A very interesting short: beautiful art, great use of colours, and fantastic music.
The story itself was written between the two World Wars and explores the idea of pacifism, sacrifice, and in a way - the Japanese spirit of 我慢. It's written around the same time Ghandi was active but it's not clear if there are subtle references to him specifically or just general Buddist ideals.
In this bitter-sweet story the bullied Nighthawk is taunted by more powerful birds to abandon its identity, but it refuses to do so and resolves to pacifism and chooses to sacrifice itself rather than to inconvenience others/fighting -
a silent resistance if you will. During its journey the Nighthawk questions the nature of the food cycles and the interaction between the weak and the strong. If you're familiar with history, at this point you can probably see the clear connections between the Nighthawk and Ghandi's principles of valuing truth and non-resistance.
It's interesting viewing in the sense that it shows very clearly the change in values over time and places; what is regarded as weakness in contemporary Western eyes is a sign of strength in 1920s Japan etc..
In summary, a fantastic short - absolutely worth watching!