Birds Of A Feather

By and for Bird-People

Bird movies: Tsu’s thoughts


There are a number of movies out there that I would recommend for bird people. All of them might be triggery for the same reasons they are good: they explore the idea of flight and the physical nature of being a bird, and this can be depressing and upsetting if you are in the wrong mood, and feeling stress about not being able to have your physical form. But, other than that, these movies are mostly G-rated, with not many triggers.

Rio (2011), by Blue Sky Studios, is a movie that you might pass by because it seems like it’s for children. Actually, though, it has some good exploring of issues with the pet trade, and the bird animations are very realistic and beautiful. The “Disney sexual dimorphism” might annoy some people (why does Blue look exactly like a real Spix’s macaw, but Jewel looks like a fantasy bird?), but, other than that, this is a great one to watch if you want a movie with mostly bird characters who act like birds.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole (2011), based on the book series The Guardians of Ga’hoole, is another children’s movie with amazing computer-animated flight. The plot is predictable, but the owl animations are very realistic (they make them a little human-like, but not so much that it looks like a cartoon), and all of the movie follows the owl characters, and it’s full of flight. It’s a good way to travel to a completely non-human world. There’s also a video game based on this movie, which has some quite good experience of flight.

Tobi (1978) is a rare movie in Spanish, that most people won’t have seen. It follows the story of a boy who grows wings and how his family deal with that. It’s similar to the plot of a lot of children’s books where people grow wings: dealing with the social pressure, having to hide it, the debates about whether they will cut off the wings, etc. It’s a little slow, and, if you like that kind of story, I recommend the book Defect by Will Weaver, as it’s a very good example of that kind of story.

Earthflight (2012) is not a movie, but, it is a documentary series by BBC. Right now, it’s still being released, and there are 6 episodes. The documentary tries to give a sense of life from the perspective of the birds, by placing cameras on trained birds, flying cameras on planes, and many other tricks. It definitely creates the best experience of being in flight that I have seen. Very recommended, this is a great series. It also explores some very interesting and strange facts of bird life that you might not see other places, like the symbiotic relationships between some species of birds, and dolphins, sharks, and other creatures.

Avatar (2009), also known as “the movie with blue people”, is not about birds. But, I know that a lot of bird therians feel a strong sense of aching about the flying scenes in this movie, which are very well animated and have a strong feeling of open space. It’s a quite depressing movie, so I recommend to only watch if you’re in a good space emotionally, and be careful if you have triggers about destruction of the natural environment.

Movies I haven’t watched yet, to review later:

  • Winged Migration
  • Leafie, A Hen Into The Wild
  • Fly Away Home
  • The Rescuers Down Under

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