It takes a lot to offend me nowadays, given the thick-skinned attitude toward movies that we all must, of necessity, develop as media consumers. However, I became an angry bird myself while watching the eponymous movie on its opening weekend.
Like any kid movie, Angry Birds contains the expected inane humor suited to an adolescent and pre-adolescent crowd. The first part of the movie served up the regular fare: things blowing up in faces, huge rocks falling on people (or birds rather), lots of characters falling down and getting run over, etc. You know the routine. Movies marketed to this demographic also contain bathroom humor, but I must say that I was totally unprepared for the offensive bathroom humor that came half way into the movie.
The three angry bird protagonists climbed a mountain to search out and find the Mighty Eagle who was supposed to save them from the invading green pigs. When these characters arrived at the summit, where the Eagle’s eyrie was supposed to be, they found what looked like a pristine lake. They swam in it, played in it, drank from it, and felt the power of its magical vigor, until the Eagle woke up from his sanctuary, which turned out to be a cave in a high rock face. When Mighty Eagle walked out to the edge of the rock cliff overlooking the lake, the three birds huddled behind a rock in awe of the majestic Eagle, who at that point spread his glorious wings as if he were ready to bellow out an ear-piercing war cry, but proceeded to urinate off the cliff into the crystal clear lake instead.
The audience views the Eagle from behind easing his bladder with a stream as strong and yellow as the Eagle was mighty.
The effect of this gross display on the audience of families with very young kids was palpably and sickeningly tense. I can’t remember hearing any adult laughter, though there may have been some. I was too disgusted to pay a whole lot of attention to the adults, but I did take note of a spattering of laughter from a few of the kids cascading nervously through the crowd. There wasn’t a shred of sincerity in the laughter, just the uneasy, awkward, uncomfortable sounds that kids let out when they don’t know what to make of something that is innately embarrassing to them.
The display of attempted humor was bad enough, but then the “stream” went on, and on, and on, perhaps for fifteen or twenty seconds. I didn’t time it, mostly because I walked out of the movie at that point. As I was getting as far away from this nonsense as I could, my only thought was, “Those poor kids. Why should they have to be exposed to that?” It was one of those shake-your-head experiences that you can only hope to purge from memory in time – or write an article about and urge others to avoid.
Sometime later a cynical thought occurred to me. Bathroom humor in the midst of a horrific bathroom controversy currently raging throughout the nation. This means that so-called transgender men are issuing their own “streams” in women’s bathrooms as we speak, and all of us are being forced to just go with the flow (pardon the pun). It stands to reason that a popular movie with really bad bathroom humor would attempt to normalize that particular sickness. It all fits. Hollywood has always tried to condition the young through pop culture to accept the unacceptable. Leftists always go for the young first. Is that farfetched? Your call.
To me, Angry Birds was an otherwise clever movie that was destroyed by the uncanny ability of the modern entertainment industry to continually explore new depths of twisted culture.
A shorter version of this article was published at Catholic365.com: http://www.catholic365.com/article/4345/angry-birds-twisted-culture.html.