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Western Animation / The Crunch Bird

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The Crunch Bird is a 1971 animated short film by Ted Petok.

A woman looks for a birthday present for her ill-tempered husband. She decides on a pet, but passes up conventional pets in order to get a "crunch bird". The crunch bird is a rather intimidating bird with large teeth that will, on command, chew anything to bits. She brings it home to her husband, with unexpected results.

The Crunch Bird is only two minutes long, short even for an animated cartoon. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, making it the shortest film to win an Oscar of any kind alongside the first American animated short not from NY or California (the short was made in Michigan). note 



  • Awful Wedded Life: Seems like it. The husband rants and complains about having to pay the wife's bills. The wife, for her part, seems to have ulterior motives in her gift.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The crunch bird chews up a chair and later the wife's husband.
  • Feathered Fiend: A bird with a beak full of huge sharp teeth that can chew up anything on command.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The short cuts away as the crunch bird presumably eats the man.
  • Killer Rabbit: A perfectly ordinary-looking bird, kept in a pet shop for some reason, that turns out to be a terrifying monster.
  • Line Boil: Present at some points, like when the lines that make up the woman's hair are boiling in the opening scene.
  • Ms. Red Ink: The husband is a Jerkass, but at least part of the reason he's so cranky is his wife's shopping habits.
    "Murray did little but go to business and pay bills—especially his wife’s bills."
  • Advertisement:
  • Narrator: Tells the story.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Crunch bird, my ass!" The husband regrets this.
  • Toothy Bird: The titular avian bares sharp teeth when it is about to devour something.