The Day Birdie, the Early Bird Learned How to Fly is a 1987 TV commercial which features familar McDonald's characters Ronald McDonald, played by actor Squire Fridell, Grimace, as voiced by voice actor Frank Welker, and Hamburglar, voiced by Charlie Adler. The commercial tells of how Birdie the Early Bird, whose voice is provided by Russi Taylor, laments, that she couldn't fly. The narrator of the story was late voice and character actor John Fiedler.
In the commercial, as described by the narrator "on a day bright and blue", Ronald, Hamburglar, and Grimace are strolling through McDonaldland, as they catch Birdie struggling to flap her wings lamenting "Oh, Ronald, I'll never learn how to fly!" Ronald offers to help saying "We'll help you...just flap your wings, while we toss you up and down!" When that doesn't succeed, they try to use a balloon, which was Hamburglar's idea, which also doesn't work, as it pops, and she lands on the ground again. Grimace has a plan, he'll use a fan to get her started; but it only manages to blow her across the grass a few feet. After the third attempt, Birdie felt like giving up and crying, saying "I'll walk, that's the way it will be." Finally, after Ronald, Grimace and Hamburglar get her to try once more, Birdie finally succeeds in getting really high up "Early Bird style" into the air for "miles and miles", Birdie exclaiming "Flying is Grand!". Ronald then says the group misses her being on the ground, and Birdie soars downward, though she has difficulty landing as she suffers a crash landing!
- Another version of this commercial was done in 1991 with different music and accompanied with the slogan, "Food, Folks, and Fun".
- A slightly shortened version of this commercial was also dubbed in French.