I love animation. I think it’s an amazing coming together of sound, drawing, painting, acting and storytelling. When done right it can move you more than any other medium. (Which is probably why the hardest I’ve ever cried in front of the screen is when I saw Grave of the Fireflies.) When I watch an animation I’m entering a separate reality that is completely a creation of the artists involved. And for me personally that creates a suspension of disbelief for stronger than any live action film or tv show.
The animated short is an interesting part of the animation industry. It’s where young upcoming artists put their pure undiluted vision up on the screen and thereby push the medium forward into new areas and subject matter. And it’s a process that I hope never stops. Because there are still so many directions you can go and so much wonderful artistic possibilities.
I intend to make a contribution myself one day soon but until that day let me share with you a couple of my favorite shorts. These aren’t in any order of preference or time of release, it’s just a list of 6 shorts that I think are very good and well worth a look.
1 – Scavengers
Weird alien stuff. Really weird. Story wise there’s not much to this short but it’s a surreal visual treat. Top marks for sheer imagination.
2 – Parfum Fraise
No it’s nothing to do with perfume, the title is actually french for strawberry ice cream. But never mind that, this short from students at the Gobelins school is about a former yakuza trying to protect his son from his violent past. It’s a beautiful mix of cg and traditional animation and has rock solid emotional beats.
3 – Paths of Hate
This one falls firmly in the ‘badass’ category. Damian Nenow’s crazy blend of cg animation and comic book style textures is a brutal allegory on hate and conflict itself. It also has super cool aerial dogfight action.
4 – Thermostat 6
Another allegory, this time about climate change. And perhaps also about our reluctance to deal with difficult problems until it’s too late. Easier to just stuff food down your gullet… Another great short by those darn Gobelins kids.
5 – Meet Buck
That awkward moment when you introduce your anthropomorphic deer boyfriend to your hunter father… I think we can all relate. Funny surreal stuff and great looking cg with painterly textures.
6 – Adam and Dog
Ok despite this list not being in order of preference this one is a real favorite of mine. Not only is Adam and Dog gorgeous to look at it’s also a crazy endearing statement about our relationship with dogs. Which to me is one of the greatest joys to be had in life.
So there you have it: 6 great animated shorts. Next week I shall be sharing my 9 favorite pasta varieties.