Western Animation / Birdz
A short-lived creation of Nelvana
, specifically by Larry Jacobs, who has since moved on to Cookie Jar Entertainment
and 9 Story Entertainment. It first aired in the United States on CBS
in 1998, as one of the network's last Saturday Morning Cartoons
. It was canceled after one season the following year, replaced by another Nelvana series, Rescue Heroes
. Scottish network STV picked it up in 2001 and reran it for a short time. It last aired on KidsCo TV in Australia.
The show's main character is a blue preteen bird named Eddie Storkowitz. His mother, Betty, is a professional artist and his father, Morty, is a psychiatrist. Eddie dreams of being a filmmaker and sometimes shoots videos of his family and friends' antics.
Other characters on the show include Eddie's sister, Steffy; his teacher, Miss Finch; classmates Spring Robin, Olivia Owl, Tommy Turkey, Sleepy Bat and Gregory Woodpecker. The first episode introduces Eddie's younger sister, Abby.
- Accidental Art: In "Life of Riley", Betty is proud of the paintings that Abby did by covering herself in paint and rolling on a canvas.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted in "Life of Riley". The females in class love Riley's bad-bird nature until they find out he dropped out of school.
- An Aesop: Pretty much every episode, but not as heavy-handedly as most.
- Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: The camping trip in "Father and Son Camp Out" starts out as one of these, but ends up fun in the end.
- Brick Joke: Morty's big feet at the end of "Father and Son Camp Out".
- Character Development: Even in the course of 13 episodes, Mr. Nuthatch becomes less paranoid, and Sleepy does more than just sleep at the drop of a hat.
- Credit Card Plot: "Can't Buy Me Love" has Eddie using his father's credit card to buy gifts for his teacher, then for his classmates.
- Damsel in Distress: Miss Finch gets this role in many of Eddie's Imagine Spots.
- Disguised in Drag: Sleepy, as part of a staged purse-snatching done to try and summon Birdman.
- Drive-In Theater: "A Face in the Crowd" starts at a fly-in theater.
- Everybird Laughs Ending: Several episodes.
- Feather Fingers: The entire cast has arm-like wings which are generally used as arms, although they are also capable of flight. However, in one episode, the characters use their feet to bowl.
- Flintstone Theming: Lots of things get avian names. In particular, "anybird" for "anyone" starts showing up in later episodes.
- Funny Animal: Right on the borderline. The adults are pretty much Petting Zoo People (particularly Miss Finch), but they also do avian things such as eat bugs, migrate for the winter, etc.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
Sleepy: Eddie's tormented slumber of the damned, take two.
- Haunted House: Eddie and friends explore one in "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", complete with Ominous Pipe Organ.
- Hurricane of Puns: The show is up to its beak in bird puns. For just one example:
Gregory: Tommy, you move like you're already stuffed for Thanksgiving!
Tommy: Hey, I never said I was Larry Bird.
Gregory: Lucky I didn't call fowl!
- Humanoid Female Animal: Betty and Miss Finch both qualify.
- I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: In "Dollars and Sense", Steffy laughs at a picture of Betty from the 70s.
- Imagine the Audience Without Feathers: Eddie's advice to Gregory in "Gulls and Dolls".
- In-Universe Camera: Sometimes invoked when Eddie whips one out to film his family.
- Left the Background Music On: In the resolution of the second episode, dramatic violins play over Eddie's apology to his classmates until Olivia says, "stop the violins."
- Malicious Slander: One episode revolves around Eddie spreading false rumors about a creepy old man, some of which he has conflated from a book his father is reading. At the end, the creepy old man gives Eddie An Aesop about how "you can't un-ring a bell".
- Men Can't Keep House: The result of Morty and Betty trading places after the argument that sets up the B-plot to "Life of Riley".
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: They do this with a lot of celebrity names, such as Whippoorwill Smith and Arnold Schwarzenegret.
- Performance Anxiety: In one episode, Eddie's friend Gregory is shown to have a fine singing voice, but is afraid to perform onstage. At first, he has Eddie lip-sync to him, but then feels guilty over pushing Eddie into the spotlight this way and runs off. Eddie finally fakes a sore throat, forcing Gregory to step in as his understudy and overcome his stage fright.
- Precocious Crush: Eddie has one of these on his teacher, Miss Finch.
- Real Song Theme Tune: A cover of "Surfin' Bird". Yes, that "Surfin' Bird".
- Scout Out: Eddie's Bird Scout troop.
- Shockingly Expensive Bill: In the second episode, Eddie runs up a nine gazillion dollar charge on his father's credit card buying gifts for his friends.
- In "Big Beak or Not Big Beak", the bill for Eddie's beak surgery is "$$$ A LOT".
- In the second episode, Eddie has a dream involving giant bugs which seems rather similar to Starship Troopers.
- Thinking that he has a lead on a serial killer, Eddie says that he's going to "sell the story to CBS," the channel Birdz originally aired on.
- Slice of Life
- Species Surname: Played straight with everyone.
- Spit Take: Morty and Betty's reaction to the beak-shrinking machine Eddie is wearing in "Big Beak or Not Big Beak".
- Split-Screen Phone Call: in "I Heard It Through the Grapevine". The screen pans so that a character starts out on the right, then moves to the left as they call the next person on down the line.
- Stealth Pun: In one episode, Morty said that he hated a peacock he went to school with, then adds that said peacock "went into television".
- The plastic surgeon in "Big Beak or Not Big Beak" is a duck. In other words, he's a quack.
- Sting: Several episodes have a weird, dissonant, four-note synthesizer riff that basically signals whenever something goes wrong in the plot.
- Suck E. Cheese's: Averted; "Ducky Cheese" actually looks like an enjoyable pizzeria/arcade.
- Tempting Fate: When Olivia tells Eddie that his amateur film might fail, he asks what's the worst that could happen and she tells him, "you could lose all your friends". Guess what happens halfway through the episode.
- Through a Face Full of Feathers: Eddie has done this several times.
- Toothy Bird: Entire cast. Even more strangely, their faces are drawn more like snouts than actual beaks.
- Totally Radical: Parodied:
Morty: As the young people say: "Mama, you rock my nest!"
Steffy: (rolls eyes)
- Troubled, but Cute: Riley Raven, a good-looking bad boy who does pretty much whatever he wants, and is considered a "bad egg" for it. We later learn that he acts this way because of his workaholic parents never having time for him.
- True Companions: Eddie, Tommy, Gregory and Sleepy realize they are this in the series finale.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: "Gulls and Dolls" and "Life of Riley".
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Abby gets one in "A Face in the Crowd".
- Wingding Eyes: Eddie gets the star variant in "Birdman" after imagining that capturing footage of Birdman would make him famous.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz