A junk man travels to Africa to find a rare metal-eating bird.





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Cast overview:
Charley Chucklehead (as Charley Bowers)
Himself, Lowell Thomas


Charlie, working on a junkjard, always trying to help people in the most impossible ways with junk from his work place, hears from a German professor, that there is a bird, a Belgish Kongo, that eats metal. Charlie sets out on a ridiculous hunting expedition to catch one. With some music - the birds love music - and a strange worm he is able to catch one, but even then the bird offers some even more over-the-top surprises. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

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Release Date:

1930 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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[first lines]
Radio Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, we have a program of tall stories dedicated to the Great American Whopper. Allow me to present the Exalted Giraffe of the Tall Story Club, Lowell Thomas.
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A-Hunting We Will Go
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User Reviews

Before King Kong there was this inventive little short
9 July 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Charley Bowers is mostly forgotten today, although his early shorts at the time were as inventive as what Walt Disney was doing. His material is largely out of copyright, and the only stuff I can find of his on DVD is in Europe, although he is an entirely American cartoonist, pioneer in stop motion, and a slapstick comedian.

This short has Charley traveling to Africa to find the metal eating bird known as a fliver. For some reason it is found under rocks and comes above ground to eat. He finds the bird, which is consuming all kinds of metal non-stop, but he needs help to get it in a cage. He finds a worm under a rock who agrees to help him trap the bird. For some reason the worm wants nothing in return for helping out, and seems to enjoy the rough and tumble with the fliver. The bird doesn't seem to hold it against Charley that he has captured it, and even lays an egg for him that hatches into an automobile.

The plot is cute, the jokes hold up, and the inventiveness of the entire thing is unforgettable, yet Bowers himself is largely forgotten and much of his material is lost or is on public domain DVDs or on youtube. Bowers developed very bad arthritis which stopped his career in the mid 1930s, and then he died relatively young in 1946 at the age of 57, never really getting a chance to gain a foothold in animation after the transition to sound.

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