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Bird Karma is a 2018 traditionally animated short film written and directed by William Salazar. It was the first short released from the DreamWorks Shorts program, and DreamWork Animation's first fully 2D-animated project since 2003's Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.

Plot[]

A long-legged bird lands on a foggy lake, and eats fish in time with the music. Eventually, the bird sees a sparkling orange fish jumping out of the water and vainly tries to catch it until it rains. When the sky clears, the bird again spots the fish and gives chase. As the bird pursues his prey, he is dazzled by the fish's rainbow trails when it leaps out of the water. Eventually, the bird successfully catches the fish by feigning friendliness, and proceeds to eat it. However, this meal makes the bird deathly sick, and the other fish in the lake devour his corpse.

Production[]

Development on Bird Karma began in the mid-1990s, when director William Salazar created a pencil test of a long-legged bird while working in London at Amblimation. When Salazar moved to Los Angeles to work at DreamWorks Animation, his work was moved to his attic, where it lay untouched for two decades. When DreamWorks Shorts was announced, Salazar developed his test into a three-minute animatic and pitched it to the program.

While Salazar animated over 75% of the short, other Bird Karma animators include Jakob Jensen, Simon Otto, Kristof Serrand, and Stephen Wood, most of whom had worked with Salazar since The Prince of Egypt. Salazar intended for the short's aesthetics to be "clean-rough". This was accomplished by avoiding the use of a cleanup crew; each animator had to clean up their drawings on their own. All backgrounds were painted by production designer Raymond Zibach, who previously worked on The Road to El Dorado and Kung Fu Panda. The backgrounds' visual style was inspired by the works of J.M.W. Turner[1].

Release[]

Bird Karma had it's world premiere on February 24, 2018, where it was included in a program of shorts at shown at the New York International Children's Film Festival. On March 21, 2018, Bird Karma was attached to the Japanese theatrical release of The Boss Baby[2], while that June, it was shown as the opening program of the 2018 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. DreamWorks Animation's official YouTube channel uploaded the short on December 21, 2018[3]Bilby and Bird Karma were both included on home video releases of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World on May 21, 2019[4].

Reception[]

Bird Karma has met with generally positive reception. The short won the Audience Award at the 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival, and was lauded when screened at CalArts, Gnomon, and the CTN Animation Expo[3].

Gallery[]

Videos[]

Trivia[]

Bird Karma is the fourth DreamWorks Animation short film to be rated G by the MPAA, after The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper, Almost Home, and Panda Paws.

References[]

  1. Wolfe, Jennifer (December 3, 2018). EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Bringing a 2D Touch to DreamWorks Animation Short 'Bird Karma'. Animation World Network. Retrieved on August 21, 2019.
  2. Amidi, Amid (November 15, 2017). DreamWorks Is Going To Start Adding Shorts In Front Of Its Theatrical Films. Cartoon Brew. Retrieved on August 21, 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wolfe, Jennifer (December 21, 2018). WATCH: DreamWorks Animation Releases 'Bird Karma,' 'Bilby' Shorts Online. Animation World Network. Retrieved on August 21, 2019.
  4. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World 4K Blu-ray. Blu-ray.com (March 26, 2019). Retrieved on August 21, 2019.

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Cinema
Feature Films: Antz (1998) • The Prince of Egypt (1998) • The Road to El Dorado (2000) • Shrek (2001) • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) • Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003) • Shrek 2 (2004) • Shark Tale (2004) • Madagascar (2005) • Over the Hedge (2006) • Shrek the Third (2007) • Bee Movie (2007) • Kung Fu Panda (2008) • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) • Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) • How to Train Your Dragon (2010) • Shrek Forever After (2010) • Megamind (2010) • Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) • Puss in Boots (2011) • Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) • Rise of the Guardians (2012) • The Croods (2013) • Turbo (2013) • Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014) • How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) • Penguins of Madagascar (2014) • Home (2015) • Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) • Trolls (2016) • The Boss Baby (2017) • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) • Abominable (2019) • Trolls World Tour (2020) • The Croods: A New Age (2020) • Spirit Untamed (2021) • The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021) • The Bad Guys (2022) • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022) • Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken (2023) • Trolls Band Together (2023) • Kung Fu Panda 4 (2024)

Co-produced Films: Chicken Run (2000) • Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) • Flushed Away (2006)
Upcoming Films: The Wild Robot (2024) • Dog Man (2025) • How to Train Your Dragon (2025)The Bad Guys 2 (2025) • Gabby's Dollhouse: The Movie (2025) • Shrek 5 (2026)
Feature Films in Development: Mice & MysticsThe JumblesKevinRebel SkiesKlande Evil Alien Warlord CatSpy Toys
Direct-to-Video Films: Joseph: King of Dreams (2000)
Digital films: Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans (2021) • Orion and the Dark (2024)
Canceled Films: TuskerThe WandererTortoise vs. HareTruckersMe & My ShadowMonkeys of MumbaiRumblewickB.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly OperationsGiants: Forces of NatureLarrikinsZodiacSpooky Jack

Television
TV Specials: Shrek the Halls (2007) • Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space (2009) • Merry Madagascar (2009) • Scared Shrekless (2010) • Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010) • Gift of the Night Fury (2011) • Madly Madagascar (2013) • Trolls Holiday (2017) • How to Train Your Dragon: Homecoming (2019) • Trolls: Holiday in Harmony (2021) • The Bad Guys: A Very Bad Holiday (2023)

Shorts: Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party! (2001) • Shrek 4-D (2003) • Sinbad and the Cyclops Island (2003) • Far Far Away Idol (2004) • Club Oscar (2005) • The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper (2005) • First Flight (2006) • Hammy's Boomerang Adventure (2006) • Secrets of the Furious Five (2008) • B.O.B.'s Big Break (2009) • Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon (2010) • Donkey's Caroling Christmas-tacular (2010) • Megamind: The Button of Doom (2011) • Thriller Night (2011) • The Pig Who Cried Werewolf (2011) • Night of the Living Carrots (2011) Book of Dragons (2011) • Gift of the Night Fury (2011) • Secrets of the Masters (2011) • Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos (2012) • Almost Home (2014) • Rocky and Bullwinkle (2014) • Dawn of the Dragon Racers (2014) • Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Scroll (2016) • Bird Karma (2018) • Bilby (2018) • Marooned (2019) • To: Gerard (2020)
TV Series: Toonsylvania (1998) • Invasion America (1998) • Alienators: Evolution Continues (2001–2002) • Father of the Pride (2004–2005) • The Penguins of Madagascar (2008–15) • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness (2011–2016) • DreamWorks Dragons (2012-2018) • Monsters vs. Aliens (2013-2014) • Turbo FAST (2013–2016) • VeggieTales in the House (2014-2016) • All Hail King Julien (2014-2017) • The Adventures of Puss in Boots (2015-2018) • Dinotrux (2015-2018) • The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show (2015-2017) • Dawn of the Croods (2015-2017) • Noddy, Toyland Detective (2016-present) • Voltron: Legendary Defender (2016-2018) • Home: Adventures with Tip and Oh (2016-2018) • Trollhunters (2016-2018) • VeggieTales in the City (2017) • Spirit Riding Free (2017-2020) • Trolls: The Beat Goes On! (2018-2019) • The Boss Baby: Back in Business (2018-2020) • The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (TV series) (2018-2019) • Harvey Street Kids (2018-2020) • The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants (2018-2020) • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (2018-2020) • Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny (2018-2019) • 3Below (2018-2019) • Where's Waldo? (2019-2020) • Archibald's Next Big Thing (2019-present) • Dragons: Rescue Riders (2019-2022) • Fast & Furious: Spy Racers (2019-2021) • Cleopatra in Space (2020-present) • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts (2020) • Rhyme Time Town (2020-2021) • Madagascar: A Little Wild (2020-2022) • Wizards (2020) • Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous (2020-2022) • The Mighty Ones (2020-2022) • Doug Unplugs (2020-2022) • Trolls: TrollsTopia (2020-2022) • Gabby's Dollhouse (2021-present) • Go, Dog. Go! (2021-2022) • The Croods: Family Tree (2021-2023) • Dragons: The Nine Realms (2021-2023) • Team Zenko Go (2022) • Pinecone & Pony (2022-2023) • The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib (2022-2023) • Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight (2022-2023) • Abominable and the Invisible City (2022-2023) • Not Quite Narwhal (2023-present) • Dew Drop Diaries (2023-present) • Fright Krewe (2023-present) • Curses! (2023-present) • Megamind Rules! (2024-present) • Jurassic World: Chaos Theory (2024-present)
Upcoming TV Series:Megamind vs. The Doom Syndicate (2024) • Felix the Cat (TBA) • Bearbrick (TBA)

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