Birdies go to Hollywood

Ever since I can remember, I loved both live action and animated movies about animals.  Many were Disney movies, of course, but there were occasional contenders.  I wanted a horse ever since I saw My Friend Flicka, and a collie after watching Lassie, both the movie and the television series.  And that is the true drawback of movies about loving, helpful animals.  You want to go out and buy that exact creature.

Lassie is only Lassie because of the intense training the dog received, and the miracle of film magic.  I expect many families bought collies and were severely disappointed.  And then, what happened to the family pet?  Anything from being resold, surrendered to a shelter, or in very sorry situations, abandoned in a likely place.

While I love the old movie Bill and Coo ( but I wonder how many flocks of wild parakeets owe their start to this movie?  Paulie was another wonderful movie ( about a conure so devoted to his young human friend that he endures many trials and tribulations to be reunited with her.  The movie does not show how noisy conures are, how messy, and what it takes to train one to behave like Paulie.

These movies differ in that Bill and Coo obviously is not a true story, but Paulie could be, and the parrot is shown to understand human speech and is able to respond in a logical conversational manner.  Oh, the disappointment for any families who went out and bought conures.

Rio the Movie ( was produced by the same team who created the Ice Age films.  I would have loved to adopt a saber-tooth tiger, but they just aren’t as available these days.  But the Hyacinth Macaw is available at a very high price, and rightly so.  This endangered parrot, one of the largest in the world, has almost followed the tiger down the path to extinction.  Concentrated efforts of conservationists have begun to make a difference, but really this parrot should not be a family pet for just anyone.

The movie has a cast of dancing toucans, scarlet macaws, and many other birds.  It’s a little scary to think how many birds in the pet trade were adopted and then rehomed within a year.  I am not against breeders since I myself breed parrots, but I wish movies like this came with disclaimers at the very least, and if live action,  out takes showing when the parrots had a bad day.

It’s nearly Easter, and chicks, bunnies, and ducks may be facing the same fate as parrots and animals presented in movies as wholly intelligent and wonderful.  Be content to watch these wonderful creatures in films, and help prevent a sad end.  Educate your friends and family, and resist the temptations.  A chocolate bunny needs much less care than a real one.

Thank you for thinking about the consequences.

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