Animated Comedy Series BIRD'S EYE VIEW Wins at NZTV Awards

02 October 2023

Having debuted on New Zealand’s TVNZ this year, Bird’s Eye View, an eight-episode animated comedy developed by Sweetshop & Green, was an instant hit with children & families alike.

The Sweetshop

Bird’s Eye View won the award for NZ On Air Best Children’s Programme at the NZTV Awards in Auckland.

Season two is in development and will look to broaden the horizon across the Tasman to Australia with the introduction of some colourful new Australian native birds to the New Zealand whānau.

Written by New Zealand television writer Nick Ward with Melanie Bracewell, Andrew Beattie and Te Waiarangi Ratana and directed by Pete Circuitt and Jared Kahi, Bird’s Eye View turns the tables on the traditional concept of ‘bird-watching’ as an animated cast of beloved Native New Zealand birds regularly catch up to ponder and debate the weird and bizarre behaviours of humans in their natural habitat.

The birds are voiced by Millen Baird, Kerry Warkia, Gemma Easton, Stan Walker and Andy Faulkner.

Bird’s Eye View was produced by Sharlene George, Gal Greenspan, Tania Smiler and Gemma Easton.

The series was produced by Sweetshop & Green with TVNZ’s HEIHEI, in partnership with Studio Local. The series was made possible in Aotearoa with the support of the NZ Screen Production Grant and NZ On Air.

Says George: “There are some good things that come out of lockdown… and thanks to the clever peeps at Studio Local, we were able to bring to life our favourite NZ native birds, just being birds looking at humans, just being human.”

Says Circuitt: “It feels disingenuous to say it, but the whole cast and crew for BIRD’S EYE VIEW had such a good time making the show, and I think that shows in the work. Initially, the show was conceived within a lockdown paradigm. Humans were locked up and the birds were reclaiming urban areas. Flipping the narrative. This was happening. Animals were taking over the empty streets and waterways across the globe. Since lockdowns were thankfully finite, we rejigged the concept for a broader less catastrophic timeframe and I’m so glad we did.

Bird’s Eye View has a lot of heart. It looks beautiful and for sure it was technically challenging. We haemorrhaged a heap of late nights to finish the show, but it was so much fun to make it almost hurt to finish season one.

The characters are so great, and the writing feels warmly authentic, so you might believe some of BIRD’S EYE VIEW is what the birds might be thinking when observing our errant and ridiculous human behaviour.”

Says Kahi: “We are so lucky here in Aotearoa to have such unique, colourful and vocal native bird species that are so full of character and personality. They’re just asking to be made into animated characters. As New Zealanders, how often have we all found ourselves being watched by a plump Kereru casually sitting on a branch overhead, nosily listening in on our conversation. I’ve always wondered ‘what is going through their head?’ What bizarre creatures humans must appear to be from the perspective of a bird? Now we know!”

Watch the trailer here.

Directed by Pete Circuitt and Jared Kahi