A strange trailer — released on August 28, 2021 — revealed that Disney was beginning production on a Disney+ limited series based on the story of a ‘definitely real’ man who made headlines by training a bird to sell drugs. The cast — rumored to include stars such as Amy Schumer, Ice T, Ewan McGregor, and the Catalan voice of the dragon in Mulan — will travel to Pittsburgh to shoot on location in late 2021. Early leaks revealed that Ice T will be making his debut as a puppeteer — operating the bird puppet — which will be voiced by Schumer in this live action adaptation.
Critics expressed surprise at the main character’s decision to train the birds to sell opioids, noting that drugs of the methamphetamine variety were far more profitable. “If they want us to believe it, they should have done more research,” wrote New York Times movie critic and economist Steven Levitt. “Everyone knows birds can’t fly. Besides, it’s not profitable — you just can’t make the math work. Believe me, I’ve tried.”
Disney+ has yet to release the series, but the Washington Post has already called it “unexpected” and “probably a financial disaster,” adding that “the line of McDonald’s Happy Meal toys containing actual opioids should have been a tip off.”
Parents were similarly upset with the Happy Meal toys, branded “First One’s Free,” claiming that their children were too young to gain exposure to the very real opioid crisis in the US. A Disney spokesperson responded stating, “No one is ever too young to learn about an issue. If they can see an LGBTQ+ couple in a car insurance or cereal commercial, they can see a bird selling drugs. It’s time for America to get real.”
“I don’t understand the backlash. This is a win for representation,” responded Disney CEO Robert Iger. “This is the first poor-coded person we’ve put in a Disney production since Sadness in Inside Out.”
“She’s in debt! You don’t see it in the movie, but she gets weekly calls from loan sharks. You should see the interest rates they want to give her!” insisted Iger when asked how an anthropomorphic personification of misery could be under financial duress. “She’s actually the anthropomorphic personification of the main character’s future student loans.”
Star McGregor spoke enthusiastically about the project, saying “eighty minutes into the movie, we’re gonna reveal that this was part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe all along, so you comic book nerds better tune in — I mean, uh, devoted fans.” When asked how the intricate fabric of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was woven into this harrowing story, McGregor responded: “I dunno, maybe the bird is a space villain or something. It’s also in the same universe as Phineas and Ferb and Adam Sandler’s Pixels, so figure that one out.”