Meet Metal Bird, the star of a 1930 live action/stop-animation short film created by and featuring Charles Bowers, American cartoonist and comedian.
The very detailed and highly quirky film, It’s a Bird, was crafted in the early decades of stop-animation. In the clip, we meet Metal Bird, looking hip in shiny clogs and pom-pom tail feathers (though the rest of his/her body is very much naked). Poking around a workshop, Metal Bird gobbles up all the metal in sight. When Bowers, wearing overalls, bow tie, a bowler hat, and lipstick, asks Metal Bird, “Can you lay eggs?” the response is shrill and immediate: “Me? Suuure!”
Clucking noises ensue, and an egg pops out. Metal Bird places it under a flame, and soon it is hatching—first, it seems, into a tiny chick, but then it keeps expanding and expanding, until soon it has morphed into a full-blown automobile.
Crikey, what a golden business opportunity! Alas, only one egg is hatched every hundred years. Metal Bird is still cackling as the film comes to a close.
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