Dumb Dodo Bird
Many creatures have become extinct throughout Earth's history (It is estimated that 99% of all life that has ever existed on Earth is currently extinct). but while different kinds of Stock Dinosaurs are usually selected for prehistoric settings, there are a variety of other species of extinct animals that come to mind when thinking of pre-history. One of these creatures is the dodo bird, which is kind of the poster-child when someone thinks of an extinct species. The dodo was a flightless bird that lived on the island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. It is placed in the same family of birds as pigeons and doves (Columbidae). If you look at a baby pigeon and depictions of the dodo side by side, you might discover some similarities. Due to their isolation, they were naive towards predators and were wiped out within a few decades of its discovery. However, their images were recorded in various books about animals, and with their rather goofy-looking appearance, they eventually became a popular animal choice in media of various sorts. Usually a dodo in media is a comedic, dim bulb whose inability to fly often leads to jokes at their expense. Due to being extinct, they also sometimes appear alongside animals that died out a much longer time ago in pre-historic enviornments. They can sometimes act as Cloudcuckoolanders or The Fool. In short, Dodos are never taken seriously. But there are some cases where the trend is averted, or at least subverted, if the dodo isn't entirely stupid or out of their mind that is usually the case. Please Note: The Dodo in question does not need to be stupid to qualify for this page. Even a reference to the dodo bird is enough.
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- Douwe Dabbert encounters the last of the dodos in the arctic (It Makes Sense in Context) and spends his next adventure in the Caribbean trying to find the dodo a mate. They eventually find a nest of eggs on a deserted island, so for all we know, dodos might actually still be around.
- Dodo Man, a one-shot Batman villain from the bronze age, had a fixation on natural history as his idiosyncrazy.
- Dodo from Animal Crackers, although he is not as dumb as he is temperamental and too stubborn to realize he's flightless.
- In The Sandman, Luz the dodo is one of the Dream People in Barbie's Dream Land battling the Cuckoo, who she's mistaken for by Barbie's neighbors. She's turns out to be The Mole, and the "Cuckoo" isn't even a bird here.
Films — Animation
- Ice Age has a group of dodos that are preparing for the Ice Age. However, at the point they're introduced they've only gathered three melons, one of which the main trio need to feed the human baby. They end up killing themselves.
- Disney's Alice in Wonderland has The Dodo, who is a Composite Character of the original Dodo, and another character named Pat.
- The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! has Polly, a Dodo bird that acts as the Pirate Captain's Pirate Parrot. She becomes quite important to the film's plot after a scientist recognizes her for what she is. Is smarter than most examples, though. Interestingly, a scenario like that could actually occur. Dodos were sometimes captured from Mauritus by pirates to be sold. Many authors from the time write of captive dodos being seen as sideshow exhibits in London.
- The Dodo in the original Alice's Adventures in Wonderland novel is an Author Avatar for Lewis Carroll, alongside The White Knight in the second book.
- The Ice-Cream Cone Coot and Other Rare Birds has a creature called a Dollarbill Dodo, which is made from a dollar.
- The Bad Child's Book of Beasts has a poem about the Dodo bird.
- In Howard Waldrop's short story "The Ugly Chickens" a researcher discovers that the dodo survived the extinction of the native population in the form of a flock owned by a farmer in the American backwoods.
- Dodos are Forever by Dick King-Smith is about a family of dodos who are smart enough to see the writing on the wall and attempt to escape their impending extinction.
- In Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Reg takes Dirk and Richard back in time to see a dodo while explaining to them about the dangers of meddling in history; apparently the dodos only became extinct as a result of a time traveler meddling to save something else.
- In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Dodos turn out to be magical creatures called Diricawls that possess teleportation magic. Muggles believe the "Dodos" are extinct because the Diricawls started using their powers to hide from humans once they figured out they were being hunted.
- The Goodies: In "Dodonuts", Bill buys the world's last dodo from a pet shop and then attempts to teach it to defend itself against Tim and Graeme. However, he quickly learns that the bird has no survival instincts whatsoever.
- The Neil Innes song "Say You're Sorry Again" proposes a lover's quarrel and refusal to make up as the real reason for the dodo's extinction.
- Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time has a Dodo guard, that attacks by swinging its' beak, throwing rocks, and rolling eggs. Each time it lands a hit thats not a counter-attack, it does a Happy Dance.
- Pocket God has dodo birds as one of the animals featured, and are one of the few animals incapable of eating the Pygmies.
- Breath of Fire III has a Dodo bird as part of its Boss Bonanza.
- Dodo Bird appears in both Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin as a rare enemy what appears in one room and tries to run away from the player. In former, it dies from practically one hit, though the latter one has more health and is an undead enemy.
- You can find a dodo egg in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 which you can hatch to get a dodo what will fly to the nearest secret.
- Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time: One of the zombies in the Frostbite Caves (which takes place during the Ice Age) is the Dodo Rider Zombie, an imp riding a dodo that's normally grounded but "flies" when it encounters ice floes. It's actually not as dumb as it seems, considering that the Imp managed to train it as a mount and teach it to fly.
- American Dad! "Steve and Snot's Test-Tubular Adventure": Stan brings home Daren, a dodo cloned by the CIA that has to be repeatedly saved from killing itself. The first time Stan introduces Daren, it coats itself in oil, breads itself, and sits in a pan on the stove after lighting the burner.
- Looney Tunes had Yoyo Dodo in one of their most famous cartoons, "Porky in Wackyland", who looked nothing like the real thing (being green with a little red/pink umbrella on his head), and is a Reality Warper of the highest order.
- His son, Gogo Dodo, is a regular character in Tiny Toon Adventures, to the point where he's in the theme song!" Like his father, he looks nothing like the real thing.
- The Phineas and Ferb intro theme talks about "finding a dodo bird" and has the accompanying animation of the two brothers finding one on top of a tall mountain. They eventually do spot one that Dr. Doofenshmirtz had hatched from an egg with one of his inventions in "Last Train to Bustville".
- In part 2 of the Superman: The Animated Series episode "The Main Man" guest-starring Lobo, one of the many animals the Preserver collected when they were on the brink of extinction was a dodo bird. The artificial yellow sunlight in the dodo's home recharged Clark's powers.
- The Mr. Men Show:
- Mr. Grumpy from sometimes refers to other characters as "dodo birds." A few examples:
Mr. Grumpy: Don't encourage these dodo birds! Just get on with the game.
It's invasion of the dodo birds!
- In the U.S. version of the episode "Music," he asked this question, which is along the same line, about Miss Sunshine's piano playing:
Mr. Grumpy: Does she have to play like such a looney bird?
- Mr. Grumpy from sometimes refers to other characters as "dodo birds." A few examples:
- An episode of The Penguins of Madagascar has the penguins accidentally clone a dodo bird which turns out to be a Fearless Fool and repeatedly gets himself killed, forcing the penguins to clone him over and over. Which is actually Truth in Television (and even mentioned on the show), as part of the reason dodos went extinct is because there were next to no predators on their island, and therefore they evolved no defenses and were oblivious to how dangerous humans were when they first showed up.
- The Flintstones:
- In one episode, Fred buys a talking dodo bird named Doozy as a birthday present for Wilma. Like the Looney Tunes example above, Doozy looks nothing like a real dodo. He is also more similar in behavior to a parrot.
- The series frequently mentions dodo eggs, most notably in "The Twitch", where an allergic reaction to them leads to the titular Accidental Dance Craze.
- Dodo Birds themselves couldn't fly, as mentioned, and they also had deadly parasites. They became extinct because Crippling Overspecialisation, having been outcompeted by other species (in particular pigs), due to having no predators (or competition) before those species arrived.
- Interestingly, while the media portrays dodos as skittish fools, in real life they were closer to being Fearless Fools; dodos lived on an island with no predators, so they had no idea that humans and the invasive species they brought with them were dangerous.
- While many people believe that dodos were eaten into extinction by people, records made by sailors showed that the flesh of the dodo was very tough and filled with oil, making them inedible to humans. And while they didn't have predators, they still fought withe each other over food and territory and mates and were fairly large and muscular birds, so they weren't helpless against animals that attacked the adults. Most of the destruction was done to the eggs and young, preventing dodos from replenishing their numbers until they died out.
- Some have argued that dodos got their name as an invocation of this trope, coming from a root word meaning "simpleton". It's now suggested that dodos, being pigeons, had a call that sounded like the soft "doo-doo, doo-doo" of a pigeon. So it's more likely that dodos were named after the sounds they made.