What you have here is a story that is about as simple as they come - a bunch of tiny egg-shaped birds on a telephone wire who are approached by a big goofy bird, and they are all contemptuous toward her and do everything they can to get rid of her. It's the conspiracy that these little birds come up with to get rid of this ostrich-looking bird (yes, I know it's not an ostrich, by the way) and the fact that Pixar is able to communicate it to the audience without a single piece of dialogue other than these hilarious cheeps and grunts that the birds make that makes the film so impressive and funny and, yes, MEMORABLE. The Academy Award that For The Birds won for Best Animated Short Film for 2001 was even less of a surprise than the one that Shrek won for Best Animated feature! It was a given!
For The Birds is not the kind of short film that you watch before a rather short animated film and serves no other purpose than to make you feel like you got your money's worth because the feature film is rather short. This is not just something to keep you in your seats for a little longer (how much of a difference would three minutes really make in that case?), this is something that Pixar throws into the mix because they're so good at what they do that they can deliver pure entertainment even with such a short film. The old Roger Rabbit short films are the kind that are mildly amusing on a more childish level and that can be forgotten rather quickly, but For The Birds is something else entirely. Like all the Pixar shorts - not the least of which is Geri's Game (which should not be confused with Gerald's Game, which is a strikingly different story!), one of my personal favorites - For The Birds is the kind of short film that you enjoy for only a few minutes but remember for years. My only hope is that Pixar will someday come out with a special DVD just for all of their short films. Bravo!