This film is part of Free

I Bird

Budgies for beginners: home comforts for birds explained to young pet owners.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1983 5 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


Pecking orders issued to young pet owners by a caged budgie buddie with a faultless pitch. This is one of ten traditional colour animations from the Best Friends television series that delighted children around the world in the 1980s, hand painted by the renowned South Shields artist Sheila Graber.

As a gifted amateur, Sheila Graber received commissions from the Tate Gallery in London, Tyne Tees TV and the BBC. When she became a full-time professional animator, Graber gained an international reputation for her 1981 adaptations of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories for Nicole Jouve of Interama, agent for The Magic Roundabout, who began to distribute the artist’s animations worldwide in 1977, and commissioned the Best Friends series in 1983. In relation to I Bird, Graber has recounted the Giorgio Vasari story about Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, who so loved animals that he bought caged birds in the market place in Florence simply to let them go.