Think of birds in film and what comes to mind? Do you think of Hitchcock’s menacing villains or the heroism of Fawkes? In this tribute to Alfred Hitchcock on the 50th anniversary of The Birds, guest author Nicky Hand discusses the top 10 movie birds of all time.
Alfred Hitchcock's iconic horror movie The Birds celebrated its 50th anniversary recently, and it seems that he sparked something of a trend for big screen appearances of our feathered friends. In honour of this momentous occasion in cinema history, here’s a list of some of the greatest birds ever to grace the silver screen.
Kevin – Up
This chocolate loving take on the South American Monal Pheasant is depicted as a taller, more colourful version of the dodo. What Kevin lacks between the ears is made up for in bucketfuls of endearing charm and it's easy to see why boy scout Russell is so immediately drawn in.
The classic association between crows and dark magic is never stronger than in Tim Burton's gothic tale of a murdered guitarist who is brought back to life to take his revenge for himself and his fiancée. The bird who leads him to his destiny is made suitably creepy by the dark twinkle of intelligence that glitters in his eye throughout. That kind of acting just can't be taught.
Scuttle – The Little Mermaid
Scuttle is the closest thing that Ariel has to an authority on human society, and his botched attempts to invent uses for the objects that she rescues from shipwrecks leaves Ariel in some pretty embarrassing situations later in the film. But there's no doubt that Scuttle's heart is in the right place and he shows his mettle when he sticks by her side through thick and thin.
The Black Swan
Technically, the black swan is nothing more than the projection of a tortured ballet dancer as she suffers a mental breakdown in pursuit of a dark new role. Even so, this bird offers a stunning display that is both fascinating and difficult to watch. Well worthy of an honorary place in the top 10.
Growing up the wilds of Bradford, Billy Casper is unhappy at home, unhappy at school, and pretty unhappy at the prospect of taking up the coal mining career that everybody expects of him. The only thing that Billy has to look forward to is spending time with Kes, his loyal kestrel and only friend.
Fawkes – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
There's no denying that Albus Dumbledore has exotic taste in pets, and birds don't come much cooler than the legendary phoenix. Fawkes may be a beauty, but he is also a useful bird to have around when you need to escape in a flaming hurry (get it?).
The Giant Eagles – Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit
Always there when you need them most, Gwaihir and his enormous brethren are the unsung heroes of Middle Earth. The eagles know a thing or two about cinematic timing and usually leave it until the tension has built up to a fever pitch before swooping into to save the day.
A Blue-crowned Conure makes the ideal pet for a young girl, especially when he has enough of a grasp of English to allow him to give her elocution lessons. When Paulie is thrown out by the domineering father figure he doesn't let it get him down and quickly embarks on a string of adventures with a colourful cast of new friends.
Pirate Cotton's Parrot – Pirates of the Caribbean
Ever since cotton's tongue was cut out, his trusty parrot has taken the reins in the speech department. If a talking parrot isn't enough to impress you then surely the fact that this one can telepathically read the thoughts of its master should do the trick?
Isabeau is a young woman who falls in love with the captain of the guard, but when the pair are placed under a curse she turns into a hawk during the day and sees her lover transformed into a wolf every night. While the men set about hatching a plan to kill the evil Bishop and break the curse, Isabeau spends her time alternating between the beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer, and the equally beautiful lady hawk.
Written by Nicky Hand on behalf of Gecko Home Cinemas, who can help movie lovers to create their very own home cinema and discover an experience that is truly unlike any other.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored guest post that has been written especially for Addicted to Media.