Part cartoon and part documentary, this film offers a humorous look at birds and the ways people perceive them.

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Writers:

(story), (story)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Soprano (voice)
...
Narrator (voice)
John Emerson ...
Bird Fancier
Jim Swain ...
Bird Fancier
Ann Lord ...
Bird Fancier
Hank Schloss ...
Bird Fancier
Walter Perkins ...
Bird Fancier
Rolf Darbo ...
Bird Fancier
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Storyline

A street smart red bird with a heavy New York accent serves as the narrator, who tries to explains why it's tough to be a bird. This edutaining animated short with documentary segments explains the common evolutionary origin of birds, how various cultures have perceived the birds throughout history, how some species have become extinct or endangered due to human activity, how people like birdwatchers or townsfolk of Hinckley, Ohio, where the annual Buzzard Day is celebrated, enjoy the birds in a friendly manner and what a monty pythonesque cutout animation collage with birds looks like.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's tough to be a bird!


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 December 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

C'est pas drôle d'être un oiseau  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was the last animated short film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios to win an Academy Award, until Paperman (2012). See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [flying a plane] Although we want to live a life serene and keep our feathers and our noses clean, with human population on the scene, man!
[gunshots destroy the plane as he says:]
Narrator: It is so tough... to be... a... bird!
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Connections

Referenced in Ryan (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The sort of films that Disney loved to make in the 60s--and the type kids like me hated!
14 September 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This film won the Oscar for Best Animated Short in 1970. It was up against EN MARCHANT and OF MEN AND DEMONS. I saw EN MARCHANT and didn't particularly love it but cannot locate a copy of OF MEN AND DEMONS--so I cannot say how this particular film matches up with IT'S TOUGH TO BE A BIRD.

As far as IT'S TOUGH TO BE A BIRD goes, it's the sort of film Disney loved to make in the 1960s. Instead of continuing with the wonderful character cartoons of the 30s, 40s and 50s, the 1960s saw a decrease in Disney's output of shorts and many of the ones they did make were very educational--the very sort of cartoons that most kids hated. We wanted to see Mickey, Donald and a non-educational Goofy! I remember on Sunday nights tuning in to "The Wonderful World of Disney"--hoping they'd show some of these wonderful older films but mostly the studio gave us films like this, True Life Adventures and "wacky" live action films. Egad, I hated these films!

Now that I am a lot older, I don't hate IT'S TOUGH TO BE A BIRD like I used to, but I still think it's drier than dust through most of this all-too-educational film. The history of birds and human interactions with them is nice enough, but I wanted to see more bonking on the head and violence (in other words, a real cartoon!). I must admit that for 1969 the animation is relatively good--in fact, much better than the typical low frame-rate product of Hanna-Barbera and the like--though still noticeably less well animated than the classic Disney, MGM and Looney Tunes films. The problem isn't so much with the animation but with all the live action footage and the pretty limp final couple minutes. This ending is supposed to be kooky, but to me it just seemed kind of forced.


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