Before the law sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the law. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in later on. “It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not now.”Franz Kafka's Before the Law, animated as a pinscreen prologue to Orson Welles' film adaptation of Kafka's The Trial (Pop Matters review), and a stand-alone "free interpretation" short titled The Guardian by N9ve Studios. [more inside]
There is no more water, except for the clouds. In this animated short film, a heroic pilot attempts to change that. [more inside]
Stanley Pickle is a short stopmotion/liveaction film directed by the illustrator and photographer Vicky Mather
Confusion Through Sand. (YouTube.) An animated short in which "a nineteen year old finds himself alone in a hostile desert, scared as hell, and trained to react." [Via]
Endtrip - We enter the mind of a drug overdosed girl and go on a journey through her subconsciousness (SLVimeo) (Possible NSFW surreal imagery)
A 9-minute Dutch animation about a daughter who remembers her father. The Academy Award winner in 2000 for animated short films, and multiple other awards. A more detailed review here and an in-depth interview with Michael Dudok de Wit, but these are best read after watching the film first. No dialogue, sepia-tinged and with an accordion-dominated soundtrack. Possibly NSFW if your workplace minds you suddenly bursting into noisy sobs. Dudok de Wit is now working on The Red Turtle, a dialogue-less feature and the first Western project with Studio Ghibli as co-producer.
Butter Ya'Self (Vimeo; YouTube) is "basically ... the story of Drake and Lil’ Wayne [as told with an anthropomorphic banana, hot dog bun, and stick of butter]. ButterKrust is 100% based on Wayne – Nana Splits isn’t based on anyone real but his relationship to ButterKrust is based on Drake’s relationship to Lil’ Wayne. The most important thing I wanted to express in this video is the relationship between them, how tight they are and how much Nana Splits looks up to ButterKrust." That's the story from Julian Petschek, who is studying at The California Institute of the Arts. [more inside]
OMEGA - A Stop Motion Animated Short. "The mechanical life form Ohm inhabits a bleak and devastated planet. The thousands of mechanical creatures of this world share a single cycle of energy. In this cycle, Ohm is a rogue element. His nature is to devour and absorb others. When one day a gargantuan foreign object appears in the skies. Drawn in by mysterious creatures of light, the Ohm tracks them across the planet, changing the known order of matter, time and space." [Via]
Good Grief, an animated short film from Australia about the process of grieving and the lessons learned from adjusting to loss, made using stop-motion animation and recorded interviews with real people.
Forward March (YouTube) is a silly little animated film, featuring four formal British military men and a furry fellow who emerges from the sewer. This short is one of the graduation pieces (Google auto-translate; original link) from the French arts school, ESMA (official French site). You can find more short animations on their YouTube and Vimeo accounts.
Mickey Mouse in Ghoul Friend is a new Disney short, featuring the reanimated corpse of Goofy. With this information, you might get the idea that this is not what you might expect from modern Disney cartoons, and you'd be right. It's one of 19 new shorts that are part of the new Mickey Mouse series of shorts that are inspired by the 1930s era Disney shorts. If you'd like to see more, 11 of the shorts are currently available to view on YouTube (in a playlist with two bonus behind the scenes clips), from the DisneyShorts YouTube acccount. [more inside]
Requiem for Romance is a short animated film about a difficult phone call. It comes from artist and animator Jonathan Ng.
Rubix by University of Greenwich student Chris Kelly - an Escher-like surrealist film which mixes and rotates urban landscapes like a Rubik's Cube, created for his thesis "Time and Relative Dimensions in Space: The Possibilities of Utilising Virtual[ly Impossible] Environments in Architecture." (via)
While at Cal Arts, before blogs and websites freely shared content, as animation students we would watch short films in a dark cage like room called the Palace. Projected onto the wall we screened “rare” short films, on bulky ¾ inch video cassettes or on mystical DVDs that a teacher had brought in. Of all the shorts we watched in the dingy palace there was one that was etched in my brain as both brilliant and completely insane. It was called “The Big Story,” and it starred three stop motion versions of Kirk Douglas: one as the young up and coming hero, another as the star in his prime, and the third the wise but curmudgie old man. [more inside]
Short documentary film (SLNYT) about 91 year old George Weedon, former Olympic gymnast. Free posture advice included.
Sometimes you want to be somber, or serious, or just enjoy some peace and quiet. And in some of those instances, you get jazz that nobody asked for. Jazz that just won't die. [more inside]
New York Biotopes deals with abstract plants and creatures, which change their forms because of insufficient living space and adapt themselves to the surroundings of the metropolis New York City. Set to the music of Man Mantis. More videos from Lena Steinkühler on her Vimeo channel.
Disney's Oscar-nominated animated short Paperman has just been made available for your viewing delight on the official Walt Disney Animation Studios YouTube channel! [more inside]
"It's amazing what can be done with nothing more than a computer, time and a boatload of talent." R'ha is a short film created in seven months by aspiring director Kaleb Lechowski, 22.
Rioting robots on the streets of Brixton, a gorgeous sci-fi/architecture/animation short film by architecture graduate Kibwe Tavares. [more inside]
"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance." So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2] -- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation. Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster. Using a blend of faux documentary footage and visual metaphor, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world. Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for. But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix, a collection of nine superb anime films in a wide variety of styles designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies. Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
The External World. (nsfw)
"Sintel" is an independently produced short film, initiated by the Blender Foundation as a means to further improve and validate the free/open source 3D creation suite Blender. With initial funding provided by 1000s of donations via the internet community, it has again proven to be a viable development model for both open 3D technology as for independent animation film. This 15 minute film has been realized in the studio of the Amsterdam Blender Institute, by an international team of artists and developers. In addition to that, several crucial technical and creative targets have been realized online, by developers and artists and teams all over the world. [more inside]
Beware the Electronic Automatic Sound-Spectrograph Computing Digit Translator Playback Recognizer Machine
Telephoneme: Even if your Alphabet Conspiracy succeeds and you destroy the books, machines have no minds of their own. They are easily confused by different voices and different accents. It is the brain of man that tells them what to do. [more inside]
Big Bang, Big Boom, by Blu. A beautiful, extremely impressive stop motion depiction of evolution brought to life on walls, streets, beaches, and everything in between. (Previously, and other films Fantoche, and MUTO.) [more inside]
Watch the Oscar-nominated animated film Logorama in its (glorious 16 minute, corporate-logo assaulting, nsfw maniacal Ronald McDonald flaming queen Mr. Clean) entirety on Facebook.
An eerie tribute to countless Twilight Zone episodes, Pixar Animator Rodrigo Blaas has published his animated short film Alma. [more inside]
2D characters in a 3D world: Flatworld (part 1, part 2, part 3). One of the many funny, clever, and innovative animations by Daniel Greaves of Tandem Films. [more inside]
100 fantastic animated shorts for a century of animation. Almost all entries with video.
The Oscar-nominated "Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello" is an "adventurous tale of a navigator’s journey to save his ailing wife set in a beautiful world of Victorian science-fiction" and one the many fine film shorts and videos available to watch at shortof theweek.com - a site dedicated to "finding those few [video] gems amongst the enormous heap of garbage they're buried in..." [more inside]
minuscule: La vie privée des insectes (warning: auto-play sound). This is a series of short, funny films with no dialogue (so you don't need to know French to appreciate them), combining actual footage with 3d animation. Films include: bouse de là!, catapulte, chewing gum, hyperactive, l'attaque de la sucette rose, les vers sont dans la pomme, libellules, petit repas entre mouches, silence, top départ and zzzeplin. [more inside]
BURN-E is a short film by Pixar Animation Studios based on a character who was briefly seen in the movie WALL-E. It takes place concurrently with the movie during the sequence when WALL-E and EVE fly around the Axiom starliner, and enter through a door, locking a welder robot outside of the ship.
In 2005, Shane Acker released his student film, the atmospheric, masterfully animated "9" [10 min video], to critical acclaim. In 2006, the film toured with The Animation Show. Now, Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov and a couple other familiar folks will be helping Acker bring a feature-length adaptation to theaters later this year. [more inside]
What happens in the shadow, in the grey regions, also interests us – all that is elusive and fugitive, all that can be said in those beautiful half tones, or in whispers, in deep shade.Here are some short films by Stephen and Timothy, the Brothers Quay. [more inside]
The short films of Floris Kaayk and Sil van der Woerd blend live-action footage and computer animation. Metalosis Maligna. Swim. Duet. Order Electrum. [more inside]
How To Cope With Death. Fun, short, animated film. If only we could do this with the tax collector.
Rustboy, a short film about a Pinocchio/Frankenstein-esque robot child almost a year in the making thus far, has up until recently been illustrator Brian Taylor's personal side project. He's been keeping a diary of the process on his site and posting movie clips, storyboard sketches, and descriptions of how he achieves various effects the whole time. Followers of the site recently got the good news that Taylor has received funding to work on Rustboy full-time beginning in April. I've bookmarked it so I can check in every so often and say, "MAN, I wish I could do that!"