A bird in the wild narrowly escapes capture, but finds itself in a cage anyway. Surrounded by unfamiliar sounds and un-birdlike creatures, its distinctive calls become a tourist attraction—but is there hope it can find its way back home?
A fan favorite and award-winner at dozens of the most prestigious animation festivals in the world, “Birdlime” is a kid-friendly stop-motion animation with a message—to portray and foster a more respectful relationship between human and animal.
A selection of Short of the Week, the web’s leading curators of quality short films.
A Film by Evan DeRushie
“Inspired to tackle the topic of exotic pet trade after he witnessed a caged bird in Thailand with a ‘no photo’ sign hung upon its unnatural home, DeRushie, after speaking to the man he thought owned it, was surprised to hear the photos could increase the demand for such animals and soon started to think about the role animation could play in this booming industry.
“I was thinking about the way that animals are represented in animation”, DeRushie explains, “and the effects in the real world (like how clown fish populations were decimated directly after Finding Nemo) and I started seeing animation as a powerful and scary tool. Especially since my previous film had a talking bird and fox in it. With this in mind, I tried to portray a respectful relationship between human and animal, and to treat the bird without too much anthropomorphism”.
Despite the seemingly heavy topic, DeRushie should be praised for creating a film that carries a strong message, but still remains a hugely entertaining and charming watch. Seasoned with splashes of humour and featuring some stellar production (the character design and practical transitions are particular highlights), it’s not often you get a film that can truly be enjoyed by the whole family, to the same extent us short film geeks dig it.” – S/W Curator, Rob Munday
Made with financial support from:
Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council
Puppets: Brenda Baumgarten
Art Director: Winston Hacking
Composer: Bram Gielen
Sound: Marcel Ramagnano
Gibberish lead: Helen Donnelly
Gibberish performers: Laura Harris, Andrew Gaboury, Phil Koole, Helen Donnelly
Armatures: Mike Emiglio, Brenda Baumgarten
Costumes: Bonnie Burns
Vocals: Robin Dann, Ghislain Aucoin, Bram Gielen
Drums: Nico Dann
Guitar: Matt Smith
Colourist: Zachary Cox
Online editor: Andres Landau
Development support by
The National Film Board of Canada
Studio space provided by
Production support by
The Toronto Animated Image Society (tais.ca)
Reproduced on this channel with the permission of the filmmaker