One of the mysteries vexing today’s digital natives is, “Why are the Angry Birds so angry?” The latest project from Rovio, which was announced at MIPTV on Sunday, may explain that the answer goes deeper than the obvious egg-stealing nature of the pigs.

Nick Dorra, Rovio’s head of animation (pictured), said the company is going to roll out a weekly shortform animation series later this year. During his Media Mastermind keynote speech, he said, “Angry Birds is not just about the gameplay, and will be in the future less and less about the slingshot, actually, and more and more about the characters.”

The series will be 52 3-minute episodes and is set to debut this fall. Dorra said this programming would further engage the over 700 million people who have downloaded the Angry Birds games, while giving Rovio a way to reach those who don’t play games.

The shorts also will lay the groundwork for a feature film that is early in development with former head of Marvel Studios David Maisel.

Noting the proven appeal of the characters beyond the physics-based digital destruction, Dorra said Rovio has sold more than 25 million plush toys and licensed more than 20,000 branded products.

Rovio is not limiting itself to birds and pigs, however. Dorra said the company was on track to reveal completely new intellectual property before the end of the year. “You can’t put all your Angry Birds and their eggs in one basket, otherwise the pigs will steal them,” he quipped.

Related links:

MIPTV – blog post