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Added by Andy Goulding on 18 Mar 2016 04:04
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1001 Animated Shorts You Must See - Part 20

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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 7.7
DIR: Will Anderson

SUMMARY: Animation enthusiast Will Anderson presents a documentary of his progress as he tries to remake 'Longbird', a classic lost piece of animation history by forgotten animator Vladislav Aleksandravich Feltov .

WHY IT'S HERE: Will Anderson's BAFTA-winning 'The Making of Longbird' is an ingenious mockumentary in which Will Anderson presents a short but convincing introduction to Vladislav Aleksandravich Feltov, a fictional animator of whom Anderson claims to be a disciple. His supposed lost masterpiece is a short film entitled 'Longbird', which stars an elongated bird, and Anderson sets about trying to recreate the film from the fragments of information available. But alongside his own self-doubt, Anderson encounters doubts from Longbird himself, who constantly heckles him from the drawing board in a Russian accent. As the creative process becomes more frustrating, Longbird becomes more annoying and Anderson's solutions to the setbacks become more hackneyed and uninspired. Will 'Longbird' ever be remade. Although animators have been making films in which artists clash with their creations since animation's infancy, Anderson puts a new and brilliant spin on it by filtering it through a convincingly written history of one of the medium's pioneers and the sort of self-focused vanity project that regularly appears on the internet only to end in frustration and untrumpeted abandonment. A very funny film tinged with melancholy, 'The Making of Longbird' puts a new spin on an old concept and emerges with something fresh and brilliant.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.7
Nullarbor (2011)
DIR: Patrick Sarell, Alister Lockhart

SUMMARY: Two motorists lock horns on Australia's Nullarbor, the longest stretch of straight, treeless road in the Outback.

WHY IT'S HERE: Patrick Sarell and Alister Lockhart's 'Nullarbor' is an amusing, cruel little film about a thuggish motorist driving down Australia's Nullarbor and suddenly realising that he is out of cigarettes. Imploring a passing driver to let him have one of his smokes, the other driver mistakes his motioning for an obscene gesture and so begins a lengthy, pointless competition of one-upmanship and humiliation between the pair. Nicely rendered in CG, 'Nullarbor' beautifully captures the barrenness of its setting, which reflects the unpleasant, impulsive characters in its lack of anything attractive to offset its grim emptiness. Amidst the sadistically amusing scenes there are one of two big laughs that punctuate the film at just the right moments so as not to overegg the comedy or let it dwindle into simple nihilism.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5
Bobby Yeah (2011)
DIR: Robert Morgan

SUMMARY: A rabbit-like humanoid creature steals a baby's favourite plaything and plunges himself into a nightmarish series of encounters as a result.

WHY IT'S HERE: By the time he made the BAFTA-nominated 'Bobby Yeah', Robert Morgan had already carved out a name for himself as a director of effective animated horror narratives like 'The Cat With Human Hands' and 'The Separation' but with his latest opus Morgan throws conventional narrative out of the window completely for a 23 minute descent into a surreal world of nightmarish visions. Morgan's work has often been compared to that of David Lynch and David Cronenberg and these comparisons are particularly relevant to 'Bobby Yeah' but there is so much more here too. As well as containing references to the classic animations of Jan Svankmajer, Stanley Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange' and Georges Melies 'A Trip to the Moon', 'Bobby Yeah' creates a Claymation world that is distinctively Morgan's own creation and which cannot be defined by simple comparison or inevitably inadequate description. Although synopses of 'Bobby Yeah' provide a small narrative peg on which to hang the images, the film itself is a cornucopia of weirdness which can be interpreted in all sorts of way or simply enjoyed as a visually compelling experience. Unlike its predecessor 'The Separation', Morgan's new creation eschews emotional connection for a viscerally funny film that will amuse and horrify in equal measures.
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People who added this item 12 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 7.5
DIR: Kealan O'Rourke

SUMMARY: When ten year old Rupert has his heart broken for the first time, he casts a magic spell to place himself inside a safe, impenetrable bubble.

WHY IT'S HERE: Irish director Kealan O'Rourke's 'The Boy in the Bubble' is a vaguely Gothic fairy tale which seems very much inspired by Tim Burton's 'Vincent'. Although I'm always wary of falling into the trap of supposing anything remotely dark to have been influenced by Burton, in the case of 'The Boy in the Bubble' the influence seems clear, particularly in the poetic narration, wonderfully intoned by the late Alan Rickman. Another clear influence here is vintage horror films, and while the story itself largely avoids horror trappings in favour of fantasy, O'Rourke makes several references to the genre through his protagonists love for it. Ultimately, 'The Boy in the Bubble' pitches itself as an outsider fantasy-romance but its optimistic conclusion, though philosophically simplistic, sets it apart from its darker counterparts and makes it suitable viewing for children of any age.
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People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5
Bottle (2011)
DIR: Kirsten Lepore

SUMMARY: Two creatures, one made from sand and the other from snow, begin a transoceanic correspondence using a bottle

WHY IT'S HERE: Kirsten Lepore's great stop-motion animation 'Bottle' was painstakingly animated by Lepore alone, out of the sand and snow that we see onscreen. The story, in which the two elemental creatures build a relationship just through the items they send each other in a bottle, is a variation on the doomed romance theme in which two different worlds struggle to come together. Without words, Lepore makes her creations extremely expressive, even before they have used seaweed and pine needles to give themselves makeshift features. The film's inevitable ending is both sad and blackly comic, as an attempt to go take the relationship to the next step crumbles pathetically before our eyes.
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People who added this item 72 Average listal rating (63 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4
DIR: Pes

SUMMARY: A dish of guacamole is prepared using very unusual ingredients.

WHY IT'S HERE: PES's wonderful 'Fresh Guacamole' is a film I fell in love with on sight. The shortest film ever nominated for an Academy Award (1 minute 36 seconds), PES uses ever second of the film perfectly. It depicts the preparation of guacamole but instead of real ingredients the hands that prepare the food use everyday household objects which change as they are sliced and diced (literally, in the case of a baseball which turns into some dice, just one of many great visual puns). Although I have subsequently discovered PES's earlier work in a similar vein, 'Fresh Guacamole' stands out as his strongest creation yet and its impact has not been diminished by the inevitable advertising campaigns that followed.
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People who added this item 32 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5
DIR: Timothy Reckart

SUMMARY: An elderly married couple have grown apart to the extent that one of them lives on the floor and the other on the ceiling.

WHY IT'S HERE: Timothy Reckart's 'Head Over Heels' is a charming tale of a marriage which has grown so strained that the elderly couple live separately within their own home, one on the ceiling and one on the floor, 'Head Over Heels' has a wonderfully retro feel with its great stop-motion puppets and unusual storyline. You may notice, as many have, a link with Pixar's 'Up', in both the elderly couple and the fantastical world they inhabit, but 'Head Over Heels' is very much its own film and an uplifting, amusing and touching experience that makes the film that beat it to the Oscar, Disney's overrated 'Paperman', seem even flatter by comparison.
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People who added this item 25 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.5
DIR: Max Lang, Jan Lachauer

SUMMARY: A witch allows a series of animals to join her on her broom after they help her find objects she had lost, much to the annoyance of her cat.

WHY IT'S HERE: After successfully directing 'The Gruffalo', Max Lang once again found himself Oscar nominated for his second Julia Donaldson adaptation 'Room on the Broom', alongside new directing partner Jan Lachauer. Although 'The Gruffalo' has a greater air of the classic bedtime story, 'Room on the Broom' is continued evidence of Donaldson's natural skill as a storyteller and its symbolic tale of team work and friendship will seep into children's consciousness without then feeling manipulated. Assembling another star voice cast, including the return of Rob Brydon, 'Room on the Broom' maintained the high watermark for subsequent Donaldson adaptations, which have fast become a holiday staple.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 2.5 IMDB Rating 8
Dark Vessel (2012)
DIR: Rocky Curby

SUMMARY: The victim of a lynching leaves behind his shadow to haunt his murderers.

WHY IT'S HERE: Visual effect artist Rocky Curby's 'Dark Vessel' is a taut, atmospheric little revenge horror film that happens to star a cast of robots. At first one is put in mind of 'Futurama's Bender but as the story quickly turns darker, we realise that this is no comedy. The film begins with a robot being lynched but rather than drop him through a trapdoor, his captors slice off his legs, unleashing a torrent of gore. At this stage we realise that although the cast is metal on the outside, they also have very human innards. In fact, one may wonder why Curby has chosen to use robots at all, given that their partially-mechanical nature is not even touched upon by the plot. It's just one of the many things that make 'Dark Vessel' more unusual than many of its gore-heavy CG counterparts.
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DIR: John Michael Wilyat

SUMMARY: A coffee machine lives in the shadow of its master's latest creation.

WHY IT'S HERE: John Michael Wilyat's 'Firefly and the Coffee Machine' is a beautiful CG short which has an interesting origin which in turn makes the short itself more fascinating. Wilyat sat down over the course of a few weeks with his 8 year old niece and asked her to draw for him. As she did, she narrated the story of the characters she created and Wilyat then took these characters and this story and made them into a film. Rather than make animations directly from the child's sketches, an approach used previously in 'Children and Cars' and 'When Life Departs', Wilyat has worked up his niece's designs into rounded CG characters. More interesting, however, is just how much of the story we see on screen was added or changed by Wilyat. I would suggest that very little was changed. There are elements that are unmistakably from the mind of a child but also deeper, more resonant themes behind them. Wilyat's skill is most evident in bringing out these themes without adding too much of his own input, thereby providing us with both an enjoyable story and a psychologically fascinating glimpse into a child's mind through the impulsive but delicately sympathetic narrative construction.
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People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 8.2
MacPherson (2012)
DIR: Martine Chartrand

SUMMARY: A look at the friendship between a young Félix Leclerc and Frank Randolph MacPherson, a Jamaican chemical engineer and university graduate who worked for a pulp and paper company.

WHY IT'S HERE: Martine Chartrand's 'MacPherson' is a latter day animation masterpiece which I fell in love with immediately. Telling the true story of the friendship between singer-songwriter Felix Leclerc and chemical engineer Frank Randolph MacPherson, the film touches on issues of race that were prominently explored in Chartrand's earlier film 'Black Soul' but 'MacPherson' is primarily a touching tale of a friendship which is stronger than any negative force it comes up against, ultimately even death. Chartrand's socially-conscious touch is perfectly delicate, evoking themes without pushing them to the forefront. The contrast of black and white is persistently placed on screen in chess pieces and piano keys but the black and white human beings who interact around them are so warmly loving that any difference in their colour is often barely noticed. Leclerc's beautiful music is used throughout the film and Chartrand segues superbly from fingers picking a guitar into images of log-drivers. It is in moments like these that Chartrand's paint-on-glass technique shines most, surpassing even the meticulous perfection of Alexandr Petrov in its hypnotic fluidity.
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.1
Bydlo (2012)
DIR: Patrick Bouchard

SUMMARY: Images of a beast of burden rising from the earth become an allegory for mankind's descent into disaster.

WHY IT'S HERE: Patrick Bouchard's 'Bydlo' is an astonishing, almost tactile Claymation short in which the director examines a nightmare vision of mankind driving themselves to disaster. The word 'bydlo' is Polish for 'cattle' but is also used in parts of Europe as a derogatory term for the working class. It is also the title of the fourth movement of 'Pictures at an Exhibition', the suite by composer Modest Mussorgsky, which Bouchard uses as the soundtrack for his film. Mussorgsky's music is incredibly evocative of back-breaking labour and Bouchard matches it with animation that looks like it was sculpted from the earth itself. The opening, interminably strenuous appearance of a huge, securely-bound ox from the ground is immediately arresting and the film gets darker as hoards of human figures begin to emerge alongside the beast and then to subdue it with their growing numbers, resulting in a desperate feeding frenzy before everything returns to earth again. Visually and thematically striking, 'Bydlo' is a film you can talk about for hours and even those unmoved by the plight of mankind depicted here will surely be at least astounded by the intricate, muddily spellbinding animation.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3
DIR: Jonathan Ng

SUMMARY: A modern day couple's break-up is reflected in images of two warriors doing battle in feudal China.

WHY IT'S HERE: When I first heard about Jonathan Ng's 'Requiem for Romance', in which a couple's telephone break-up is represented in images of two warriors doing battle in feudal China, I thought it sounded like a hackneyed idea akin to that old comedy sketch where a slanging match is adjudicated over by a tennis umpire. But 'Requiem for Romance' offers so much more than that. Accompanying the naturalistic voiceovers of the separating couple, Ng shows beautifully rendered images of epic swordplay, rooftop battles, horseback chases and moments of tender acceptance. The metaphor goes much deeper than a simple war of words compared to a physical fight. The feudal China setting has many connotation involving the couple's modern day perceptions of parental influence, cultural pressures and a desire for adventure. The conversation often lapses into clichés but this is flagged up too, attributed to a penchant for Korean dramas. 'Requiem for Romance' deftly weaves together two seemingly only tangentially related scenarios and then carefully picks out the similarities and significances. It bears several viewings to fully appreciate, given the intricacies of both the visual and aural levels.
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 6.6
DIR: Ainslie Henderson

SUMMARY: An aspiring musician battles his own inner-doubts as he steps up to perform at an open-mic event.

WHY IT'S HERE: Ainslie Henderson's terrific, BAFTA-nominated 'I Am Tom Moody' brilliantly captures that moment of self-doubt as you stand up before an audience. Using wide-eyed, expressive stop-motion puppets, Henderson captures every aspect of the thoughts that rush through your head when you put yourself in a position where you can be judged. Rifling through childhood memories and pitting cautious optimism against damning defeatism, Tom ultimately confronts his own childhood self in order to overcome his fears. Nicely voiced by Mackenzie Crook, 'I Am Tom Moody' takes a situation that most people can relate to and then presents a series of specific events that lead up to it for this particular character which provide a sort of model for general self-exploration. The recurrent motif of the ice-cream cone iss particularly good, exposing what appears to be a throwaway comedic line as somewhat more important than it seems.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 7.1
DIR: Tom Schroeder

SUMMARY: The story of Marcel, a rooster who will do anything it takes to hang onto his seat of power.

WHY IT'S HERE: Tom Schroeder's 'Marcel, King of Tervuren' is continued proof, if any were needed, of the director's skill for making a small, personal story completely engaging. In this case, it is the story of a rooster who survives the threat of bird flu and numerous attempts to subdue and kill him, only to face a rising threat from his own son for the place of ruler of the roost. Told by Marcel's owner Ann Berckmoes, the short combines the narrator's fond remembrances with a real sense of drama, which is brought out by the imposing score and Schroeder's technique of placing the viewer squarely at chicken level in the barnyard setting. Perhaps most striking of all are Schroeder's visuals. A leap on from the charmingly bold drawings previous works, 'Marcel, King of Tervuren' is filled with fluid bursts of colour and shifting shapes which give it a kaleidoscopic effect and are further proof of Schroeder's versatility.
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People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.1
DIR: Franck Dion

SUMMARY: When quiet Edmond, a figure of fun to his colleagues, is crowned with a pair of paper donkey ears, it unlocks a part of his character that no-one expects.

WHY IT'S HERE: Franck Dion's highly unusual and strangely beautiful 'Edmond Was a Donkey' is a wonderful, haunting short about a quiet little man whose life is changed by a cruel prank. Depicted as generally contented despite his colleagues picking on him, Edmond is not another in a long line of characters pushed to breaking point and descending into mental illness. On the contrary, he is shown to be happily married, with a loving wife, an active sex life and a job he is dedicated to. But when his workmates quietly slip a pair of paper donkey ears onto his head, Edmond suddenly sees something in himself that he had not before. This characterless man discovers his personality and it is that of a donkey. The rest of the film follows Edmond's slow separation from society as he rejects the life he knows in favour of the new identity he has discovered. Told in flashback by his colleagues and wife, 'Edmond is a Donkey' is a film that could have been played as silly or absurdly surreal but instead Dion draws out a melancholic beauty in what is ultimately a meditation of the human search for a place in the world.
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People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 6.4
Hollow Land (2013)
DIR: Michelle Kranot, Uri Kranot

SUMMARY: An expectant couple arrive in a land they hope will be a utopia but which turns out to be an oppressive dictatorship where residents are forced to wear plungers on their heads.

WHY IT'S HERE: Michelle and Uri Kranot's 'Hollow Land' is a strange, funny and ultimately haunting film in which a man and his pregnant wife go in search of a new home in which to raise their family and are duped into becoming citizens of a dystopian land that is constantly patrolled by searchlights and where you have to constantly wear a bathroom plunger on your head. Consigned to a dirty, cramped apartment which looks like a ship's boiler room, the couple struggle to make it their own but the continued interference of their new society makes them uncomfortable at best and terrified at worst. With its ugly, lumbering characters and dank, dirty setting, 'Hollow Land' is a downbeat experience but it is also a brilliant one, examining the eternal human search for a home in which our expectations are rarely met. The great stop-motion also incorporates a hand-drawn dream sequence which adds the film's rich aesthetic but the real victory is the diversity of moods the Kranot's achieve. Although absurdism is prominent, there is also a looming sense of dread and one scene in particular, in which the state carries out a forced inspection on the couple's premises and the wife's stage of pregnancy, is genuinely disturbing, the shallow breathing of the distressed wife after the men finally leave proving almost unbearably realistic.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.4
DIR: Theodore Ushev

SUMMARY: An anti-war film which explores the relationship between art, ideology and power.

WHY IT'S HERE: It was a major surprise and disappointment when Theodore Ushev's 'Gloria Victoria' was not nominated for an Oscar. Most people who had seen it prior to the awards, myself included, imagined it would be a sure fire nominee and probable winner but sadly it ended up as neither. An astonishingly ravishing short that took two years to complete, Ushev's film is set to Skostakovich's stirringly dramatic 'Leningrad Symphony' which drives forward the imagery on screen. Combining angular abstraction with recognisable shapes and scenes, 'Gloria Victoria' wordlessly lays out the horrors of war and calls emphatically for peace through the use of images alone. Dark reds, browns and oranges mingle in a peerless evocation of human massacres and senseless loss of life. For all its unflinching graphicness, 'Gloria Victoria' is an uncommonly beautiful film, as overwhelming visually as it is thematically, and it leaves the viewer with a determination to make a better world rather than a sense of despair at what has gone before. A latter day masterpiece.
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DIR: Michele Lemieux

SUMMARY: A man living in solitude ventures outside his sanctum to muse on the meaning of the universe through four abstract tableaux.

WHY IT'S HERE: Michele Lemieux's 'Here and the Great Elsewhere' is one of the most innovative animated shorts of the 21st century. Made with, and also an ode to, the Alexeieff-Parker pinscreen that was used to create animation classics such as 'Night on Bald Mountain' and 'Mindscape'. Lemieux met Jacques Drouin, the director of 'Mindscape', who had been working on the instrument for three decades. On the verge of retirement, he passed the only working pinscreen in the world on to Lemieux, telling her that she was the protector of the instrument first and an artist working on it second. With such monumental responsibility to live up to, Lemieux did so heroically with 'Here and the Great Elsewhere', an abstract film of big ideas which is about discovery more than understanding. As the human character in the film witnesses his surroundings with a sense of wonder, the camera finally pulls back to reveal the pinscreen itself, as he closes the door on the outside world. A final caption states that the film was 'animated on an ageless instrument, a metaphor for atoms and the universe. On this evidence alone, the Alexeieff-Parker pinscreen is in safe hands.
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.4
DIR: Eoin Duffy

SUMMARY: Albert the Squirrel sets off to find his missing scarf but ends up helping all his woodland friends with their own existentialist problems.

WHY IT'S HERE: Irish director Eoin Duffy's 'The Missing Scarf' is a terrific film made with the free animation tool Blender3D. Purposefully rendered in a simple, colourful style that sets up expectations of what the film will be, 'The Missing Scarf' immediately sets about dismantling these expectations as Albert the Squirrel's sweet little quest is derailed by a series of increasingly neurotic woodland animals who turn to him for advice. Although the pat answers that Albert peddles seem to appease them, the short's ending suggests that these are not the opinions of the director himself. Although visually memorable, 'The Missing Scarf's major trump cards are Duffy's script and the pitch-perfect narration of the legendary George Takei.
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People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 6.7
DIR: Michael Please

SUMMARY: Marilyn is an artist who swings between delusions of grandeur and violent self-doubt. When she is given a chance to exhibit her work, it comes at a price which will continue to feed both these vying beasts.

WHY IT'S HERE: Michael Please's 'Marilyn Myller' finds Please continuing to work in the same striking monochrome stop motion that made his BAFTA-winning short 'The Eagleman Stag' so memorable. But while 'The Eagleman Stag' also had a dense, wordy script, 'Marilyn Myller' is more of a visual piece, a point made clear in its beautiful opening scenes in which artist Marilyn casts herself as God Almighty, creating worlds. But she quickly goes from God Almighty to Gordon Bennett as one of her creations falls apart and the seeds of doubt are planted. Where the short goes is clever and funny and what little dialogue there is is delivered hilariously by comedian Josie Long. Whether the idea for 'Marilyn Myller' came from Please's own frustrations in trying to follow up 'The Eagleman Stag' is unclear but whatever the inspiration, he has successfully captured the eternal struggle that anyone who has tried to do anything creative ever will understand.
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People who added this item 119 Average listal rating (82 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
DIR: Saschka Unseld

SUMMARY: A blue umbrella amongst a sea of black umbrellas is enjoying a rainy night in the city when he falls for a red umbrella.

WHY IT'S HERE: 'The Blue Umbrella' is one of Pixar's most beautiful shorts and it was a major surprise when it missed out on an Oscar nomination. Paired with 'Monsters University', which it thoroughly upstaged, 'The Blue Umbrella' showcased new animation techniques in photorealistic lighting, shading and compositing. While there is a thin central storyline involving two umbrellas falling for each other during a rainstorm, this is largely a hook on which to hang the breathtaking visuals which depict a city overtaken by a torrential rainstorm. So immersive that you practically feel wet but cosy enough in mood to counteract that, 'The Blue Umbrella' brings a city secretly to life. For the most part there are human characters on screen but they are hidden beneath their umbrellas, oblivious to the many eyes that watch them from seemingly inanimate objects. Part of the film's charm is how the story takes place just above the human element, a whole world literally going on over our heads.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 6.3
DIR: Jock Mooney, Alasdair Brotherston

SUMMARY: What do ice cream vans do during the winter? Why, they migrate of course!

WHY IT'S HERE: Jock Mooney and Alasdair Brotherston's sweet little short 'Gelato Go Home' is a good example of a film built entirely around one simple idea. Unlike, say, Géza M. Tóth's 'Maestro', 'Gelato Go Home' makes no attempt to save its punchline until the end. It is clear from the opening shot what is happening, as snow falls around a closed ice cream van and it suddenly sprouts wings and takes to the sky. As the mass migration of frozen pudding wagons fills the sky, the audience might chuckle at the conceit but from hereon in there are no more surprises. And that is what makes 'Gelato Go Home' so special. Having hit on an idea, the directors see it through right until the end, which ultimately makes it funnier in retrospect but also strangely uplifting while watching.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 5.9
Passer Passer (2013)
DIR: Louis Morton

SUMMARY: A vision of city life derived from the cacophony of background noises.

WHY IT'S HERE: Louis Morton's 'Passer Passer' is a terrifically evocative vision of city life. Morton combines the abstract with cartoons, his human characters looking like mean little Mr. Men shapeshifters, and the viewer is dropped right into the middle of the hubbub in a manner which really makes them feel they are being hustled through a city street. Even a break in a coffee house suffers from growing numbers of people overwhelming the peace. In order to get an authentic soundtrack, Morton recorded city sounds in both Los Angeles and Tokyo and this creates a dense soundscape that ushers the film ever forward. The perfect length at just 4 minutes, 'Passer Passer' makes you feel like you've spent all day on your feet amongst the crowd and need a quiet night in with a bottle of wine.
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People who added this item 66 Average listal rating (57 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.6
Get a Horse! (2013)
DIR: Lauren McMullan

SUMMARY: Mickey Mouse returns to the screen in glorious black and white... at first!

WHY IT'S HERE: Disney's 'Get a Horse!' saw the studio continuing its commendable efforts to bring their most iconic character out of retirement. Beginning like a classic Mickey Mouse cartoon, in black and white and with original title cards and recognisably bouncy animation, 'Get a Horse!' was marketed as a new cartoon entirely in this style. A minute and a half clip of the early scenes was even released online. This heavy publicity seemed to be rather spoiling the fun of discovering the new short's secrets for yourself... until you got into the cinema. It then became apparent that the length of the leaked clip had been very carefully chosen because from that moment on the black and white Mickey and his friends burst through the cinema screen and become full colour CG characters, interacting with the black and white Peg Leg Pete and captive Minnie who still tower over them on the screen above. While this sort of idea is not entirely new, 'Get a Horse!' executes it so beautifully that it matters little. Disney's marketing of the film and the glorious final result were perfectly judged and I believe that its loss of the Oscar is probably more to do with both the previous year's Disney Oscar victory with 'Paperman' and that year's Disney victory in the Animated Feature category for 'Frozen'.
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People who added this item 35 Average listal rating (24 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2
Mr. Hublot (2013)
DIR: Alexandre Espigares, Laurent Witz

SUMMARY: A reclusive man with OCD changes his lifestyle to accommodate a newly adopted pet.

WHY IT'S HERE: Alexandre Espigares and Laurent Witz's 'Mr. Hublot' is a charming and visually lovely short which became a surprise Oscar winner. This unassuming, slow-paced piece has the feel of the first episode of a high-quality children's series and the character of Mr. Hublot has much promise, particularly the unusual wrinkle of giving him OCD, a condition which is examined but not mocked in the film. The arrival of a robot dog in the narrative does take the film down some rather sentimental avenues but ultimately the conclusion is agreeably heartwarming. The main attraction of 'Mr. Hublot' is the lovely animation, with the steampunk city brought to life beautifully. There are numerous possibilities for this character in this setting, which is what makes 'Mr. Hublot' seem more like an introduction than a standalone film. Perhaps someday someone will return to this character and expand upon his story, although I hope they retain the high-quality artistry that makes this film worthy of note.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 7.5
DIR: Yousif Al-Khalifa

SUMMARY: A lonely female fishmonger struggles to combine her work with any kind of social life, but a trout-faced delivery man may help her escape her lonely existence.

WHY IT'S HERE: The BAFTA panel must have a weird thing for animated scenes of fish gutting. A decade after Gaëlle Denis' 'Fish Never Sleep' won the award for best animated short, Yousif Al-Khalifa's contradictorily titled film 'Sleeping with the Fishes' also emerged victorious. A murky little love story about an anti-social fishmonger who secretly longs for companionship, 'Sleeping with the Fishes' combines a romantic nature with black humour, as love and sealife mutilation are combined into a strange but compelling animation. Traditionally animated on paper, 'Sleeping with the Fishes' is a rarity in this digital age and while the grubbily playful story might not be to everyone's taste, lovers of the unusual and of hand-drawn animation will find much to love here.
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DIR: Bjorn-Erik Aschim, Sam Taylor

SUMMARY: A game of football between two boys takes a frightening turn when an unexpected visitor arrives.

WHY IT'S HERE: Bjorn-Erik Aschim and Sam Taylor's BAFTA-nominated 'Everything I Can See From Here' is a film that has puzzled and delighted animation fans in equal measures. Combining hand-drawn animation with 3D , 'Everything I Can See From Here' has an enigmatic plot involving a game of football and an alien invader. It is virtually impossible to predict where the short is going and when it ends many have felt a sense of anti-climax but in a world where there are hundreds of animated shorts built around clever twists that sometimes upstage the animation itself, 'Everything I Can See From Here' is refreshingly mysterious in its bleakly comical, open-ended execution. Particularly memorable is the contrast between the dull, autumnal skies and the Technicolor headdress of the alien character, whose appearance in the film is unsettlingly incongruous and oddly chilling.
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People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 6.4
Over Dinner (2013)
DIR: Marcus Armitage

SUMMARY: A family have their last meal together before the son joins the army.

WHY IT'S HERE: Marcus Armitage's 3 minute oil-on-glass animation 'Over Dinner' captures a moment in time with gut-wrenching accuracy as a family dine together on the night before the son leaves for the army. Armitage invests the parents with touchingly recognisable emotions, combining pride and sadness, but it is the son's mental state that the short focuses on, as the reality of his decision begins to hit home. As the cosy suburban walls are ripped down by military vehicles, the son is consumed with anxiety but unable to share it completely with his loving mother and father. As someone who has struggled with anxiety at the mere thought of a new job, 'Over Dinner' taps into a recognisably overwhelming feeling but at an extreme that I can barely stand to imagine. I loved the film but I was glad it was only three minutes as the viewer is drawn into the panic and regret of the son so thoroughly that any more could have brought on breathing problems of my own!
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.9
DIR: Chris Landreth

SUMMARY: A man runs into a former friend whose name he has forgotten and visualises his struggle to remember it as an episode of the gameshow 'Password'.

WHY IT'S HERE: After his more intense and haunting films 'Ryan' and 'The Spine', the brilliant Chris Landreth turned his hand to comedy with 'Subconscious Password', albeit comedy filled with psychological deconstruction. In this ingenious and underrated film, Landreth runs into an enthusiastic friend whose name he can't remember. Cajoled into having a drink with him, Landreth frantically wracks his brains in the short amount of time the friend is at the bar, and we see this struggle played out as an episode of the gameshow 'Password' in Landreth's mind, in which various celebrities, influences on Landreth's life and intimidating symbolic figures come together to give clues to the name 'John'. Landreth has always been adept at psychologically unpicking his characters and during the short we see several psychological scars laid bare on the screen. When faced with James Joyce as one of the celebrity helpers, Landreth admits 'I could never understand you, James', while the appearance of a monstrous Ayn Rand brings about a full-on regression to infancy. Landreth also peppers the film with little references for animation fans. The studio audience includes characters such as Nina Paley's Sita from 'Sita Sings the Blues' and John Dilworth's 'Dirdy Birdy', the latter being particularly significant since the forgotten friend in 'Subconscious Password' is played by none other than Dilworth himself.
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DIR: Felix Massie

SUMMARY: Christopher Gray discovers that Stacie, the girl he is in love with, has broken up with her boyfriend. Meanwhile, Barry Flint buys his son a boa constrictor in an attempt to win his love.

WHY IT'S HERE: Felix Massie's 'In the Air is Christopher Gray' tells two parallel stories that intertwine incongruously to very strange effect. Using a similar blobby stickman character design as in his masterpiece 'Keith Reynolds Can't Make It Tonight', 'In the Air is Christopher Gray' also retains the dark tone of Massie's work but pushes it to new and horrifying levels. Thanks to a barrage of nihilistic adult animations since the 90s, audiences are not unused to seeing terrible things happen to children in the name of comedy but Massie's take on this gets under the skin, as the detached narrator offers us the details of his characters' emotional motivations. Massie juxtaposes the tragic event with a comparatively trivial tale of a twelve year old boy's attempts to win the affections of a newly-single girl, but Massie gives this plotline the most attention, with the horrifying death treated almost as incidental by the majority of the characters. 'In the Air is Christopher Gray' could be accused of indelicacy but subsequent watches reveal it to be very carefully constructed. It doesn't quite have the philosophical resonance of Massie's previous films but is continued evidence of a dark but playful talent.
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.3
Duet (2014)
DIR: Glen Keane

SUMMARY: A boy, a girl and a dog are seen at various stages of their life, constantly in motion and dancing a duet they are not yet even aware of.

WHY IT'S HERE: Disney legend Glen Keane's 'Duet' is a gorgeous, hand-drawn animated dance which celebrates life, love and motion in equal measures. Depicting the progress through life from babies to young adults of a boy and a girl, as well as the boy's puppy's development into a full-grown dog, 'Duet' sees its characters engaged in independent activities but occasionally meeting up again for a fleeting moment, ultimately heading towards an inevitable union at the end. Though some have dismissed it as sentimental, 'Duet' is actually a deeply sincere ode to joyous moments in life. Its characters are in constant motion, sometimes literally dancing and sometimes running, leaping and tumbling in the glorious dance of existence. Rendered in white line drawings against a blue background and accompanied by a soaring score, it's a hard-heart that could not find something to be moved by in this treasure of a film.
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People who added this item 70 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 8.3
Feast (2014)
DIR: Patrick Osborne

SUMMARY: A dog finds that its master's new relationship results in healthier eating habits for them both.

WHY IT'S HERE: Disney's 'Feast' is a great short that packs an emotional rollercoaster into just 6 minutes. The clever story, which sees a dog who is used to being fed scraps of junk food suddenly being forcibly converted to health food when its master gets a new girlfriend, carefully constructs a situation in which it looks like one or other of the main characters is going to lose out, before tying it up with an satisfying capper. Although there are hints of sentimentality, 'Feast' is willing to explore emotionally raw areas such as the spiralling depression experienced after a broken relationship and it momentarily veers into some great black humour as the dog reaps the benefits of this. Combining hand-drawn and computer animation, 'Feast' has a great look and was an instant hit with audiences, bagging the Oscar for Best Animated Short into the bargain.
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People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 6.7
DIR: Daisy Jacobs

SUMMARY: Two brothers battle over how best to deal with their aging mother.

WHY IT'S HERE: British animator Daisy Jacobs' 'The Bigger Picture' is a great film that uses an innovative animation style in which two metre high cut-out characters interact with 2D painted artwork and full-sized sets in often ingenious ways. Much attention was given to this unusual production process in the promotional material and what would presumably be quite a cumbersome way to work has resulted in a unique and visually stunning film. With lots of symbolism, a sprinkling of black humour and a hint of the homemade that aligns it with great animated shorts of the 80s, 'The Bigger Picture' tells the grim story of two brothers who battle over how to deal with the problem of their ever-frailer aging mother. It's weighty subject matter that is well handled in the unsentimental script, which is every bit as much of an asset as the eye-catching animation. These elements grabbed the film a well-deserved Oscar nomination and a BAFTA win.
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People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 6.1
Driving (2014)
DIR: Nate Theis

SUMMARY: A look at the everyday tensions of commuting by car.

WHY IT'S HERE: Nate Theis's 'Driving' is the sort of animated short that could remind the jaded exactly why they fell in love with animation in the first place. In a world where stiff, dead-eyed characters are taking over the medium on TV, 'Driving' is positively alive with energy in its depiction of a group of arbitrarily furious motorists as they drive themselves into a frenzy over their attempts to drive through the heavy traffic. Theis presents us with a series of characters who resemble their vehicles in the same way owners resemble their dogs. They are waiting at a stop light which has a Jekyll and Hyde like effect when it switches to 'Go'. The building tension in each character is writ large upon Theis's wonderful drawing style and as the film reaches its inevitable ending, it is a great relief when the camera pulls up into a peaceful sky above the city... for a moment at least. From the twitch of a moustache to the explosion of a vein-peppered head, 'Driving' is a film filled with invigorating minutiae and achieves its considerable effect in a taut three minute time frame.
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People who added this item 17 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8
DIR: Robert Kondo, Daisuke 'Dice' Tsutsumi

SUMMARY: A young pig has the responsibility of keeping the town windmill in working order.

WHY IT'S HERE: For many, it was a surprise that Robert Kondo and Daisuke Tsutsumi's 'The Dam Keeper' did not win the Oscar for its year. The story of a lonely young pig who has the responsibility to keep a town's windmill in working order to keep a dust cloud at bay, 'The Dam Keeper' is visually exceptional, with its mix of traditional and computer animation creating a stunning world. The emotional story matches the melancholy look and feel, telling the tale of an introverted pig who is rejected by his peers but sees the chance of friendship with an artistic fox. When this too leads to heartbreak, the pig takes out his frustrations on the town. There's a surprising darkness to 'The Dam Keeper' and even as it lightens towards the end, I was left with a sense of slight dejection tempered only by the seed of hope planted by the final images. This emotional complexity left me not knowing quite what to think after first seeing 'The Dam Keeper' but, like the best films, it improves with each watch and even those who don't like the story can revel in the stunning artwork.
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People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.6
DIR: Torill Kove

SUMMARY: The story of three sisters in Norway who long for their parents to buy them a bike.

WHY IT'S HERE: 'Me and my Moulton' is the third Oscar nominated short from Torill Kove, whose shorts 'My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts' and 'The Danish Poet' I loved so much. Kove's charming 2D cartoon style is still present, as is her unique flair for storytelling but at first this more personal tale of Kove's fictionalised youth seemed to be missing the same magic that her previous work had in spades. I don't know why I didn't connect more strongly with 'Me and My Moulton' on first viewing because subsequent watches revealed it to be exactly as movingly sweet and narratively enjoyable as those earlier modest masterpieces. I suppose the far more personal nature of this childhood tale takes a little longer to permeate than the fanciful, intricate storylines of Kove's previous work. But as I rewatched it, I fell in love with the small story and the carefully embroidered little details that build up an image of family life. This is anecdotal filmmaking that revels in the smaller things in life and, as such, it is both brilliantly recognisable as Kove's work and builds on her repertoire by applying the glorious storybook look to punched-up diary excerpts.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.4
DIR: Lucas Martell

SUMMARY: In a world where the seas have disappeared, a brave female pirate fights for control of the last source of water.

WHY IT'S HERE: After his amusing comedy short 'Pigeon: Impossible', Lucas Martell turned his hand to something very different with this action-packed ten minute adventure. Although it retains the appealing cartoonish character designs of his first short, 'The Oceanmaker' sees Martell trying something more ambitious and the result is a thrilling mini-adventure with enormous potential to be expanded into a full feature, a goal Martell is aiming to achieve. Pitting a courageous female pilot against sky pirates who are battling for control of the clouds, the last source of water in a worldwide drought, 'The Oceanmaker' works beautifully as a standalone, wordless action-adventure.
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People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.4
A Single Life (2014)
DIR: Job Roggeveen, Joris Oprins, Marieke Blaauw

SUMMARY: A woman receives a record which allows her to skip to various different points in her life by moving the needle to different parts of the song.

WHY IT'S HERE: Although it was dismissed in some quarters as a two-minute joke, Job Roggeveen, Marieke Blaauw and Joris Oprins' 'A Single Life' is so much more than that. Created over three months, this Oscar nominated short tells the story of Pia, a woman who receives a mysterious vinyl record which, when the needle is skipped, has the power to transport her to various places in her life. The ending of the film is somewhat inevitable but the journey there is the fun part, and therein lies a nice little metaphor for 'A Single Life's themes of mortality and time. As Pia jumps forward to different moments in her life, the room changes around her, incorporating little details that tell stories of their own. Though it is very funny, 'A Single Life' is also haunting, underlining just how quickly time slips away and concluding on that bleak little punchline which stays with you long after the film ends.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.4
Bus Story (2014)
DIR: Tali

SUMMARY: A woman decides she'd like to be a school bus driver but with annoying kids, a surly boss and adverse weather conditions, the reality doesn't quite match her idyllic vision.

WHY IT'S HERE: Tali's 'Bus Story' is a great animated short about a woman whose idealised impression of life as a school bus driver doesn't quite match the reality of the situation. A slice of life style tale spiced up with a few absurd flourishes, 'Bus Story' was created for the National Film Board of Canada and its visual style owes much to classics like 'The Big Snit' and 'The Cat Came Back', with crude but hugely appealing character designs and animation. Very funny, occasionally dark but mostly sweet, 'Bus Story' is a latter day gem that feels like it could have come out of animations very productive 80s period.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 5.8
My Dad (2014)
DIR: Marcus Armitage

SUMMARY: A young boy talks about his father but his fond descriptions soon begin to hint at a judgemental and dangerous influence.

WHY IT'S HERE: Marcus Armitage's 'My Dad' is an absolute belter of an animated short which looks at the complex subject of inherited prejudice versus personal inclination. Created with oil pastels and newspaper clippings, 'My Dad' is a viscerally relevant film which highlights the sad fact that racial prejudice isn't just a thing of the past. The bold, vivid colours mingle with the blunt black and white of the newsprint to create an uncomfortably arresting vision and as the dominant influence of tabloids begins to literally tear through frames of the film, the viewer feels like they are witnessing an almost unstoppable force. But the experience of watching 'My Dad' is one not of hopelessness but of a rallying cry to not allow the opinions of others to batter your own into submission. It's an invigorating experience akin to a socially-conscious punk song that makes the open-minded viewer feel empowered by the fact that artists like Armitage are out there giving exposure to uncomfortable subjects and hopefully getting through to some people who would otherwise be lost to overbearing parental influence. Nominated for a BAFTA, in my book this hugely important, tremendously effective firecracker of a film should have won.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 0
Grounded (2014)
DIR: Melody Wang, Steven Bryant, Justine Howard, Bronwyn Jackson, Jeung-Ha Kim, Alex Kolano, Shiyou Li, Khoebe Magsaysay, Margaret Perrie, Kelsey Ryan, Evan Sangster-Keeley, Tasha Surendra, Inna Testolini

SUMMARY: A rabbit takes to the sky to save his little brother when he is carried away by helium balloons.

WHY IT'S HERE: A student film made as a collaborative project by thirteen directors, 'Grounded' is a charming little film that has a joyous sense of the creators' love for animation. A rescue story in which a rabbit tries to save his little brother when he floats away on helium balloons, there are no clever plot twists or virtuoso flourishes in 'Grounded' but it delights simply through good storytelling and attractive animation. Children will love it but 'Grounded' is much more than a kid's film, it is a tribute to collaborative achievement and a film I'm sure its multiple creators were very proud of. One imagines this little gem binds them together like the scarf around its two rabbit characters in 'Grounded's final moments.
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People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 0
DIR: Tom Schroeder

SUMMARY: Images of life on Isola del Giglio, in the form of an animated sketchbook.

WHY IT'S HERE: Tom Schroeder's wonderful 'Isola del Giglio' shares an atmosphere with other animated travelogues such as 'Madagascar, A Journey Diary' and 'Journey to Cape Verde', in that it evokes a time and place through animated sketches depicted as if in a book. Like the aforementioned films, narrative is put aside in favour of mood and an encapsulation of one day on Isola del Giglio. Considerably different from his anecdotal films, 'Isola del Giglio' also marks a progression in Schroeder's visual style, which still favours the attractively bold but now has a far more painterly look and increased fluidity of animation. Like all the best travelogues, 'Isola del Giglio' takes you away from your own life and places you squarely in its own destination, which is depicted with a great attention to details, both visual and aural, and great affection for the characters of the island. A joy from beginning to end, 'Isola del Giglio' is a relaxing watch to completely lose yourself in.
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People who added this item 49 Average listal rating (39 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.7
Bear Story (2014)
DIR: Gabriel Osorio Vargas

SUMMARY: An old bear creates a mechanical diorama that tells the story of his life.

WHY IT'S HERE: Gabriel Osorio Vargas' 'Bear Story' was the first Chilean film ever to win an Oscar but its achievements go beyond this simple statistic. This film was inspired by the director's grandfather Leopoldo Osorio's experience as a socialist militant exiled during Pinochet's dictatorship. As such, the film's deceptively cute bear family are used to tell a troubling tale. In the film, an old male bear creates a mechanical diorama from which he makes a modest living by charging others to view its story. Through creating small puppets of his younger self and his family, the bear is able to tell his own terrible story the way he would like it. There's an overwhelming sense of sadness to 'Bear Story', which cleverly switches between its living characters and the animated puppets that represent them. As a political allegory, it is powerful and moving and as an animation it is visually lovely but children who watch the film will benefit from at least a rough explanation of its point.
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People who added this item 13 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.7
DIR: Konstantin Bronzit

SUMMARY: Two cosmonauts who have been friends since childhood strive to complete their training for a potentially deadly space mission.

WHY IT'S HERE: Konstantin Bronzit Oscar nominated 'We Can't Live Without Cosmos' is a terrific and wholly unpredictable gem of a film which begins as a hysterical comedy and slowly shifts into something darker. Wonderfull hand drawn in a cartoony style, the fifteen minute film spends its first half following two playful but determined cosmonauts through a gruelling training process. Filled with lovely little comedic moments, the training sequences prepare the viewer for one kind of film but then 'We Can't Live Without Cosmos' quickly becomes another, with a sudden shift in tone which makes it more dramatic and highlights the overarching themes of friendship that are the films heart. Although it changes significantly, 'We Can't Live Without Cosmos' never feels jarring. Told without words, the narrative style doesn't feel disrupted even as the mood alters and small moments of humour poke through the latter half's tragic observations. One image in particular, the result of an x-ray, is heartbreakingly sad but Bronzit never milks the pathos and continues past the image without a dramatic music cue or slow zoom into the crucial detail. Ending on an ambiguous note which could be taken as tragic, uplifting or somewhere in between, 'We Can't Live Without Cosmos' is another fantastic film from a director from whom you're never quite sure what to expect.
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
DIR: Kyungmin Woo

SUMMARY: An intergalactic delivery man attempts to deliver a microscopic parcel to a community he can't even see.

WHY IT'S HERE: Kyungmin Woo's 'Johnny Express' is a hilarious, anarchic short with a deceptively dark sense of humour. Beautifully cartoony, brightly coloured visuals do not prepare the viewer for the total annihilation that is coming. The story involves an intergalactic delivery man who is tasked with delivering a microscopic parcel that he can barely see to an alien whose hometown is invisible to him. Landing on a very small planet, the delivery man inadvertently steps right onto the alien's town. 'Johnny Express' derives much of its humour from cuts between the citywide panic depicted from the alien's point of view and the delivery man's bored, irritated response to landing on what he assumes is an unpopulated planet. This juxtaposition has much to say about perspectives but 'Johnny Express' is played entirely for laughs, which makes it all the more appealing.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.7
L3.0 (2014)
DIR: Alexis Decelle

SUMMARY: A lonely little robot looks for someone to play with in a future Paris seemingly devoid of life.

WHY IT'S HERE: Alexis Decelle's 'L3.0' (a play on the name Leo) is a deceptive short that initially drew many comparisons to Pixar's 'Wall-E' but is, in fact, a very different film indeed. Telling the story of a lonely robot looking for a playmate in a post-apocalyptic Paris, 'L3.0' begins like a sweetly melancholy children's film which we assume will end with the robot overcoming its loneliness in some life-affirming way. But instead the film takes a much darker turn, with an ambiguous final image which can be taken in several different ways, some of which are chilling. 'L3.0' is the sort of film that rattles inside your head for a long time after you see it, leaving you with more questions than answers and a haunting sense that you will never fully understand all of its secrets. Not bad for a 3 minute film.
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People who added this item 68 Average listal rating (48 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.2
DIR: Don Hertzfeldt

SUMMARY: A young girl named Emily receives a live video transmission from an adult third-generation clone of herself contacting her from 227 years in the future.

WHY IT'S HERE: Having wowed critics and fans with his extraordinary Bill trilogy, Don Hertzfeldt somehow managed to follow it up with something every bit as astonishingly masterful. Hertzfeldt's first foray into digital animation, 'World of Tomorrow' retains his simple stick-figure characters but places them in a more colourful, mesmerising world influenced by magazine cover designs from the 50s and 60s. Although always interested in the sci-fi genre, Hertzfeldt was concerned about the inevitability of covering ground already touched upon by other artists but having made the decision to make his first digital film, this seemed like the ideal time to try his hand at sci-fi. Although the story does feature familiar concepts such as clones, robots and time travel, Hertzfeldt puts a totally new spin on them, filtering them through his distinctive but never predictable tragi-comic writing. Much kudos must also be given to Hertzfeldt's voice actors. Julia Pott is perfect as the monotone but somehow sad-sounding clone, while Winona Mae, Hertzfeldt's four year old niece, is disarmingly adorable as Emily. By recording her while she was drawing and playing, Hertzfeldt was able to capture the naturally joyous sound of a child which is practically impossible to coax out of actors. Winona's lovely ramblings are not just non-sequiturs but are incorporated perfectly into the plot, making her the most important, relatable character in the film. Though nominated for an Oscar, 'World of Tomorrow' unbelievably did not win but has been immediately embraced as a masterpiece.
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DIR: Melody Wang

SUMMARY: Nips and Porkington are members of the police force who set about tracking down a stolen egg.

WHY IT'S HERE: Melody Wang, one of the directors who made the lovely 'Grounded', demonstrates her extraordinary talents in the beautiful little film 'The Casebook of Nips & Porkington'. Starring anthropomorphic animals who have a warmly nostalgic look of classic animation about them, the film follows its title characters on an old fashioned detective adventure. To this promising formula, Wang adds the delightful detail that the action takes place against the backdrop of a newspaper. The characters peer round pages, dart between advertisements and manipulate letters into magnifying glasses. It's delightfully done and this student project, at just two and a half minutes in length, has oodles of potential to be expanded. A little research reveals that Wang has been approached to create a series starring the duo, an exciting prospect so long as she is able to retain creative control and keep those gorgeous character designs. I'd love to see more from Nips and Porkington in the future.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 7.5
DIR: Seth Boyden

SUMMARY: The life of a stone as it goes from towering mountain to tiny pebble.

WHY IT'S HERE: Seth Boyden's absolutely charming 'An Object at Rest' follows the story of a mountain over the course of millions of years as it degrades into a tiny pebble. Layering digital animation on top of sumptuous watercolour backgrounds, 'An Object at Rest' combines its gorgeous, cartoony visuals with an epic scope as its expansive story plays out in just over five minutes. Taking in a variety of historical settings, the stone goes through a wide variety of situations before arriving at a satisfying conclusion which, when considered, may be just another beginning. Boyden's film narrowly missed out on being Oscar nominated but 'An Object at Rest' feels like a classic already, combining a strong story with terrifically appealing visuals.
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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 20 covers the years 2011 - 2016 including: PES's inventive films finally get recognition from the Academy with the Oscar nominated 'Fresh Guacamole'; Tom Schroeder's films take on a lusher visual quality with 'Marcel, King of Tervuren' and 'Isola Del Giglio'; Pixar and Disney make mini-masterpieces with 'The Blue Umbrella' and 'Get a Horse'; Theodore Ushev celebrated 'Gloria Victoria' somehow misses out on an Oscar nomination; Chris Landreth turns his hand to psychological comedy with 'Subconscious Password'; Don Hertzfeldt makes another masterpiece with the acclaimed sci-fi short 'World of Tomorrow'.

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Comments

Posted: 1 year, 4 months ago at Apr 12 13:02
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:

MACPHERSON
GLORIA VICTORIA
HERE AND THE GREAT ELSEWHERE
THE BLUE UMBRELLA
SUBCONSCIOUS PASSWORD
DUET
MY DAD
ISOLA DEL GIGLIO
WE CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT COSMOS
WORLD OF TOMORROW

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