Everyone has their own favorites from Pixar's vast array of short films, but if you asked yours truly what my favorite would be, I just might have to go with For the Birds. Partly due to nostalgia since I loved the short as a kid and found it hilarious. But you know what? Fifteen years later, I think it's still pretty darn funny. And it manages to be so without any dialogue.

Suffering is often a source of comedy, but it's important to note that that doesn't mean suffering in general. While everyone has their own sense of humor and what one person finds funny won't be guaranteed to get a laugh out of anyone else, there are still certain rules that seem to apply to what works as comedy on a larger scale. And For the Birds seems mindful of what type of suffering and negative events are funny, and why.

The short centers around a group of little birds on a phone line, who are then joined by a bigger, more awkward bird. The little birds laugh at the bigger one, but the bigger one seems oblivious to their mocking. He is simple and in his own world, so even when the other birds try to remove him from the phone line by force, he's still oblivious enough to continue being happy-go-lucky. If he understood the mocking and resent towards him and felt bad, that wouldn't be funny. It would be the exact opposite. We'd feel bad for the bird, we'd feel sad for him. But his obliviousness means we can safely be amused by the little birds' attempts to remove him, because there's no risk of things going south for the one character we have sympathy for, which is the oblivious big bird.

For whom things do go south, however, are the little birds. Unlike the big bird who is friendly and means no harm, the little birds seem to be, quite frankly, assholes. Even before the big bird arrives we see them bickering amongst each other, and their first reaction to seeing the big bird is to mock him for his appearance which is different from theirs. Because we see that these little birds have it coming, when they do end up getting their just deserts at the end of the short, it's okay to laugh at their misfortune.

The short also manages to get across this story and its characters' personalities without any dialogue, instead relying on mostly on its animation. Looks and expressions can tell a lot, and they do indeed in For the Birds. Not to mention the character designs, which add to the comedy. The little birds are round - almost like eggs - with their big eyes taking up the vast majority of their bodies. They're cute, but also funny-looking, and the inherent silliness of their appearance instantly adds to the comedy of the short. That and the fact that the little birds communicate in little squeaky voices which is also both cute and wonderfully silly. Naturally, the big bird's voice is considerably different, which helps get across his difference to the little birds, which drives the story of the short.

It is often the simplest things that are the most memorable and most entertaining, and For the Birds is all these things. It goes to show that sometimes all it takes is three minutes and some silly-looking squeaky egg-shaped birds to create something that'll last.