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You’ve played the games on your smartphone, seen the short films online, you’ve maybe even been lucky enough to visit an Angry Birds Activity Park – but soon you and your guests will be able to experience those cheeky birds in an even more immersive way – in 4D


I am really


excited about placing our fans inside our games so that they can experience it from, if you’ll excuse the pun, a bird’s eye view


Dan Mitchell, Rovio








ANGRY BIRDS 4D I


Taking the game into another dimension!


am really excited about placing our fans inside our games so that they can experience it from, if you’ll excuse the pun, a bird’s eye view,” explains Dan Mitchell, director of location-based entertainment of Rovio Entertainment, creator and IP owner of Angry Birds. “There will be a lot of great moments as our fun characters jump out of the screen at you. We want to keep some of the elements as a surprise, but what I can tell you is that there will be a chase sequence that is already shaping up to be one of my favourites.” Guests at Thorpe Park will be the first to enjoy the Angry Birds 4D experience when it premieres this May as part of a new themed area at the Merlin-operated resort near London. However 3DBA, which is investing in the film together with Simworx, is marketing it to other parks and attractions of various sizes. Brought on board to produce the 10-minute animated adventure is Pure Imagination Studios of Hollywood, whose “chief executive of fun” Joshua Wexler has previously worked on 3D/4D productions for Merlin including Legoland’s Clutch Powers and Bob the Builder movies, Marvel Super Heroes 4D at Madame Tussauds and also media content for the Knight’s Quest dark rides at various Legoland Discovery Centres. “Rovio gave us a lot of latitude as to where we could go and what we do with the Angry Birds characters,” says Wexler. “We have a great director, Howard Baker, who also directed the Clutch Powers movie, working on this. It’s a 10 minute film, a simple story, but we like to think it has a lot of heart. We’ve got the full arsenal of effects to play with – water sprays, air blasts, leg tickers and back pokers – but we’re using them in some unique and fun ways.” Wexler adds that there was a lot of pressure to get things right in order to please not just the IP owner, but also the Angry Birds fans: “These characters are part


of people’s everyday lives on their iPhones and tablets. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t know who Angry Birds are or what they look like, but these characters that don’t speak and haven’t got any hands or feet. That’s a challenge when it comes to crafting a great story, but I believe we’ve pulled it off. We hope that adults will get a laugh out of it as much of the kids and, because it’s all visual humour, there are absolutely zero barriers to distribution here.” “The Angry Birds franchise and storylines are a natural subject for 4D,” believes Mark Fisher, chief development officer for Merlin Entertainments. “The character and humour of the iconic birds and pigs will really come to life on screen. Thorpe Park’s young adult and family visitors are the core Angry Birds audience and no one is better placed than Merlin to capture the fun and humour of this fantastic IP – not least because most of my Magic Making colleagues are already great fans!” Thorpe Park guests will be able to enjoy the film from the comfort of a brand new 326-seat Simworx effects theatre which, together with the rest of the area, will be extensively themed by the creative team at Merlin Magic Making (Merlin Studios). The 4,000 square metre land will also feature a new bumper car attraction and a rethemed Detonator drop tower. “Merlin is such a well-known and respected operator,” concludes Mitchell. “We had some great conversations with their global IP director Jonathan Lewis and, after looking across their properties, Thorpe Park just seemed like the right partner at the right place and the right time. We hope this will be just the first of many projects together.”


The Angry Birds 4D experience is available exclusively through 3DBA and Simworx


Could your park be next? 26


Whilst Thorpe Park might be the first place for fans to enjoy the new Angry Birds 4D experience this spring, there are currently opportunities for other venues worldwide, starting this season if you are quick enough. Speak to 3DBA if you want to find out more, but in the meantime, what sort of partners is Rovio looking for? “With over 2 billion game downloads, we have a pretty massive fan base around the globe,” notes says Dan Mitchell, director of location-based entertainment. “Locations that are robust in terms of visitor traffic are important, but we’re also looking for operational excellence; properties that when you walk around them give you the sense that they are truly customer focused and speak the same language as we do in wanting to provide a great experience. Obviously the financial aspect is important, but we are firm believers in the idea that if you find the right partner and provide the right co- operation, then everything else will fall into place.” “One of the other things we are looking for,” he continues, “is the opportunity to create an immersive experience beyond the four walls of the theatre, so somewhere that has a large enough footprint to allow us to create an Angry Birds Activity Park or an Angry Birds Land like at Thorpe Park or Särkänniemi [in Finland] gives us an even greater storytelling opportunity.”


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