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Added by Andy Goulding on 27 Nov 2015 04:36
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1001 Animated Shorts You Must See - Part 12

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DIR: Timothy Quay, Stephen Quay

SUMMARY: A professor takes a young boy as his pupil and teaches him the secrets of illusion and perspective using a large bank of drawers.

WHY IT'S HERE: Like many animation fans, I came to the work of the Brothers Quay by way of Jan Svankmajer, with whom they share a fascination with the uncanny and creepy. Given the great creative debt the Brothers Quay owe to Svankmajer, it is appropriate and touching to see them dedicate the aptly bizaree 'Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer' to their mentor. This film, using the figures of a professorial puppet and his apprentice, essentially demonstrates the effect Svankmajer's leading light has had on the Brothers Quay, as the master demonstrates the secrets of illusion and perspective to his apprentice and literally fills his head with new ideas. Confusing to those who see it without any context, 'The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer' is both a demonstration of the Brothers Quay's obvious talents and their occasionally impenetrable style. While I have been largely impressed by their work, I never warmed to it as much as that of their mentor. Nevertheless, 'The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer' is a good starting point for newcomers and hinted at the heights that were to come with their subsequent masterpiece 'Street of Crocodiles'
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DIR: Jan Svankmajer

SUMMARY: An adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Pit and the Pendulum' and Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam's 'A Torture by Hope'.

WHY IT'S HERE: Jan Svankmajer's 'The Pit, the Pendulum and Hope' is one of the best Poe adaptations ever put on film, for the simple reason that it successfully replicates the terror of the original story by placing the viewer squarely in the place of the torture victim. Filming from a point of view shot throughout, Svankmajer forces us to empathise closely with the protagonist as we watch the razor-sharp pendulum descend towards us or feel the walls closing in, pushing us towards the terrible pit. With his usual deft combination of live action and stop motion animation, Svankmajer summons up the murky world of the prison brilliantly. But rather than end the story with the upbeat deus ex machina that Poe ends with, Svankmajer instead segues into an adaptation of Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam's 'A Torture by Hope', a short story which readily lends itself to meshing with Poe's, in which a prisoner finds himself afforded a chance of escape by a door left open. The dark denouement is far more in keeping with the tone of Svankmajer's film than if he had stuck with Poe's original climax. Enjoyment of 'The Pendulum, the Pit and Hope' is greatly enhanced by reading both the source texts first, for while it takes away any element of surprise it also helps greatly to understand what is going on in the sometimes frantic images on screen.
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People who added this item 12 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.1
Paradise (1984)
DIR: Ishu Patel

SUMMARY: A blackbird envies a bird of Paradise and tries to mimic its beauty. But it quickly learns that beauty is no substitute for freedom.

WHY IT'S HERE: Ishu Patel's National Film Board of Canada short 'Paradise' is a gorgeous art film filled with beautiful use of colour and imagery, using a range of animation techniques such as cut-out, back-lit plasticine, sand, and painted glass. Patel conjures up a bejewelled world of vivid beauty, offset by the frosty grandeur of a palace in which a lone monarch imprisons things of visual interest. The storyline and its simple but effective moral are somewhat inevitable from the start but Patel's animation of the envious blackbird who wishes to mimic the other birds' grandeur displays his skill as a character animator as well as a creator of astonishing visual delectations. The scene in which the blackbird cavorts clumsily, brilliantly and subtly reflected in the music, is one of 'Paradise's highlights.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 8.4
DIR: Vladimir Popov

SUMMARY: Winter comes to Prostokvashino and Matroksin and Sharik have fallen out with each other.

WHY IT'S HERE: Vladimir Popov's third and final Prostokvashino short is a nice ending to the series. Although the character designs have changed a little, looking more rounded and somehow slightly less appealing, 'Winter in Prostokvashino' retains all the verbal wit and whimsical warmth of the previous shorts in the series, with all the characters returning again for one last bow. Particularly amusing is an early scene in which Pechkin the postman mediates in an argument between Matroskin the cat and Sharik the dog. As each intends to throw objects at the other, the postman intervenes and offers to deliver them instead, in each case confirming the size and style of delivery the package will require. It's the sort of oddball joke that makes the Prostokvashino trilogy so unique and wonderful, and this Christmas edition makes a nice finale to a series that should really be more well known internationally.
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People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 0
Anna Bella (1984)
DIR: Borge Ring

SUMMARY: Two sisters looks back on their lives together and their falling out over a man.

WHY IT'S HERE: 'Anna & Bella' by Borge Ring won the Oscar in 1985 and has since deservedly gone down as a classic. The tale of two sisters looking back on their lives together and their falling out over a man, 'Anna & Bella' mixes the minimal and the beautiful in Ring's instantly recognisable style. As he had with his previous 'Oh My Darling', Ring mixes pathos and humour to great effect, with wonderfully appealing squash and stretch animation and recognisably human but exaggeratedly cartoonish characters. It is at once his most appealing, coherent and engaging film.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 0
Anijam (1984)
DIR: Marv Newland

SUMMARY: The adventures of a character called Foska, as envisaged by 22 different animators.

WHY IT'S HERE: 'Bambi Meets Godzilla' director Marv Newland oversaw the unique project 'Anijam', in which 22 animators were presented with the character of Foska to do with as they pleased. The only stipulation was that each short piece of animation should start with the last frame of the previous animator's work. None of the animators had any idea what their contemporaries were making, hence the wonderfully loose, anarchic feel of the finished film. A unique concept featuring work by high profile animators such as Paul Driessen and Sally Cruikshank, 'Anijam' is a testament to what a fertile environment there was for animation in the 1980s. It's a joy to watch the concept of an 'Anijam' come to life so brilliantly and for animation fans it whets the appetite to start flicking through back catalogues of the participants.
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People who added this item 19 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 0
Charade (1984)
DIR: John Minnis

SUMMARY: A frustrated Charades participant cannot get his audience to guess correctly no matter how vivid his mimes, while his opponent need only make the slightest movement in order to elicit the right answer.

WHY IT'S HERE: Canadian animator John Minnis's 'Charade' is a simple but very funny short film which managed to scoop the Oscar for 1984, beating tough competition from Ishu Patel's gorgeous 'Paradise'. Unlike the highly intricate 'Paradise', 'Charade' is a very simple film made in three months as a college project. Against a plain white background, Minnis's appealing cartoon characters act out their Charades while the audience calls out guesses. The animation is great but the main appeal of 'Charade' is in the constant chuntering dialogue of the guessers as they fail spectacularly to guess the correct answer. The final punchline, which I won't give away here, is very funny indeed.
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People who added this item 57 Average listal rating (37 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.5
Jumping (1984)
DIR: Osamu Tezuka

SUMMARY: An unseen child protagonist moves across the world in a series of progressively longer and higher jumps.

WHY IT'S HERE: Japanese manga artist Osamu Tezuka secured his place in cartoon history early in his career when he created 'Astro Boy'. While he may be better known as a comics artist, Tezuka also made some brilliant animated shorts, of which 'Jumping' is perhaps the most remarkable. Shown entirely from the point of view of a child whose playful jumping up and down in a small suburban neighbourhood suddenly and inexplicably takes on superhuman qualities, 'Jumping' takes us round the world in progressively massive leaps and bounds. The artwork and animation is fantastic and the amount of detail makes 'Jumping' endlessly rewatchable. Each time the protagonist lands we are shown the briefest snatch of a scene before taking off again. Some are funny, some troubling, some surreal. Even while in the air, there is plenty of detail to take in. While bounding through a metropolis, for instance, the keen eyed or habitual freeze-framers among us will glimpse C3PO and R2D2 in the window of a large office block. Much praised for its use of POV animation before CGI, Tezuka's 'Jumping' is a mini-masterpiece of 80s animation.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 6.7
Moa Moa (1984)
DIR: Bruno Bozzetto

SUMMARY: Two lovers stranded on adjacent desert islands devise a way to reach each other.

WHY IT'S HERE: Bruno Bozzetto's 'Moa Moa' is barely a minute long but demonstrates the great director's dedication to a good gag. Two lovers stranded on desert islands separated by shark infested waters devise a way to reach each other using a system of see-saws and boulders. There's a definite 'Road Runner' influence on this brief gag but in turn it looks like an influence on Pixar's 'Knick Knack' several years later. The inevitability of something going wrong does not take away from the big laugh at the end, an image which contains implications of tragically Sisyphean dimensions.
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DIR: Valentin Karavaev

SUMMARY: Jealous of a cat whose owner has given him lavish gifts, the parrot Kesha deserts his loving owner Vovka to search for something better.

WHY IT'S HERE: Russian director Valentin Karavaev's 'The Return of the Prodigal Parrot' is apparently a well-known series in its native country, although there is little information about it online. Having seen this first instalment, it is easy to see why this amusing series is so well-loved in Russia. It shares a witty, unpredictable sense of humour with other Russian institutions like the Prostokvashino series. Its major trump card is the central character, an egotistical parrot named Kesha who repeatedly leaves his loving owner Vovka to try and find a better life, always regretting it when he is faced with the emptiness of the alternative. Apparently seen as somewhat thematically contentious in Russia, 'The Return of the Prodigal Parrot' is a delightful morality tale which emphasises humour over anything else.
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People who added this item 39 Average listal rating (24 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
DIR: Osamu Tezuka

SUMMARY: A cowboy attempting to rescue a damsel in distress is dogged by the imperfections in the film print itself.

WHY IT'S HERE: Osamu Tezuka's 'Broken Down Film' is another great short by the Japanese director. Not quite as original as his previous 'Jumping', 'Broken Down Film' plays more like an homage to the Fleischer Brothers, Chuck Jones and Tex Avery, all of whom had played with the conventions of film in this way. A cowboy is hindered in his rescue mission by deteriorating film stock, breaks in the film and hairs in the projector. In tipping his hat to some of the great Hollywood directors of animation's Golden Age, Tezuka is also able to put his own spin on this formula, creating a winningly funny and inventive tribute. It's certainly preferable to Daniel Greaves's Oscar-winning but blandly forgettable 'Manipulation'.
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People who added this item 40 Average listal rating (35 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.3
The Big Snit (1985)
DIR: Richard Condie

SUMMARY: A couple continue a petty argument as the world ends around them.

WHY IT'S HERE: Richard Condie's acknowledged screwy masterpiece 'The Big Snit' is an unforgettable cartoon. A classic that I've loved since it first confused and amused me in equal measures as a child, 'The Big Snit' is the surreal tale of a couple engaged in a trivial argument during a Scrabble game that distracts them from the fact that there's a nuclear apocalypse happening around them. A sly satire punctuated with gags that range from corny to non-sensical, Condie keeps a tight grip on the reins of his film even as it appears to be in danger of going off the rails. Everything works brilliantly, from the man's ludicrous obsession with sawing to the human scream omitted by the cat as he accidentally propels himself across the room. 'The Big Snit' is utterly unique and has gone on to become one of the most famous shorts of the 80s and one of the masterworks of animation.
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.2
DIR: Alison Snowden

SUMMARY: A lonely old woman receives a delivery in the post.

WHY IT'S HERE: The first film by Alison Snowden, 'Second Class Mail' is a lovely little cartoon that closes with one of the quickest switches between a big belly laugh and heart-rending pathos, something which surely marked it out for recognition. Unfortunately for this modest film, it was up against some amazing competition in the year of its Oscar nomination but it set Snowden on her path to two more nominations and an eventual well-deserved win with her later short 'Bob's Birthday'. The bittersweet comedy and melancholic incisiveness that characterises all Snowden's work is immediately visible here and 'Second Class Mail' is a great starting point through which to enter her world.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 5.6
Incubus (1985)
DIR: Guido Manuli

SUMMARY: A man in a tower block suffers through a night of bizarre nightmares.

WHY IT'S HERE: Bruno Bozzetto's protégé Guido Manuli emerged from the shadow of his mentor in the 80s with great cult children's series 'Mr. Hiccup' and 'Stripy'. But Manuli also continued working on his own short films, of which 'Incubus' is one of the best. I vividly remember seeing this odd cartoon when I was a child as a filler on TV when the Snooker finals finished earlier than expected. Its strangeness became a sort of lingering nightmare in itself, until the age of the internet made it easy to track down and confirm its existence. An inventive series of grotesque gags from which the protagonist continually awakes screaming, 'Incubus' is hysterical in its incessancy. The shrill screams, which lead to the film's bizarre final joke, will be ringing in your ears long after the credits roll.
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People who added this item 10 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 6.2
Boomtown (1985)
DIR: Bill Plympton

SUMMARY: The Android Sisters sing about the importance, and by implication the absurdity, of Government military spending.

WHY IT'S HERE: 8 years after 'Lucas, the Ear of Corn', 'Boomtown' was the first of Bill Plympton's films to be given an actual release. Plympton's trademark visual style is more in evidence here, albeit in embryonic form. The animation is a trifle rigid, although that actually suits the theme here, as two robotic singing stars, the Android Sisters, coldly deliver a musical lecture on the importance of Government defence spending. The music is by Jules Feiffer and the content is more overtly political than most of Plmypton's later work, but 'Boomtown' still has a satirical sting and certain images, such as the muscular American eagle struggling under the weight of a huge bombshell, are strikingly relevant today.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 6.7
DIR: Bill Plympton

SUMMARY: The Magic Line, the animated host of an instructional video on drawing, breaks down mid-lesson and relates the story of his great lost love.

WHY IT'S HERE: Bill Plympton's 'Drawing Lesson #2' is a very funny and inventive short which spoofs cheesy instructional videos. The Magic Line is a dark line which instructs viewers how to draw by creating shapes on a white background. The short begins like an instructional video but the line begins to make mistakes, apologising and claiming he had a rough night last night. As the shapes on the paper begin to remind him of his estranged wife, the line starts to relate his story, drawing the images for us as he goes. Plympton was experimenting with different techniques here and 'Drawing Lesson #2' is largely drawn under camera but also incorporates elements of live action. A creative step forward, 'Drawing Lesson #2' shows the effectiveness that a talented director can imbue into very simple animation.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 7.7
DIR: Geoff Dunbar

SUMMARY: Rupert Bear witnesses a rarely performed ritual by a group of frogs in which they sing and dance to the song 'We All Stand Together'.

WHY IT'S HERE: Produced and co-written by Paul McCartney, 'Rupert and the Frog Song' was something of a labour of love for the former Beatle. Having grown up reading the Rupert comic strip, McCartney had acquired the rights to make this short in the early 70s. The end result is a beautiful 13 minute featurette which is testament to McCartney's love of the character. Directed by Geoff Dunbar, with voices by McCartney, June Whitfield and Windsor Davies, the centrepiece of this polished piece is 'We All Stand Together', an original song by McCartney, which charted at number 3 in the UK. Lushly orchestrated, with accompaniment from the King Singers and the choir of St. Paul's Cathedral, 'We All Stand Together' has been the cause of much unfair ridicule aimed at McCartney. The song has even been cited as a sign of his declining writing abilities and mocked for its light subject matter. One has to wonder how any serious critic could so completely ignore the context of the song, which was always meant to accompany the animation for a children's film. It is true that 'We All Stand Together' isn't much to get excited about on record but when seen with the visuals its the perfect accompaniment and works beautifully. 'Rupert and the Frog Song' is a magnificent little achievement and a piece of British animation history that is cherished in some quarters as much as 'The Snowman'.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 7.8
DIR: Wesley Archer

SUMMARY: Two party-bound teens cause major destruction to a city, ultimately ending up in Hell.

WHY IT'S HERE: Wesley Archer's 'Jac Mac & Rad Boy Go!' is a cult short made as a college project which became an extremely influential film. Archer's subsequent career trajectory, working on 'The Simpsons', 'King of the Hill' and 'Futurama', is hardly surprising given the obvious influence that 'Jac Mac & Rad Boy Go!' had on the TV adult animation boom of the 90s. Watching this anarchic short, one is instantly put in mind of Mike Judge's 90s masterpiece 'Beavis and Butthead', and Judge was indeed strongly influenced by 'Jac Mac & Rad Boy Go!'s pedal-to-the-metal pace and extreme stupidity of its characters. The horrific ending, in which they are punished eternally for their crimes, also reflects the unforgiving satire that would surface in so many of the shows it influenced. 'Jac Mac & Rad Boy Go!' can also be glimpsed briefly in 'Back to the Future II' on the wall of TVs in the McFly's house.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.6
Get a Job (1985)
DIR: Brad Caslor

SUMMARY: Bob Dog struggles with the trials and tribulations of unemployment.

WHY IT'S HERE: Canadian animator Brad Caslor's brilliant 'Get a Job' began life as an educational film on how to find employment. There are remnants of this still evident in the film but, for the better, humour took over as the main thrust behind 'Get a Job' and ultimately it emerges as a satirical, hilarious and ultimately quite cynical look at unemployment. Having been unemployed on several occasions, 'Get a Job' strikes a chord with me and Caslor looks at the experience from all angles, including the over-zealous advice you receive, the fluctuation between being disproportionately dejected and undeservedly over-confident and the fear of being labelled a 'bum' by those around you. Caslor's animation style and character design is a direct tribute to the greats like Tex Avery and Bob Clampett, while 'Get a Job' also offers a jukebox-worth of music, including a rendition of the title track made famous by the Silhouettes, and tributes to Doo-Wop, Elvis Presley and the Andrews Sisters.
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People who added this item 21 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.6
78 Tours (1985)
DIR: Georges Schwizgebel

SUMMARY: The circular nature of life is explored through a man's memories as he listens to an accordion waltz on the radio.

WHY IT'S HERE: Swiss animator Georges Schwizgebel's '78 Tours' is a beautiful short film which examines a man's life through the motif of circles and rotation. '78 Tours' is constantly in motion, whether it be a child's roundabout, a swirling cup of coffee or the rotating movements of a waltzing couple. Schwizgebel's exquisite, painterly images are perfectly married to the music and move fluidly like memories as a pensive man lets his remembrances flow freely. The final, quiet image gives '78 Tours' a melancholic feel but the short is so alive throughout that it acts only as a last minute contrast between dreams, memories and reality. The staircase the man descends at the end of the film still goes around and around like the images in his mind, but crucially it is more angular, closer to a square than a circle. Herein lies the difference between the two states explored in the film.
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People who added this item 23 Average listal rating (22 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
Take On Me - A-Ha
DIR: Steve Barron

SUMMARY: The music video to A-Ha's single 'Take on Me', in which a girl enters a comic book world.

WHY IT'S HERE: When A-Ha first released 'Take on Me' as a single, it had a different video from the famous animated accompaniment that the song would eventually become inextricably linked with. The song did not become a hit but when it was reissued with Steve Barron's superb rotoscoped video, the song received heavy rotation on MTV and subsequently entered the top 10. It was hardly surprising that the video was so popular. I've never been a huge fan of the technique of rotoscoping but here it is used brilliantly, creating a world of comic book humans that is alive with pencil strokes. Barron combines live action and animation brilliantly, culminating in an effective moment in which lead singer Morton Harket breaks through from on world to the other.
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DIR: Jim Reardon

SUMMARY: A parody of 'Peanuts' by way of Sam Peckinpah, in which a bounty is placed on Charlie Brown's head and the Peanuts gang all try and bump him off, pushing him to breaking point.

WHY IT'S HERE: A student film by Jim Reardon, later to write and direct for such TV series as 'Tiny Toon Adventures' and 'The Simpsons', 'Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown' is a spoof of the 'Peanuts' TV specials reimagined as a violent revenge thriller directed by Sam Peckinpah. Reardon's film is simple and crudely animated in black and white but it is also very, very funny. A familiarity with 'Peanuts' and the TV specials in particular is necessary to get all the references and knowledge of Peckinpah or violent new-Hollywood films of the 70s helps, although the joke is broad enough to understand without specific reference points. When a bounty is placed on his head, all the Peanuts gang turn on Charlie Brown, with even the Kite Eating Tree making a bid to bump him off. Finally, Charlie Btown snaps, Travis Bickle-style, leading to a climactic killing spree. Although it may offend hardcore 'Peanuts' fans, 'Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown' has a genuine affection beneath its visceral surface. Reardon is clearly well-versed in the exploits of the 'Peanuts' gang and expects the same of his audience.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 6.3
Babylon (1986)
DIR: Peter Lord, David Sproxton

SUMMARY: A speaker at a lavish gathering speaks out in favour of arms proliferation and the importance of protecting ourselves against our neighbours by having access to the latest machines of war.

WHY IT'S HERE: 'Babylon' is an Aardman Animations short made as part of Channel 4's 'Sweet Disaster' strand, a series of 'animated visions of the apocalypse'. At the height of the Reagen-Thatcher era when fears of nuclear war were rife, 'Babylon' presents a terrifying vision of megalomania that clearly defines directors Peter Lord and David Sproxton's political position. Although 'Babylon' is a far cry from Nick Park's work, it was the first film he worked on when arriving at Aardman, with Lord and Sproxton promising him extra resources to complete his baby 'A Grand Day Out' if he helped with the completion of 'Babylon'. Not a children's film by any means, 'Babylon' is downbeat, eerie and symbolic, as a monstrous attendee at the gathering grows bigger and bigger as the speech goes on, finally bursting and swamping the guests with blood. The short's small concession to humour comes in the form of a quietly subversive waiter who looks on in disgust. The chilling speech that makes up the film's main soundtrack is given by Tony 'Baldrick' Robinson.
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 4.8 IMDB Rating 6.4
Rope Dance (1987)
DIR: Raimund Krumme

SUMMARY: Two men take part in a strange tug of war.

WHY IT'S HERE: German director Raimund Krumme is fascinated with perspectives and in 'Rope Dance', his first short as director, he plays with it brilliantly and hypnotically. The entirety of 'Rope Dance's nearly ten minute runtime is made up of two figures in a square playing with a rope. What makes it so interesting is the shifting perspective as they move around, through and into the square, constantly changing the view we have of it. Is it a charcoal etching on a floor, a hollow shape they can step through or a pit into which they can fall? The answer seems to be all and none of the above. Krumme would revisit the theme of perspectives more successfully in his next short, 'Crossroads', but 'Rope Dance' is a great debut which sets out the themes on which he would go on to elaborate.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0
Sledgehammer (Single) - Peter Gabriel
DIR: Stephen R. Johnson

SUMMARY: The music video for Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer'.

WHY IT'S HERE: Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer' video is renowned as one of the great music videos of all time. Gabriel laid under a sheet of glass for 16 hours while shooting the video, which features brilliant animation from the Brothers Quay and Aardman Animations. Gabriel obviously knew the right people to go to for quality and the result has endured. The dancing over-ready chickens are perhaps the most famous image from the video, and were an early example of the work of Nick Park, who would soon become a household name in animation. 'Sledgehammer' is a wonderful, upbeat song and the colourful, quirky video makes it even better and is an example of how much more ubiquitous animation was in the 80s.
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People who added this item 347 Average listal rating (236 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 0
Luxo Jr. (1986)
DIR: John Lasseter

SUMMARY: A standard lamp watches over its baby as it plays with a ball.

WHY IT'S HERE: It's still unbelievable to most animation fans that the weird and rather dull 'A Greek Tragedy' beat the groundbreaking first film from Pixar, 'Luxo Jr.' to the Oscar. You'll all know 'Luxo Jr.', so iconic is that little lamp since it became the Pixar logo. This is the short that set Pixar on the road to becoming, for a time, the most intelligent and consistent producer of animated films in the Western world. And, aside from all that, it's still an entertaining short in its utter simplicity. The charm that has made Pixar so popular is evident right from the off. 'Luxo Jr.' is almost as big a landmark as 'Steamboat Willie', 'A Wild Hare' or 'Puss Gets the Boot'. That it didn't win the Oscar is a joke. That it lost it to 'A Greek Tragedy' is a sin!
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DIR: Bob Stenhouse

SUMMARY: A drunk plays a trick on a bar owner in order to get some booze but as a result his horse ride home becomes a descent into hell.

WHY IT'S HERE: Based on poet Ernie Slow's ballad 'The Devil's Daughter', New Zealand director Bob Stenhouse's 'The Frog, the Dog and the Devil' is one of the most forgotten Oscar nominated shorts of the 80s. Exactly why that should be is unclear, since Stenhouse's film is extremely handsome, atmospheric and blends comedy and scares brilliantly. Stenhouse worked largely alone to produce this little gem, in which a drunkard finds himself terrorised by hellish visions. The narrative is quite hard to follow but the visuals and characters are so enjoyable that the necessary multiple viewings (which do not entirely clear up the plot) are a pleasure to undertake. The short lost out on the Oscar, along with 'Luxo Jr.' (mystifyingly), to the feeble 'A Greek Tragedy'.
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People who added this item 99 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
DIR: Timothy Quay, Stephen Quay

SUMMARY: A puppet is left alone in a lecture hall to explore the strange and troubling world around him.

WHY IT'S HERE: One of the most famous animated shorts ever made and one of the few films I've ever seen that gave me nightmares (by which I mean genuine, wake-up-screaming nightmares!), 'Street of Crocodiles' defies categorisation or conventional summarisation. It is based upon a short story of the same name by Bruno Schulz but rather than directly adapt the narrative, the Brothers Quay opted instead to evoke its mood and expose its psychological undertones without overtly exploring them. Many interpretations have been imposed on 'Street of Crocodiles', none of them definitive or necessary. To attempt to unpick this cryptic masterpiece is to reject the beauty of experiencing it as the intangible phenomenon it is. The haunting, rigid-faced protagonist and the hollow-eyed dolls fill the viewer with an ill-defined terror and the sense that something unsavoury but difficult to define is occurring never leaves one's mind. For those who like a straightforward story and closure, 'Street of Crocodiles' will prove frustrating but it's hard to imagine anyone who watches it properly ever describing it as dull. This is a short that gets into your bones and, evidently, comes back to haunt you in your deepest sleep. It truly is a masterpiece, though few have been able to articulate exactly why. Terry Gilliam named it as one of the ten best animations of all time, while critic Jonathan Romney went one step further, naming it one of the ten best films ever made in an medium.
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People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 6.8
DIR: Anatoliy Petrov

SUMMARY: Admetus, doomed to die young, is given a chance to be saved from his fate if someone will willingly die in his place. When his wife, Alcestis, volunteers to do so, Hercules descends into Hades to rescue her.

WHY IT'S HERE: Russian director Anatoliy Petrov made a film that was visually years ahead of its time with 'Firing Range', a 1977 short that looks like it was made using modern day CGI. In fact, he used a self-developed technique known as Photographica which uses multiple celluloid layers to give a realistic three dimensional look. Petrov continued to use this unique style and in 1986 he released 'Hercules Visits Admeta', a masterpiece of animation that was four years in the making and remains mystifyingly obscure. Even today, there are few animations that can rival the beauty of this amazing retelling of a Greek myth. Throughout its twenty minute runtime, Petrov keeps us riveted with rolling landscapes, ferocious battles and deeply emotive characters. Animation has come a long way since 1986 but Petrov's work still looks better than most films released in recent times. While the classical storytelling might not be to everyone's taste, few could deny that 'Hercules Visits Admeta' is a visual masterpiece and worthy of being a renowned classic rather than a buried treasure.
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People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.2
DIR: Priit Parn

SUMMARY: Four individuals struggling to live under a harsh Soviet regime are brought together in a version of Manet's painting 'Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe'.

WHY IT'S HERE: Estonian animator Priit Parn was unique amongst Soviet animators in both his style and subject matter. Unlike the Disney-esque offerings of the dominant Soyuzmultfilm, Parn depicted life under the Soviet regime through scratchy, primitively drawn images and surreal, blackly comic storylines. Perhaps Parn's most famous film, 'Breakfast on the Grass' is both devastatingly bleak and oddly amusing as we witness four individuals struggle to exist in a world where apples can only be obtained through sexual favours, where life's necessities can literally cost you the shirt off your back and where facelessness is a real condition. These perplexing but always fascinating vignettes merge into a meeting of the four protagonists who settle into a recreation of Manet's famous painting 'Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe', from where the film gets its title. Highly influential, Parn's work has managed to touch even the American popular culture, by way of his heavy influence over Igor Kovalyov, a surrealist animator whose work on shows such as 'Rugrats' helped bring the unusual into the world of mainstream children's entertainment.
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DIR: Brad Bird

SUMMARY: A cowardly family dog is transformed into a ruthless attack dog but his vicious rage is indiscriminate.

WHY IT'S HERE: An episode of the Steven Spielberg 80s anthology series 'Amazing Stories', 'Family Dog' was notable for several reasons. For one, 'Amazing Stories' was not an animated show and the decision to include an animated episode, let alone one of such high quality, was unprecedented and typical of Spielberg's dedication to quality. Secondly, 'Family Dog' was the directorial debut of animation legend Brad Bird. Bird, who also wrote the episode, would go on to direct several classic animated movies including 'The Iron Giant', 'The Incredibles' and 'Ratatouille'. Also adding to the talent involved were Tim Burton, who created the production design, and Stan Freberg, a voiceover legend, who provided the voice of the father. Finally, this very funny short provided something of a template for the barrage of animated sitcoms that would soon dominate TV schedules of the 90s. 'Family Dog' mixes child-pleasing gags with adult-oriented observations to create a forerunner for shows like 'The Simpsons' (which Bird worked on) and 'King of the Hill'. Sadly, while 'Family Dog' proved popular enough to spawn its own series in 1993 but without the involvement of Bird the show was panned by critics and cancelled after just ten episodes.
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People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 5.9
DIR: Danny Antonucci

SUMMARY: An angry, foul-mouthed butcher curses and complains as he chops up meat. But when her accidentally cuts off his own thumb, it's the beginning of a downwards spiral.

WHY IT'S HERE: Danny Antonucci created 'Lupo the Butcher' with the intention of demonstrating that animation was not just for children. This three minute short certainly does that! Produced by Marv Newland's International Rocketship Productions and borrowing more than a little of Newland's anarchic tendencies, 'Lupo the Butcher' is three minutes of swearing and violence, as the title character hacks off his thumb and ultimately pulls himself to pieces in frustration, his severed head leaping through the iris-out to complain all the way through the credits. This sort of anarchic animation was becoming popular in the late 80s and 'Lupo the Butcher would prove to be a very influential short for many 90s animators. Ironically, Antonucci would eventually feel confined by this more adult approach to animation, which lead him to create the popular Cartoon Network children's series 'Ed, Edd and Eddy'.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 6.8
Baeus (1987)
DIR: Bruno Bozzetto

SUMMARY: A bug falls in love with a human woman and, when her husband walks out on her, he decides to take a chance on love.

WHY IT'S HERE: Bruno Bozzetto's 'Baeus' was one of the first shorts I saw by the Italian director and, along with the Mr. Rossi films, led to my life-long love of his work. Still a fabulous piece of work, 'Baeus' tells the very funny and oddly touching fairy story of a bug in love with a woman, who uses magic to transform himself. But the path to true love is not as easy as he hoped. Brilliantly plotted and executed with Bozzetto's usual impeccable comic timing, 'Baeus' is one of the director's most instantly lovable shorts and a film I will readily recommend to anyone and everyone.
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People who added this item 42 Average listal rating (28 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 0
Your Face (1987)
DIR: Bill Plympton

SUMMARY: A man sings a song while his face goes through a myriad of contortions.

WHY IT'S HERE: Bill Plympton's 'Your Face' is a famous short that may be familiar to many of my age for the subsequent adverts for Nik-Naks that it spawned. Plympton is an acquired taste but I love his work and 'Your Face' is a superbly creepy offering. A man's face contorts and morphs into various different shapes and objects as he sings the original title song. The disturbing vocal effect was achieved by slowing down the vocals of Maureen McElheron, who composed and sang the excellent song. Plympton would make more ambitious and grotesque films than this but with its simple appeal, 'Your Face' has become something of a calling card for him.
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 6.8
DIR: Alison Snowden

SUMMARY: An elderly man develops an obsession with the woman who lives across the street from him.

WHY IT'S HERE: Nottingham born animator Alison Snowden made a handful of fantastically appealing and often bittersweet animated shorts in the late 80s and early 90s, several in collaboration with David Fine. This sweet story of an elderly man trying to pluck up the courage to ask out the lady across the street is the simplest of Snowden and Fine's films but it also achieves an easy charm and instant appeal through its amusing characters and relatable story-telling. Though it hints at a darker edge at times, 'George and Rosemary' is more upbeat than most of Snowden's work. Her masterful Bob and Margaret film and series would provide a more cynical view of the world in the 90s.
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People who added this item 124 Average listal rating (81 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
DIR: Frederick Back

SUMMARY: The story of a shepherd who single-handedly reforests a desolate valley.

WHY IT'S HERE: Frederick Back, one of the great animators of the modern era, submitted another masterpiece in the half hour 'The Man Who Planted Trees'. The story of a shepherd who single-handedly reforests a desolate valley, 'The Man Who Planted Trees' is a visual feast of smooth, incredible hand-rendered animation and it is perfectly married to the touching story to create one of the most famous Oscar winning animations of the 80s. Generally regarded as Back's masterpiece, I prefer the more upbeat 'Crac' but 'The Man Who Planted Trees' is undeniably a work of brilliance and Back more than deserved his second Oscar win for achieving the feat of making two of the greatest animated shorts of all time within a few years of each other.
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People who added this item 182 Average listal rating (123 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 0
Red's Dream (1987)
DIR: John Lasseter

SUMMARY: A lonely unicycle in a bicycle shop dreams of better things.

WHY IT'S HERE: Following the breakthrough short 'Luxo Jr.' was never going to be an easy task and John Lasseter's 'Red's Dream' is not quite in the same league. As a big fan of Pixar, however, I'm always interested in their early development and 'Red's Dream' has much to recommend it even as it falls short of the perfection of 'Luxo Jr.' Notably, 'Red's Dream' continues to see Pixar excel at animating usually inanimate objects, with the little unicycle achieving real pathos as it longs for a life in the circus and finds itself condemned to loneliness in a bicycle shop. This effective emotional engagement would prove crucial to Pixar's later successes. Unfortunately, 'Red's Dream' also features a human character and at this stage in their development, realistic or even visually appealing humans were beyond Pixar's reach. So the clown in this short is an awkward, angular grotesque who acquired the nickname Lumpy due to his hideous appearance. Pixar would continue to experiment with human character and would nail it eventually but Lumpy sticks out like a sore thumb in an otherwise delightful and tonally interesting short.
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DIR: Will Vinton

SUMMARY: Dinosaurs Rex and Herb present a series of musical Claymation films with a Christmas theme.

WHY IT'S HERE: Claymation pioneer Will Vinton had made his feature length masterpiece 'The Adventures of Mark Twain' in 1985 but it was a film that baffled many people unfamiliar with Twain's work and somehow this gem got buried. Not so Vinton's first TV special 'A Claymation Christmas Celebration', an enduringly popular festive treat which remains one of the greatest and most joyous of holiday animations. 'A Claymation Christmas Celebration' is divided into a number of different music videos for songs like 'We Three Kings', 'Joy to the World' and 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'. Some are delivered in a traditional style such as a children's choir, while others are given a doo-wop and soul makeover. The result is a Christmas special to get the whole family singing along and even up and dancing. The show-stopper comes from special guests The California Raisins, Vinton's fictional musical group who had risen to fame in a commercial the previous year, in which they had performed 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine'. This utterly terrific classic is so spirited but devoid of cheap sentimentality that it can't fail to fill all but the most stony-hearted with Christmas cheer.
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People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 7.7
The Black Dog (1987)
DIR: Alison De Vere

SUMMARY: A girl is visited in her sleep by a black dog who leads her into a dream world of symbolic tests.

WHY IT'S HERE: With 'The Black Dog', Alison De Vere made the masterpiece that was clearly in her from day one. The previous 'Café Bar' and 'Mr. Pascal' were small masterworks in their own right but with 'The Black Dog' De Vere opened out her exquisite vision into an 18 minute symbolist odyssey which is up there with some of the greatest achievements in the animated short. Black dogs have always been synonymous with depression but here the titular dog is something more; a guide on a journey of self-discovery and a guardian of the finer parts of a young woman's soul. De Vere's distinctive style is immediately beautiful and appealing while maintaining a childlike primitivism that is essential to its effect. Immediately evocative of the 80s animation heyday when Channel 4 would regularly screen animated gems from up-and-coming directors, 'The Black Dog' is one of the masterpieces of British animation and its idyllic closing images of a reflected parent-child relationship are some of the most touching ever put on film.
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People who added this item 13 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 7.3
DIR: Osamu Tezuka

SUMMARY: The battle between woodland creatures and a group of ruthless loggers is played out as a mini-history of animation.

WHY IT'S HERE: Osamu Tezuka's 'Legend of the Forest' is a complex masterpiece which was sadly cut short by the director's death. Tezuka's film is set to Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony and the plan had been to make a short for all four movements but ultimately only the first and fourth movement were completed. From its poster, time and theme, 'Legend of the Forest' looks like just another wannabe Disney film and it managed to get lost in the flood of forest-based environmentalist animations that appeared in the late-80s and early 90s. But Tezuka's film is so much more ambitious. While the notion of setting his story to classical music is an obvious tip of the hat to 'Fantasia', 'Legend of the Forest' juxtaposes its tale of man vs. nature with a history of animation.

Tezuka moves fluidly and roughly chronologically through animated styles. We begin with a slide-show of drawings and then a zoetrope, before moving into pastiches of Emile Cohl, Windsor McCay, the Fleischer Brothers, Disney, Japanese anime and cheap TV animation. The styles flow into each other beautifully. One particularly effective moment has a black and white Fleischer style squirrel disappear into a hole in a tree, only to emerge from the darkness as a full colour Disney squirrel. The environmental theme showing man's capacity for destruction is neatly offset by the history of animation, showing man's capacity for creation.

As is the case with most environmentally themed films, many viewers found 'Legend of the Forest' too preachy and Tezuka does go a tad far in making the head of the loggers a caricature of Hitler, a dangerous comparison to draw so lightly even when mimicking the satirical nature of specific animations. But there is more than just an environmental message here. The final battle between the cheap, duplicated loggers with their bold outlines and the detailed, attractive inhabitants of the forest is also the battle against the domination of cheap TV animation over the classic style, a metaphor Don Bluth probably appreciated greatly!

Lasting half an hour, 'Legend of the Forest' is, for all its flaws, a masterpiece and a treat for animation fans. Although his progression through history in the wonderful first movement is roughly chronological, Tezuka peppers the film with reference. So a 'Felix the Cat' style sequence features a vicious take on 'Dumbo', in which a flying squirrel is hindered in his flight by crows trying to attack him. A brief moment in which a bird loses his beak is perhaps a tip of the hat to Chuck Jones's Hunting trilogy, in which Daffy Duck's beak spends more time off his face than on it! There are lots of references to pick up which make 'Legend of the Forest' infinitely rewatchable. One of the most beautiful animated films ever made, perhaps 'Legend of the Forest's niche appeal to animation fans is what has made it so forgotten. For lovers of the medium like myself, it is a wonder to behold.
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People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.8
How to Kiss (1988)
DIR: Bill Plympton

SUMMARY: An instructional short on various kissing techniques.

WHY IT'S HERE: Following the creepy contortions of 'Your Face', Bill Plympton's 'How to Kiss' takes things even further with a hilarious, often stomach-turning spoof on instructional videos. A narrator blandly talks us through kissing techniques as they are demonstrated graphically by an animated couple. Needless to say, given that this is Bill Plympton, tongues are ravelled up, saliva fills the screen, chunks of face are bitten off and necks extend and wrap around each other. Particularly gross given the intimacy of the act being depicted, 'How to Kiss' is also Plympton's funniest short up to this point and its success surely gave him the confidence to continue pushing the boundaries of taste even further!
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.2
DIR: Sally Cruikshank

SUMMARY: A frog enters a haunted house to try and break the hex on it but becomes assimilated into its weird world.

WHY IT'S HERE: Fans of Sally Cruikshank's legendary 'Quasi at the Quackadero' may not have believed that she could ever make a cartoon as strange again but with 'Face Like a Frog' she out-weirded her own masterpiece. This hilarious, terrifyingly busy short has no real plot, other than an unwitting frog's descent into a dreamlike unreality, but it is so alive with constant throbbing activity and little details that it demands to be watched and rewatched. Betraying obvious influences of the Fleischer brothers, 'Face Like a Frog' features a soundtrack by cult band Oingo Boingo, whose show-stopping Cab Calloway-esque 'Don't Go in the Basement' is 'Face Like a Frog's musical highlight.
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People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (39 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.6
Virile Games (1989)
DIR: Jan Svankmajer

SUMMARY: A man settles down in his flat to watch a football match. But the rules seem to have changed, with points being scored for how much damage players can do to their opponent's faces.

WHY IT'S HERE: Jan Svankmajer's 'Virile Games' is one of the director's most overtly comedic film but also one of his most graphically violent. A critique of violence in football culture, Svankmajer combines stock footage of football fans with Gilliam-esque cutout animation, but the main draw of 'Virile Games' is the grotesque stop motion clay animation. Periodically during the game, we zoom in to close ups of the players' faces, which are then inventively and irreparably dismembered by their opponents. These grisly mutilations become funnier the more extreme and ridiculous they get. Svankmajer's serious point about the damaging nature of violence in sport and the role the fans play in exacerbating this is made clear by the film's final image but the moral feels secondary to the fun Svankmajer is having in satirising the violence itself. Definitely not for those without a strong stomach and a dark sense of humour, 'Virile Games' is another Svankmajer classic.
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People who added this item 56 Average listal rating (42 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
DIR: Cordell Barker

SUMMARY: A man who briefly adopts a destructive cat goes to greater and greater lengths to rid himself of the pest.

WHY IT'S HERE: Cordell Barker's wacky and grotesque 'The Cat Came Back', is a wonderful National Film Board of Canada short in which an increasingly crazed old man is haunted by a yellow cat that he can't seem to get rid of. Wildly energetic, gut-bustingly funny, indelibly weird and just a tad sick, 'The Cat Came Back' is an unforgettable experience with an infuriatingly catchy theme song.
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People who added this item 266 Average listal rating (194 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
Tin Toy (1988)
DIR: John Lasseter

SUMMARY: A small tin toy of a mechanical one-man-band tries desperately to escape the clutches of a destructive baby.

WHY IT'S HERE: Produced at a time when Pixar's future was in doubt, 'Tin Toy' went on to win the company their first Oscar and helped cement the deal to make 'Toy Story', their first feature length film. 'Tin Toy' is an obvious forerunner of 'Toy Story', with many elements of the plot and its proposed sequel, 'A Tin Toy Christmas', ending up in 'Toy Story 3'. The destructive nature of very young children, making them a source of terror to small toys, was a big plot point in 'Toy Story 3' but in 'Tin Toy' it is the whole story. A big, grotesque baby named Billy is the unwitting villain of the piece here and he became the most problematic element of the short. Pixar were still struggling to create human characters that did not look horrific or plastic, so Billy became something of a test ground. In the finished film, Billy is still frightening, although this actually proves to be a strength given the film's story. Thankfully, Pixar mastered making visually attractive humans in time for 'Toy Story', with their mastery of the technique growing through subsequent films. A half hour sequel to 'Tin Toy' was proposed as a test before committing to making a whole feature film but it never went ahead. It would have been called 'A Tin Toy Christmas' and was to have featured the character of a teddy bear called Lotso, another element that eventually ended up in 'Toy Story 3'.
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People who added this item 12 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.5
DIR: Bill Kroyer

SUMMARY: A group of cartoonist wolves are threatened in their work by the arrival of robot artists.

WHY IT'S HERE: American animator Bill Kroyer's 'Technological Threat', like the Mel Brooks-penned 60s Oscar winner 'The Critic', is a comment on the direction animation was taking at the time. With Pixar making a huge impact on the industry, Kroyer stages a traditional vs. computer animation battle between a series of hand-drawn wolves and a dog (which resemble Tex Avery characters) and the computer animated robots that are threatening to replace them. It's a clever allegory but the ending, which looks like it will perceptively predict that computer and traditional animation can work side-by-side, disappointingly cops out with a conservative final twist in which hand drawn animation emerges victorious. This is especially odd since Kroyer came from a computer animation background himself, as one of the main animators on the CGI sequences of 'Tron'.
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DIR: Te Wei

SUMMARY: A young girl nurses an elderly man back to health after she witnesses him collapsing. In return, the man teaches her to play the guqin.

WHY IT'S HERE: Chinese animator Te Wei retired shortly after completing 'Feelings of Mountains and Waters', a twenty minute gem of a film. This quiet beauty of animation is a fitting end to a career and feels like a peaceful, graceful farewell to the medium. Forsaking story for a series of tranquil scenes in which water and mountains are evoked vividly with the merest trace of ink and watercolours, 'Feelings of Mountains and Waters' is almost tactile in its ability to suggest the feel of wetness, wind and stone. The soundtrack is made up entirely of natural sounds coupled with the music of the guqin as the old man's pupil becomes more experienced on the instrument. The beautiful sound it makes echoes the delicate sounds of nature and at the end of the film, the instrument is passed on to the girl. Whether Te Wei identified with this passing of a mantle as he slipped into retirement, the last film he left behind is every bit as wonderful as the music that accompanies it. Watching it for 20 minutes is a meditative, soothing experience.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1
DIR: Bill Plympton

SUMMARY: A man endures the worst day of his life where nothing seems to go right.

WHY IT'S HERE: Bill Plympton's 'One of Those Days' is a riotously funny take on an old concept - a day when nothing seems to go right. As per his usual style, Plympton takes the concept to extremes, with the protagonist immediately cutting off his nose while shaving, in a Gogol-esque moment of grotesque humour. 'One of Those Days' is presented entirely from the protagonist's point of view, so that the audience can have maximum empathy for the pains he endures. Some of them are obvious (a come-on from an attractive neighbour inevitably leads to a run in with her brute of a husband) while others are surreal (a child's ray gun turns out to be less harmless than it first appeared). There's nothing terribly original about the short but its escalating schadenfreude is so amusingly executed that it becomes wickedly addictive.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 3 IMDB Rating 6.1
Mister Tao (1988)
DIR: Bruno Bozzetto

SUMMARY: A serene hiker persists on his seemingly never-ending uphill quest.

WHY IT'S HERE: In just three minutes, Bruno Bozzetto's 'Mister Tao' poses a whole evening's worth of philosophical talking points. We see the title character climbing a large hill. After a short break at the top, he continues climbing into the sky, with nothing under his feet to support him. On a cloud, God welcomes him with open arms but, after a short gibberish discussion, Mister Tao continues upwards on his journey, a shock that brings God himself to his knees. Something of a departure for Bozzetto, 'Mister Tao' is a remarkable short which asks questions about human nature, religion and whether we can ever really reach the end of our journeys, either physically or metaphorically.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 4.5 IMDB Rating 7.8
Black Hula (1988)
DIR: Marv Newland

SUMMARY: When three white men bring elements of western culture to an island paradise, it quickly causes destruction on a massive scale.

WHY IT'S HERE: Marv Newland's brief but memorable 'Black Hula' is a rejection of western capitalism concisely stated and married to a lilting Hawaiian soundtrack. The images are deliberately mismatched with the soundtrack to amusing effect and the message, though well-worn down the years, is still relevant and delivered with merciful brevity. This oddball little short has become very popular over the years but no-one can quite seem to put their finger on why. Newland's skill with being appealing to the point had clearly endured since he made the classic 'Bambi Meets Godzilla'.
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As an animation fan, particularly of the animated short, I have found a disappointing dearth of literature on the medium. Having loved the '1001' series of books, I always hoped that maybe this rich source of filmmaking might be tapped into to produce a book collecting some of the essential animated shorts out there. Finally I thought 'Well, no-one else is going to do it' and decided to put together my own list. Although the complete list is already compiled (but subject to change should new notable animated shorts come out in the meantime), I have decided to publish it in chunks of 50, giving me time to write comments for each title, and so that anyone who wants to attempt watching all the films has time to do so. This is not meant to be a definitive list but a list of 1001 animated shorts that, whether for historical significance, innovation, artistic excellence or just sheer entertainment value, demand to be seen by all fans of this underrated and exceptional medium.

Part 12 covers the years 1984 - 1988 including: the rise of the Brothers Quay and their masterpiece 'Street of Crocodiles'; the astonishing 80s films of Osamu Tezuka; early short films by future Simpsons alumni Wes Archer and Jim Reardon; animation reaches the music world with animated videos for A-Ha and Peter Gabriel; the earliest short films from Pixar are released.

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Comments

Posted: 2 years, 1 month ago at Dec 18 15:30
I thought as a quick go-to list for casual fans I'd also list my ten favourites from each chapter of this list. So here they are in no particular order:

JUMPING
THE BIG SNIT
LUXO JR.
STREET OF CROCODILES
HERCULES VISITS ADMETA
THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES
A CLAYMATION CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION
THE BLACK DOG
LEGEND OF THE FOREST
THE CAT CAME BACK

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