“WOODY” is a short film with the genius tagline “His dreams are big…but they’re about to get out of hand.” It features Woody, one of those artist dummies with paddles for hands, who dreams of having fingers so he can play the piano. He may go too far in pursuit of his dreams.
Grow is a short film that’s all about the premise: What if you had to buy oxygen to stay alive?
We’ve seen things with these intricately intertwined time-loops of action before, but the remain fascinating to see executed. Every character is locked in their predestined routine, their actions affecting one another, but also totally separable. Plus, there’s a clown looking for its wig.
“The Guillable Kiss of Mr. Patokos” is the story of a man who pulls a love interest out of his hat. And then makes the mistake of kissing it. It’s like Pygmalion, if that were a horror story.
Studio Smack’s “Branded Dreams” taps into a nightmare I didn’t even know I had. This feels like it takes place in the same future as the product placement-fueled Minority Report. People selling ad space in their dreams.
“Valse à quatre mains” (“Waltz with four hands”) is a short animated film by a group from Supamonks Studio, which is gorgeous in its music and imagery. The attention to detail is amazing—just look at the cracks in the hair of the violinist!
“Yule Log 2.015” is a collaborative process where a bunch of different artists each make their own yule-log-based short, which are all stitched together into a montage that replaces the traditional video of a burning log.
Vincent Peone’s “The Sea Is Blue” is a lovely tale about a girl’s journey, with the requisite voiceover telling the tale. As it should be, when you’re dealing with fairy tale mixed with myth.
We’re always happy when there’s a new Animated Life to watch, and the last one for the year is no exception. This time out, we’ve got the coelacanth and the discovery that the fish with the 400 million-year-old lineage is still alive.
In “Sputnik,” a football-shaped space probe is picked up by an alien. The resulting journey results in a whole new state of mind.
Grace Nayoon Rhee’s “Insect Bite” is drawn in a style that looks vaguely childlike, showing a bug with the power to partially transform into anything it eats. Until it bites off more than he can chew. Mildly violent, so exercise caution.
We’ve featured videos from Flora Lichtman and Sharon Shatttuck’s Animated Life series for the New York Times before. The subject this time is paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey, with a particular focus on her discovery of the Laetoli footprints, which showed how hominids walked upright 3.5 million years ago.
Intruders isn’t just one short, it’s three. All interwoven as the results of a deadly haunting, but each one could stand alone. In Intruders, Santiago Menghini effectively uses a bunch of horror techniques to create different kinds of dread.
We were really impressed with the trailer for The Shaman when it came out in March. And now, after a successful run at film festivals, you can finally see it for yourself.
“Lost Property” is a short where everything is perfect. The metaphor of the office and the photos is wonderfully executed. The characters are animated with a lot of sympathy. And the visuals are beautiful.
In Les Liens De Sang (“Blood Ties”), we see the youngest daughter of an autocratic father take her birthday as the chance to break free. It’s a sumptuous short, filled with imagery that is both disturbing and revealing of her backstory.
In a future where humans battle robots, an elite military team has to save the President. And retrieving him from the middle of robot-territory is as easy as it sounds.
EXODE is one of those short films which builds a whole world in just a few minutes. The whole shape of this civilization—and why the death of this dinosaur-like creature has spurred an exodus—is clearly revealed, and it’s fascinating.
After it premiered with the Peanuts movie, Fox has put the short “Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe” up online. I have literally no feelings about any Ice Age character except Scrat, whose life is a reminder of the constant misery that is the pursuit of the simplest needs.
Christophe Peladan’s Goutte d’Or is so brilliantly conceived and executed, all other undead pirate stories (looking at you Pirates of the Caribbean) will fall from memory.