On April 1st, Lionsgate Home Entertainment will release Birds Of Paradise on DVD exclusively at Walmart and Redbox. If the film, which promises to show us how “you shouldn’t judge a bird by their feathers,” looks and feels suspicously like the Rio franchise, well…that’s kind of the point. The press release sent to us by a PR flack states matter-of-factly that Birds of Paradise is “timed to the theatrical release of Rio 2.” The latter Blue Sky Studios-produced movie will be released by Fox on April 11.
As we’ve learned recently, one of the fastest-growing trends in animation is to rebrand foreign animated features for the gullible caretakers of America’s youth. That’s why the Scottish feature Sir Billi was renamed Guardian Of The Highlands, and the Canadian film Legend of Sarila took on the name Frozen Land, a blatant swipe that resulted in a Disney lawsuit. Birds of Paradise is no different. It is actually a four-year-old Argentinean film called Plumíferos that was directed by Daniel DeFelippo and Gustavo Giannini at Manos Digitales Animation Studio. Producing using open-source Blender software, the film made an unremarkable $200,000 in its 2010 Argentina release.
The company that recycled Plumíferos for American tykes is Burbank-based Simka Entertainment, which is also responsible for Wings, a Russian knock-off of Disney’s Planes, and Delhi Safari, an Indian film that is most definitely not inpsired by DreamWorks’ Madagascar series.