Review by Ian Keogh
A fourth Bird & Squirrel outing follows much the same pattern as the previous three with much stupidity on the part of the woodland pals plotted by James Burks with pinpoint comedy timing, and drawn with lively movement and great expressions.
In Bird & Squirrel on Ice the pair were blown away from their woodland habitat. They began the long journey back in Bird & Squirrel on Edge, and now they’re finally back home again. Bird has remembered how to fly, and Squirrel needs to set about the dust that’s accumulated in his house. There’s a problem, though, as the river has dried up, which is most unsatisfactory. Even worse is that some of the forest creatures are disappearing, and that doesn’t seem to be the work of the crazy beaver. Thankfully there’s another squirrel in the woods, and she’s not nearly as timid as the original article.
So where’s the fire? You’ll find out.
Burks doesn’t depart far from his successful template of stringing together a selection of themed gags via a loose plot, and why should he when it’s worked so well? We’re back to the supernaturally confident Bird (with not a single reason to be so), and the utterly timid squirrel, with the wild card being his attraction to red. Everything that’s been introduced plays a part by the end, which is surprisingly practical and heroic, Squirrel having learned something along the way. The actual ending is surprisingly poignant given Bird & Squirrel’s general madcap tone.
On Fire has the feel of a valedictory performance from Burks, but that’s not the case at all, and they’re back for All Tangled Up.