The grossest moment in ‘Angry Birds’ has a surprising inspiration

When the second trailer for The Angry Birds Movie hit the web in January, what got the Internet talking most was that preview”s extended pee joke.

Three of the film”s avian leads, in search of the legendary Mighty Eagle, find the landmark of their hero”s home: the Lake of Wisdom. Chuck and Bomb drink up and swim all around the lake”s sparkling waters, while Red stands offshore, urging his friends to get out of the sacred lake. Then the long-hidden Mighty Eagle makes his appearance out of the cave above the lake – which he proceeds to use as his personal urinal.

In the trailer, it”s a 40-second-long joke about unintentional urophagia. In the film, the sequence is even longer, and, yes, you do see Mighty Eagle”s animated bodily fluids, while the trailer”s viewers were only treated to the sound of him relieving himself.

Two years before The Angry Birds Movie“s release, The Lego Movie set a new gold standard for movies based on story-less toy and game properties in an industry that”s given us a Battleship dud, recently greenlit a Tetris film, and, yes, has also churned out (to date) four critically panned but box office-dominating Transformers movies. It”s the directors of The Lego Movie who are getting the credit from one of the Angry Birds directors for the lesson that led to that Lake of Wisdom scene.

“I learned this stuff from Phil [Lord] and Chris [Miller] – you take the joke to the max, and then you push it beyond that point until it breaks, and then you just keep pushing it until it gets to the point of being funny again,” said Angry Birds Movie co-director Fergal Reilly, who worked with Lord and Miller on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. “The first time we played that sequence, it was in [story]boards, and people were just in hysterics when they saw it.”

Also aiming for laughs in Angry Birds: lots of wiggling piggy butts.

“We try lots of physicality with the characters,” Reilly told HitFix. “It might show up as a gesture in a storyboard or something like that. And people laugh at it when they see it because it”s a funny drawing. And then maybe the animator will catch that as well, and he might do a funny little jiggle as well.”

“Our producer is a fan of physical comedy,” co-director Clay Kaytis explained. “There was a mandate that was handed down in terms of making this a broad, funny movie.”

It”s no clever, social commentary-laced Lego Movie, but The Angry Birds Movie is its own animal with its slapstick, puns, and goofy birds-vs-pigs action sequences. If all that – along with scatological humor and pigs gyrating to covers of pop songs – are your kind of thing, you can see The Angry Birds Movie in theaters now.