Over 100 years (and more than 14 hours) of animated short films from around the world. No music videos or commercials; all the pins here are complete and original animated stories realized utilizing techniques including modern CG, traditional hand-drawn, stop-motion, sand, scanning tunneling microscope, and even a technique known as pinscreen.
The Mermaid : 1997 - Directed by Alexander Petrov. A young man falls in love with a mysterious mermaid, but she is not a creature to be trusted. Though all in Russian, no subtitles are needed - all the dialogue is orthodox prayer - and the paint on glass technique is masterly done by the great Russian master, Petrov. This is one of the most beautiful films ever made.
Les Escargots : 1966 - Directed by René Laloux. From the director of the wonderfully weird Fantastic Planet, this film presents a humorous and nightmarish vision of fertility and society. Totally outlandish, but also rich enough to attach your own meaning to since there really is no wrong way to interpret this short film. Unforgettable in every way.
Flight Safety: After The Cut : 1946 - United States Navy Training Film. Military training films are not known for being funny but this film about landing on an aircraft carrier is sold by the great characters and the attitude of the planes who have all resigned themselves to a life of hardship and terrible Navy pilots who can't follow simple orders.
Little Johnny Jet : 1953 - Directed by Tex Avery. Though this short does not have any of the famous MGM characters it nevertheless has endured in popularity thanks to countless reruns on Saturday mornings. The highlight of the short are the quick, one-off gags and the cuteness of the baby jet along with the dad's incredulous attitude. All around a nostalgic favorite.
Pig Box : 2013 - Directed by Ta-Wei Chao, Tsai-Chun Han. Very cute story about a little bluebird that tries to snuggle with a porcupine on a cold day. Very nice artwork and a little twist at the end of this short makes this simple little story stand out.
5m80 : 2012 - Directed by Nicolas Deveaux. A short film about giraffes practicing their Olympic diving skills. This may seem like a silly idea, and it is, but that's what makes it so great because only through animation can we witness giraffes diving into a pool for fun.
Reach : 2008 - Directed by Luke Randall. A child's robot struggles with being tethered to the very thing that gives him life and the desire to be free from it. Wonderful character design and excellent animation make this bittersweet short quite memorable.
La Luna : 2011 - Directed by Enrico Casarosa. More Pixar magic! Grandfather, father, and son are the stewards of the moon whose job is to clean up the fallen stars and arrange them for each phase. The inspiration of the author Calvino and the master animator Miyazaki are all over this wonderful and charming short.
Le Moine et le Poisson (The Monk and the Fish) : 1994 - Directed by Michaël Dudok de Wit. A deceptively simple story about a monk who spots a fish at his monastery and his attempts to catch it. The character design is incredibly expressive as are the camera angles and set designs which create an impressive sense of space. The entire film was hand-drawn using Indian ink and watercolor and set to an interpretation of La Folia (Follies of Spain), one of the oldest pieces of music in Europe.
Le Silence Sous L'écorce (The Silence Beneath The Bark) : 2007 - Directed by Joanna Lurie. A tree falling on a winter's night deep in the forest wakes a small creature who explores the beauty, mystery and silence of nature. Very atmospheric with excellent sound design that combine to evoke the feelings of love, friendship and harmony - I think; it's an unusual film.
Altneuland : 2013 - Directed by Sariel Keslasi. Drawing inspiration from the Jewish Utopian novel of the same name, this short silently deals with the themes of searching for a place that may or may not exist (or even be possible) and the absurdity of following signs in a desert where all communication with the advanced world has no link. Impressive film filled with but not burdened by symbolism.
A Boy And His Atom : 2013 - Directed by Nico Casavecchia. There is something quite charming about the simplicity of this film made with a device known as a 'scanning tunneling microscope' to move individual atoms frame by frame to make the animation. Historically and scientifically fascinating, though totally impractical.
Sintel : 2010 - Directed by Colin Levy. It's easy to see why this film could be expanded into a feature-length film but perhaps it's best the way it is. Too many big-budget, Hollywood films are just simple ideas padded out for length and so this film gives us just enough story to be engaging and even surprisingly emotional.
In Between : 2012 - Directed by Alice Bissonnet, Aloyse Desoubries Binet, Sandrine Han Jin Kuang, Juliette Laurent, Sophie Markatatos. Cute French film about a young woman whose social anxiety is manifested as an annoying crocodile that always comes between her and what she wants.
Omelette : 2013 - Directed by Madeline Sharafian. Man's best friend turns out to be a much better cook than man in this very cute short about a dog, a sleepy owner, and a delicious omelette. This is one of the best student films I've seen in years.
The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling : 2011 - Directed by Joseph Wallace. An old man suddenly becomes terrified of falling and injuring himself when he accidentally knocks a pot of flowers off his hi-rise balcony. I wondered if maybe why the old man was alone was because he never allowed himself to fall? The film is touching, very well edited (with nice humor) and open to many interpretations.
Day & Night : 2010 - Directed by Teddy Newton. The award winning short that ran before Pixar's Toy Story 3; this inventive film combines 2D and 3D animation styles to tell the story of how two characters (Day and Night) see the world very differently. At first they don't understand each other but eventually grow to admire the things that make them different. Very unique film.
North Korean Propaganda : 2012(ish) - Directed by Unknown. You'd be excused for thinking this animated film is from the 1950's, but this is some of the most recent, in-state propaganda currently circulating North Korea. Artistically there is some nice animation, especially the characters, but also some really bad animation too. However, much of the bad animation is during the child's dream sequence so it can be 'forgiven'. Interesting to learn how 'they' see 'Us' and also how little has changed.
A Gum Boy : 2009 - Directed by Masaki Okuda. The frantic pace of this short film captures the annoying quality of a kid who smacks and chews his gum all day. However, this isn't a film making fun of an annoying kid, but rather it gets inside his imagination and his distracted mind really effectively. This is a very good animated short.
The Pioneer's Violin : 1971 - Directed by Boris Stepantsev. Though we need to keep in mind that this is Soviet propaganda, this is still a masterful piece of film making. Most striking is the villain is not shown as being an evil animal, but rather a smiling, almost jolly fat man. This makes the entire situation much more menacing and in a way, much more real. This is a very disturbing film emotionally and is perhaps the greatest anti-war propaganda cartoon ever made.
Summer Bummer : 2012 - Directed by Bill Plympton. A man, a diving board, a backyard pool and a deadly shark. Does it make sense? Nope. Is it predictable? Yep. Is the comedic timing of Bill Plympton perfect? Oh my, yes. Great way to end the summer with this little short film.