After all these years, this is still a favorite of mine.
Birds of the Night is not only a superb demonstration of (almost) silent animations and how they convey storylines, but also a solid practice in building and balancing atmosphere. The character designs could honestly lend themselves to a half-baked creepypasta, with stretchy shadow people meeting in the middle of the night to compare birds. The sound design, lighthearted jokes, and heartwarming plot development, however, lead the viewer on a short but delightful trek through an abstract world.
I can only commend your ability to build and develop a world, if only for a short time. We're suddenly dropped into a story where, for some reason, a bird club is the most important thing to a lonely creature. This never feels out of place, though, as the world is left bare enough for us to be invested in only the main character's interest, no matter how silly. Everything is communicated very well visually, making dialogue completely unecessary, except for a few grunts and a yell for flavor. The personalities and emotions of the characters are always on point and great fun to follow thanks in part to the swift frame-by--frame animation. This all is layered nicely with comedic timing and silly jokes that never allow the animation to seem too tender and sad or too unnerving with the mysterious and evidently powerful shadow people. We're left with very human and relatable, though otherworldly characters.
This animation is still a gem of the portal and I think it's a shame it's gone five years without so much as a new review.
This animation is worth revisiting for many years to come.