For the Birds is a 2000 computer animated short film produced by Pixar and directed by Ralph Eggleston. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2001. It premiered on June 5, 2000, at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France, and was shown alongside the theatrical release of the 2001 Disney/Pixar feature film Monsters, Inc.
It is also available on home video versions of the film. In 2012, the short was re rendered into 3D, and it was theatrically re released alongside the 3D re-release of Monsters, Inc.. The short was also released in 3D on Monsters, Inc. Blu-ray 3D, on February 19, 2013.
A small blue bird lands on a telephone wire and makes itself comfortable, only to have a second small bird land next to it. The two birds quickly start to squabble as others land on the wire and join in. They are interrupted when a large, gangly, awkward looking bird sitting on top of the pole honks to them. Soon, the small birds start mocking the large one by puffing up their feathers to resemble its plumage and imitating its honk.
They then slide farther out along the wire and chatter suspiciously among themselves, ignoring the large bird's attempts to befriend them until it settles in the middle of all of them out on the wire. However, its weight causes the wire to sag almost to the ground and all the small birds slide down toward it.
As the large bird keeps trying to make friends, the small ones get annoyed and try to push it off the wire, only for it to lose its balance and flop over to hang upside down by its feet. The two nearest to the center start pecking at its toes, egged on by the rest of the crowd. One of the other birds suddenly panics, realizing how low the wire is and tries to stop the pecking. The others understand and stop too late; when the large bird's last toe slides off, the wire snaps upward and flings all the small birds out of sight. The large one is so close to the ground that it settles down easily, accompanied by a shower of feathers from the small birds.
One of them falls to the ground, having lost all its feathers and the large bird laughs and offers it a leaf to cover itself. The others soon tumble down as well and hide behind the large bird as it laughs even harder. A white splatter with the words, "the end" on it against a black screen, similar to the mess caused by bird droppings, marks the end of the film.
For The Birds won the following awards:2002: 74th Academy Awards—Best Short Animated Film
2001: Vancouver Effects and Animation Festival—Animated Computer 3D Short
2001: Anima Mundi Animation Festival—Best Film x2
2001: Chicago International Children's Film Festival-Short Film or Video—Animation-Second Place
2000: Annie Award—Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Short Subject
2000: Sitges—Catalan International Film Festival—Best Animated Short Film
A reference to For the Birds was put in the 2006 Disney–Pixar movie Cars. When Lightning McQueen is in the back of Mack, they drive down the freeway and pass a section of power line with the birds resting on top, which is accompanied by the squeaks the birds made to communicate with each other. A similar appearance occurred in Inside Out, while Riley and her family are driving to San Francisco at the beginning of the movie.
For the Birds is one of two short films on the DVD and VHS release of Monsters, Inc. The film was also released as part of Pixar Short Films Collection, Volume 1 in 2007.