We wanted a big idea – in fact, several big ideas – so we introduced an island that the birds and pigs didn’t even know existed, leaving them no choice but to team up," says producer John Cohen, returning for the sequel. “…We started with that idea, knowing there’d be so much comedy and conflict to be mined from the two enemy factions – the birds and pigs – being forced to work together. That would lead to trust issues, clashes of egos, a lot of friction, and more character-based comedy.”

Naturally, Red’s friends are back for the new adventure. Josh Gad reprises his role as the speedster bird Chuck and Danny McBride returns to voice the irascible Bomb.

“Josh Gad couldn’t wait to push Chuck even further, and have him be even more hyperactive and manically funny,” says director Thurop Van Orman. “It was fun to experience with Josh how much more ‘pushed’ Chuck could be… [Then] Danny is one of the funniest people I’ve ever worked with. I’d keel over laughing during his voice recording sessions.”

In the same way that the original Angry Birds 2 game introduced a character named Silver, The Angry Birds Movie 2 imagines her as Chuck’s genius engineer sister, voiced by Rachel Bloom.

“Silver is not only a literal genius,” says the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creator and star, “She’s also great with other birds. Sometimes intellectually gifted characters are awkward about interacting with others, but Silver is always empathetic; she’s in touch with who she is and knows how to work with others.”

“We really needed her perspective,” says Van Orman. “More than anything, she brought an incredible realness to the role.”

“We wanted Silver to be funny, smart and quick like her brother Chuck,” adds Cohen. “But the most impressive aspect of Silver is that she thinks fast, which is her superpower.”

Unfortunately, Silver cannot count Red as being among her biggest fans.

“Red and Silver are at odds with each other,” says Bloom. “Red is threated by Silver because she sees through him and understands immediately that he’s angry because he’s scared. Red doesn’t appreciate that kind of insight.”

Also returning for the sequel is Peter Dinklage’s Mighty Eagle, who has a new backstory that ties to the mysterious third island and to the film’s new villain.

“We learn why Mighty [Eagle] has been in hiding, from whom he was hiding, and his connection to Eagle Island,” Cohen teases.

“When I heard that a second ‘Angry Birds’ movie was in the works, my first thought was, ‘What took you so long? I’ve been waiting!’” says Dinklage. “Mighty Eagle has some knowledge of Eagle Island, and that makes him perfect to help the team infiltrate the island. But you may remember that Mighty Eagle isn’t always at his mightiest, so that will also have an impact on their adventure.”

Leslie Jones, who voices the new film’s villain, Zeta, was selected to play the big bad after the filmmakers saw her on a late night talk show discussing her dream of one day playing a bad guy.

“We grabbed that opportunity and, to no one’s surprise, Leslie was perfect as Zeta,” says Van Orman. “She gives you everything you want in a villain; Zeta is big and over the top, but Leslie makes you understand her plight. Zeta’s not going about solving her problems the right way, but you still feel for her.”

In addition to the return of Bill Hader as Pig leader Leonard, The Angry Birds Movie 2 introduces a new Pig character in Sterling K. Brown’s Garry.

“Garry is a bit of a nerd and a little bit inept at his job, but he always does his best,” says Brown. “For example, he makes this ‘InvisiSpray’ that will turn you invisible.  Unfortunately, there’s no way to make you visible again.”

Brown also decided to play Garry with a British accent as an homage to the gadget-building Q in the James Bond franchise.

“Brits,” he laughs, “Please don’t get mad at me. You guys do American accents all the time!”

With all of these eccentric personalities coming together on the screen, it’s a safe bet that The Angry Birds Movie 2 will deliver some great laughs. Critics have already responded positively to the film, giving it a fresh 74% on Rotten Tomatoes and setting a new high score for video game adaptations.

“We wanted this film to be a new type of hero story and to focus on the next stage of Red’s development,” explains Cohen. “Red doesn’t yet fully understand that trust and teamwork can get you a lot farther than you can go on your own, and he’s a little reluctant to embark on the journey to Eagle Island because he’s worried about losing everything he’s built since he led the battle against the pigs.”

“What I love about Red is how he slowly transforms as this adventure unfolds,” adds Sudeikis. “As a parent of two kids, myself, and just as a person currently on planet Earth, the film’s themes of working together and trying to empathize with your fellow man – or bird – are timely and important.”

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Before you see the new ‘Angry Birds’, meet Zuri, star of the animated short ‘Hair Love’

Audiences heading to see The Angry Birds Movie 2 on the big screen are set for a very special extra surprise. Playing before the feature film is a new animated short, "Hair Love," which tells the story of a young African American girl, her unwieldy hair and her poor father who will do whatever it takes to have his daughter looking perfect. It's the story behind the making of "Hair Love," however, that makes the film even more impressive.

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In 2007, NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry decided to retire from playing football and headed to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of making movies. Having helmed a number of short films, music videos and television episodes, Cherry turned his attention to animation with a Kickstarter campaign launched in 2017. Originally planning to raise $75,000 to bring "Hair Love" to life, Cherry's campaign was a huge success, ultimately pulling in nearly $300,000 and setting a record for the most highly funded short film campaign in Kickstarter history.

Directing "Hair Love" alongside Cherry are Evertt Downing Jr. and Bruce W. Smith. The former has worked as an animator on films like Disney Pixar's Up and WALL-E, while the latter animated The Princess and the Frog and went on to create the animated series The Proud Family.

“As a father of an eight year old daughter with 3b hair, I can personally relate so directly to this project, and was therefore drawn to its themes immediately," says producer Carl Reed. "This film presents such a unique perspective on such a common part of our daily experience, providing a rare on-screen moment for African American parents to connect with. Matthew A. Cherry has given us an uplifting, positive view of black families; and thanks to Sony Pictures Animation running this theatrically, one that we will have an opportunity to share with the world.”

Reed produced "Hair Love" alongside David Steward II through their company, Lion Forge Animation, working closely with Sony Pictures Animation.

“With Lion Forge Animation, our goal remains in line with what we accomplished in publishing," says Steward II. "To showcase a variety of authentic voices and experiences through our work, whether created internally or through partnership with top talent. Matthew’s vision for this project checked all of these boxes, and is a heartfelt authentic story that rings true to so many in the African American community, especially those of us who are fathers with daughters of our own. We are proud to have had a role in bringing this project to life, and couldn’t have asked for a more perfect introduction to the Lion Forge mission of genuine representation through relatable content.”

“Lion Forge Animation’s mission to bring authentic and unique stories to the world perfectly aligns with our vision for ‘Hair Love,’” adds Cherry. “We are really honored to have them as a partner in bringing ‘Hair Love’ to the world.”

“Hair Love” would not have been possible without the work of a great many producers (including Karen Rupert Toliver, Stacey Newton and Monica A. Young) as well as executive producers that include Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse helmer Peter Ramsey and Toy Story 4 animator Frank Abney. Co-executive producers include Jordan Peele, Andrew Hawkins, Harrison Barnes, Yara and Keri Shahidi with associate producers N’Dambi Gillespie, Gabourey Sidibe, Stephanie Fredric, Claude Kelly and Gabrielle Union-Wade & Dwayne Wade Jr.

"I love that 'Hair Love' is highlighting the relationship between a Black father and daughter," says Peele. "Matthew leads the ranks of new creatives who are telling unique stories of the Black experience. We need this."

Produced in Los Angeles at Six Point Harness, “Hair Love” stars Insecure’s Issa Rae as the voice of the mother of the lead character, Zuri. Once you’ve caught the film on the big screen, be sure to check out a tie-in children’s book, which features illustrations by Vashti Harrison and which has already become a New York Times bestseller!