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Disney Wiki

For the Birds is a Pixar computer-animated short film written and directed by Ralph Eggleston. Its worldwide debut occurred at the Annecy Film Festival in France on June 5, 2000. It would later premiere in the United States at the 27th annual Siggraph conference on July 24 of that same year, and was attached to the theatrical release of Monsters, Inc. in 2001. It was re-released on December 19, 2012 with Monsters, Inc. in 3D. On March 22, 2024, it was re-released again but in front of Luca instead during its theatrical debut. The film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.


Four small blue birds named Bully, Chipper, Snob and Neurotic land on a power line. Soon, more blue birds land one by one on the power line, and start bickering with each other, until they are interrupted by a huge and goofy-looking bird on the telephone pole. They mimic and tease him, but the big bird insists he join them. The other birds move further away and quietly gossip about him, thinking he can’t be trusted. But the big bird goes on the wire anyway. Since he is heavier than the smaller ones, the wire drops under his weight and the little birds bump into either side of him. They start to complain to the big bird, but he thinks they’re just chatting with him, so he joins in. Finally having enough of it, one of the little birds pecks at the big bird's side, causing him to hang upside down. They suddenly get an idea. To make him let go of the wire, two of the birds start pecking on his toes with their beaks. The other birds chant to encourage them as they do so. Suddenly, one of the birds realizes they’re near the ground and they frantically worry. Just before they could do anything else, the big bird falls off, and the other birds are flung away into the sky when the wire snaps back up. The big bird sees the feathers falling down and starts blowing on them. When all the blue birds come back down, they realize that they have all lost their feathers, making them the goofy-looking ones now. The short ends with the big bird laughing hysterically as the other birds hide behind him.


Ralph Eggleston had this to say about his inspiration for the short:

"Probably visits to my aunt when I was a kid. She lived in the country and I spent long rides to her house peering out the car window at birds on a wire. Also, I did a project in my design class at CalArts that my friend, Ken Bruce, told me might make a good film. I boarded it out at CalArts, but frankly, I couldn’t imagine the difficulty of drawing all those birds. Little did I know it would be just as difficult on the computer!"


  • There is a boat in Finding Nemo entitled "For the Birds."
  • The title of the short is referencing to the idiom of the same name. Meaning being worthless, undesirable, crazy and ridiculous.
  • The background music in this short, titled "Big High Wire Hop," is performed by Riders in the Sky. It is included in the band's 2002 album, Monsters, Inc. Scream Factory Favorites.
  • The small birds on the power line make a cameo appearance in the movie Cars during the Life is a Highway scene. Unlike many of the other "animals" in the films, the birds aren't car-ified.
  • The background is actually just painted.
  • This short originally started off as an idea for a student film by Ralph Eggleston but was never made because it would have taken forever to draw all of the birds.
  • Concept art for Toy Story 3 showed that a toy version of one of the small birds was going to be one of the toys strapped to the garbage truck that Lotso ended up on.
  • The Big Bird resembles either a shoebill or a hammerkop, while Bully and his flock appear to be some sort of waxbill (even having the same squeaks).
  • This is Pixar's first attempt at animating both feathers and moving backgrounds.
  • At the end of the short, the words "the end" appear to be written on what appears to be bird feces splattered onto a black background. Ironically, bird excrement is actually white, not brown.
  • The birds from this short have been reused as brief cameos in Inside Out.


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