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Web Animation / Bird And Fish

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Bird and Fish is an animated short film by Ann Mendenhall and Stephanie Son, and is a graduation piece from the Kansas City Art Institute.

In it, two boys, one bird-person from a small town known as the Dry, and a fish-person from a city called the Watery, cross their societal boundaries and fall in love. In time, they change each other, and eventually, their divided world.

The animation can be seen here. Its Tumblr blog is here.


This short film contains examples of:

  • Alien Sky: The Watery is shown as an upside-down ocean in the sky.
  • Ambiguous Gender: While both are technically male, Fish's high-pitched voice often confuses fans as to his gender.
  • Amusing Injuries: Bird is accidentally burnt by one of Fish's cigarettes, While Fish is introduced from under a pile of scrap metal.
  • Animal Eyes: Fish has solid black eyes.
  • Artificial Gravity: The glowing red orb generates this to keep the Watery and Dry separate.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Oh, so very much.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Bird falls asleep at one point, with Fish watching over him.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Fish is apparently considered to be this by his own kind.
  • Cue the Sun
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The short opens with Bird dreaming that the Watery, the world that floats in an upside down ocean above the Dry, is pouring down. At the end of the short this is EXACTLY what happens.
  • Advertisement:
  • Fantastic Racism: Between the Dry and the Watery.
  • Fish People
  • Flying Seafood Special: Played with. Fish loves the idea of flying.
  • Great Offscreen War: Fish mentions that there was a war some time in the past.
  • Got Volunteered: "Everyone steps backward" variant. When Bird's boss mentions that someone needs to deliver Fish's package, everyone scoots away from Bird, much to his distress.
  • Hands-On Approach: When Bird and Fish are pulling a rope together in this way, Bird blushes.
  • Interspecies Romance: Implied.
  • The Klutz: Fish, near the beginning of the short.
  • Motor Mouth: Fish.
  • No Name Given: While Bird and Fish's names are not stated in the short, Word of God states that Bird's name is Avery Flynn, and Fish's name is Skylar Kandinsky.
  • Non-Mammalian Hair: Bird's kind has head hair and back hair comprised of limp feathers, and Fish's kind has scales, fins, and an angler lure for hair.
  • Advertisement:
  • Propaganda Machine: There are posters in Bird and Fish's worlds that have captions, like "Imported oxygen-is it safe?" and "Is your water clean?"
  • Quivering Eyes: Fish when Bird and Fish finally finish the plane.
  • See Water: Bird can see perfectly fine when he enters the Watery, despite having just glasses over his eyes.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Fish is a smoker.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Averted. While Bird does have yellow eyes, there's nothing really supernatural about them.
  • Time-Compression Montage: Combined with Hard-Work Montage, Fish's plane takes at least a month to complete, judging from Sandra's comments that no mail has been delivered to the Watery in that time. Also doubles as a Falling-in-Love Montage.
  • The Voiceless: Bird barely speaks beyond a sigh in the entire short.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: All of Fish's species can turn their hands and legs into fins at will.
  • Walk, Don't Swim: The Fish People can play this trope straight and invert it via shape-shifting.
  • Water Is Air: Well, when the Fish People have legs, it is. Otherwise, trope is averted.
  • World of Funny Animals