|Directed by Dony Permedi|
Music by Tim Cassell
Running time 3 minutes
|Produced by Dony Permedi|
Edited by Dony Permedi
|Release date May 5, 2006 (2006-05-05)|
Kiwi! is a 2006 computer-generated animation created by Dony Permedi, a student in the New York City School of Visual Arts, as his Master's Thesis Animation, with music composed and performed by Tim Cassell. The animation's story of a kiwi that aspires to fly created a major Internet phenomenon after it was hosted on the video sharing site YouTube. Unofficial versions of the video pair it with Mad World by Tears for Fears. These versions became popular viral videos.
The video itself centers around a kiwi bird who is mysteriously seen to be nailing an array of trees to the side of a sheer cliff so that they stick out horizontally. After the kiwi finishes it returns to the top of the cliff, before donning an aviator's cap and suddenly jumping off. As it dives down the cliff head-first the camera view turns sideways, revealing the purpose behind the kiwi's efforts. A tear wells from one eye as the kiwi achieves its dream, flapping its tiny wings as it "flies" above the forest of trees. The kiwi then disappears into the fog below: at the very end a faint thump is heard, implying that it died in the attempt.
Kiwi! has received a large following for its deep meaning and heart touching manner. One of the most popular activities in the fan base is to create an alternate ending (usually one where the kiwi survives). As of July 2011, the animation has been viewed over 40 million times, making it the second-most popular video in the "Film & Animation" category  and one of the most popular on the entire site . It won official recognition on March 26, 2007 when viewers voted it the Most Adorable video of 2006 in the first annual YouTube Video Awards. This was an event large enough to draw international media attention with ABC News describing Kiwi! as "so cute it hurts" while the International Herald Tribune, critical of the awards, characterized the video as being "sweet but dull."