Probably more “monster” than “bird,” but I’ve remembered it as a bird for 37 years and that’s what I’m sticking with.
So just on a whim (and still riding that ape high after rewatching the excellent Rise of the Planet of the Apes), I decided to rent from the Netflix the first disc of the Return to the Planet of the Apes animated series from the mid-1970s:
Now, because I’m old, I was around to watch this when it originally aired…and I haven’t seen it since. According to this Wikipedia page it had been rerun a number of times since, even relatively recently. But I never saw it again after my initial viewings, and for decades all I retained of what I watched was a brief scene of a giant bird swooping down and grabbing something. …Yeah, I know, but I’m pretty sure Beneath the Planet of the Apes would’ve been improved by a giant bird.
I popped the disc in and watched the first episode…the theme music is evocative of the original movie, and the opening sequence is interesting:
…be sure to stay for the dramatic reading of the name of the series at the very end.
I’ve only seen the first episode so far, and while it seems like things pick up a bit in the later episodes, judging by the plot descriptions on the Wiki page, the initial installment is very casually paced. I think we spend about, oh, ten minutes watching our human cast wander through the desert:
And there’s a lot of “panning over still images” as animation, and reused shots, and other cost-cutting devices common to this sort of thing. However, it’s sort of nice to watch a cartoon that is, as I said, casually paced: holding a shot for more than a second, and not constantly screaming at you. It also seems like it’s relatively intelligently written, giant birds aside, and I look forward to delving a little deeper into this series.
I can’t say I’m exactly reliving childhood memories with this, since, aside from the one barely-remembered scene, I don’t recall any of it. And before you ask…I’m planning on checking out the DVDs for the live-action TV series, too.
I’m also throwing one of these thingies here, since it’s been a while and I can stand to have a little more Amazon action:
It’s shameless, I know.
To offset my selfish grab for pennies, let me recommend a couple of Planet of the Apes-related books by Rich Handley of Roots of the Swamp Thing fame: Timeline of the Planet of the Apes: The Definitive Chronology and Lexicon of the Planet of the Apes: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia, and you can learn about both of ‘em (and download free excerpts) right here.