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Disney Feathered Friends
IT'S TOUGH
TO BE A BIRD
by Whatsits Galore
tough

M. C. Bird, here, Disney animated character and spokesbird for the avian world, with a message fer all ya human bein's out there in cyberspace.

We birds try to be nice. We sing, we chirp, we look pretty. But, I gotta tell ya how tough it is to be a bird. We get nothin' but grief from humankind, and the Disney animated films are no exception. Birds are the most abused animal in the entire Disney menagerie. Lemme give ya a few examples, and I'm sure you'll agree it's tough to be a bird.

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alice ALICE IN WONDERLAND, 1951

A flamingo is a beautiful bird. Graceful, elegant. He deserves better than this...to be used as a croquet mallet! A piece of sportin' equipment! No wonder this poor guy acts like a looney--he's had his head conked over and over again with a croquet ball. You'd be screwy, too, if somebody used ya to whack a ball, or even a hedgehog, through a wicket all day long. Don't feel sorry fer Alice, feel sorry fer the bird.

bird

raven SLEEPING BEAUTY, 1959

Diablo here is a very competent sort a' bird. He finds the Princess Aurora when all Maleficent's dumb goons fail miserably. Yeah, I know he's on the wrong side here, but he's still smart an' loyal an' finds the three fairies hidin' in the forest. So, what does he get for all his effort? Turned to stone, that's what! By a sweet little ol' lady, yet! Some reward!

tough

archimedes THE SWORD IN THE STONE, 1963

Archimedes, a very educated owl, is definitely the smartest character in this whole movie. He teaches English, speaks Latin, an' makes the great Merlin look like a dumb cluck. It's pretty obvious that this so-called world's most powerful wizard is jealous big time. How else can ya explain all the misery he heaps on his poor sidekick? Merlin threatens Archimedes, sends him out in the middle a' the night in the rain, and even knocks him on the head with that staff a' his. And through it all, ol' Archy stays loyal ta the kid king. He deserved ta be made Lord Chamberlain or Grand Vizier or somethin', but, wouldn't'cha know it? Merlin waltzes back in at the end a' the picture and takes over. It just ain't fair.

bedknobs BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS, 1971

This guy has a real cushy job, ya'd think: personal secretary to the king. Respected, honored, important. Well, ferget it! Nobody respects a bird, not even the guy he works fer. Whenever King Leonidas gets a little hot under the collar, he lets his lackey have it, but good! This poor sap is always tryin' ta smooth his feathers an' straighten his coat after the king is done roarin' at him. Not that the Secretary Bird did anything ta tick off the king, oh, no. He's yelled at fer stuff somebody else did, until he finally has his clothes blown clean off. How mortifyin'!

tough

orville THE RESCUERS, 1977

Those heroic Rescuers wouldn't even be heroes without Orville. The owner, proprietor, and vehicle of Albatross Airways has a little trouble with take-offs an' landin's, but he does get Bernard an' Bianca to the Devil's Bayou, just in time ta save the little goil. Even though the bad guys do a number on Orville, settin' him on fire an' suckin' him into an engine, this brave fellah never gives up. The Rescuers even use him again on their next mission, where, knowin' Disney's track record, he probably gets flattened by a steamroller or somethin'.

tough

bedknobs THE FOX AND THE HOUND, 1983

Dinky and Boomer are two best buddies who just happen ta be birds. They're so helpful ta poor, orphaned Tod, gettin' him a good home with that widow an' makin' friends with the kid an' all. All they want is a square meal now an' then. What do they get instead? Electrocuted on a high tension wire. An' all because their would-be dinner happens to be a cute little caterpillar character.

bird

mermaid THE LITTLE MERMAID, 1989

Okay, so Scuttle's not so bright. He doesn't know a dinglehopper from a hole in the ground. But he tries ta help Ariel in every way he can. He introduces her ta human customs, teaches her how ta dress, serenades her prince in the moonlight, all for our heroine's benefit. Scuttle doesn't get anythin' outta the deal, except the knowledge that he's helped a damsel in distress. When the poor sap finally does some real good, by discoverin' the identity of Eric's bride-to-be, what happens? He's strangled by the disguised sea witch. Put that in your snarfblatt and smoke it.

tough

wilbur THE RESCUERS DOWN UNDER, 1990

Now, poor Wilbur gets it even worse than his brother Orville. He breaks his back, literally, gettin' those mice ta Australia. And how do they show their appreciatiion? They leave the poor chump in a torture chamber where some rodent madman can work him over with a chainsaw! Wilbur's tough, an' he escapes with no help from anybody. Just in time for Bernard ta humiliate him by makin' him hatch a nest fulla eggs. That's gratitude for ya'.

bird

iago ALADDIN, 1992

One a' the most famous birds in all Disneydom, Iago, is also the guy who suffers the most. Through the course a' this movie, he's squashed an' stretched, pulverized an' traumatized, de-feathered an' defeated, an' in the end, buried in the desert somewhere with a psycho villain who never really appreciated this parrot's faithful service. Iago deserves a medal, but he'd probably hock it.

tough

zazu THE LION KING, 1994

Zazu the hornbill gets no respect, no respect at all, even though he's really in tight with King Mufasa. He's nearly eaten a coupla times, squashed by a rhino, walloped by Scar...I don't have time for the long list. Even that punk kid Simba gets to knock 'im for a loop. Is that a fittin' reward for his loyalty and hard work? I get sick just watchin' it.

bird

pocahontas POCAHONTAS, 1995

Flit is cute. Flit is harmless. He's nothin' but a tiny hummin'bird. Nobody'd wanna hurt this little guy. Flit's also the sensible one in Pocahontas, cautious a' strangers, tryin' ta protect her. But that don't cut no ice with Disney. Oh, no. Flit is manhandled by everybody, always gettin' his beak stuck in somethin'. Hey, Meeko, pick on somebody yer own size!

tough

mulan MULAN, 1998

He starts out as a noble, dignified bird, even if he is a villain. The elegant, though nameless falcon is tough guy Shan-Yu's right-hand-bird. Then it all falls apart fer our boy. By the end a' the picture he's fried to a crisp -- by the comic relief, no less -- 'til he looks like a plucked chicken. Naked an' humiliated, he runs outta the film with that wise guy Mushu ridin' on his back. How the mighty have fallen...

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