THE BEST Short Films

Hedgehog

Hedgehog

A man struggles throughout his life with self-doubt and social anxiety, and the manifestation of his fears appears in the form of a spiky hedgehog. Director Ed Bulmer’s animated short film reminds us that even the worst fears are simply creations of our own imaginations.

Rebooted

Rebooted

Phil is a skeleton. He quickly rose to fame on the big screen as a stop-motion superstar. Then, modern effects put him out of business. Michael Shanks’ (aka “timtimfed“) charming short film is a fun blend of live-action, animation, and VFX, and a loving tribute to the great Ray Harryhausen. Read how they made it here.

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HORSE

HORSE

We could all use a little bit of silliness in these trying times, so we want to send a big thank you to animator AJ Jefferies for a much needed smile. His goofy short video has one very simple premise: “A horse struggles to exist.” We know you can do it, horsey! Go for it!

Moving Parts

Moving Parts

Andrew B. Myers‘ experimental short film uses a combination of animation techniques to fill the frame with dozens of tiny objects constantly in motion. There’s so much going on that you’ll need to go back and watch it multiple times to catch all of the neat little details.

EPOCH

EPOCH

Visual artist Kevin McGloughlin used countless images from Google Earth along with audio samples from NASA to provide “a visual representation of our connection to earth and it’s vulnerable glory.” It’s amazing how these static satellite images can tell such a story.

WOLAKOTA

WOLAKOTA

Filmmakers Tim Sessler and Wanbli Omani created this powerful short film that starkly contrasts the purity of Native American life with the environmental burdens of urbanization. The title pays respect to the Lakota people’s sacred way of life that incorporates peace, harmony, and respect between humans and all life.

One Word

One Word

Lightfarm Studios and Area 23’s intense award-winning animated short film features takes us un a truly wild ride, as a baby finds itself under attack from a universe of terrifying monsters. But if you stick around until the end, you’ll find out the real reason things seem so unsettling.

Bookface

Bookface

Created in collboration between filmmaker Jacco Kliesch and Erlangen City, Germany’s public library, this short film offers a cinematic take on the playful “bookface” art trend, in which people line up real-life scenes with photographic images on book covers.

Sinners

Sinners

Vincent Boehringer’s impactful short film follows two young men who experience very different feelings after committing a violent crime together. What makes it so effective is how it tells its story without a single word of dialogue.

Dirty Machines: The End of History

Dirty Machines: The End of History

(PG-13: Language) Future Garbage presents an excellent short film about a time traveler who visits the exact location and time at which time travel itself was discovered. But will his trip disrupt the fabric of the universe and create a paradox? Written, directed, produced by and starring David Matthew Olson.

Pangu

Pangu

Inspired by an ancient Chinese myth about creation, Taiko Studios‘ animated short film tells the story of a god who has the ability to conjure worlds from nothing. When he realizes the one thing missing is a child, he makes a son in his own image. But will independent thought drive them apart, or bring them closer together?

Afterwork

Afterwork

Like Sylvester, Wile E. Coyote, and Elmer Fudd, Groompy the rabbit perpetually plays the foil in his cartoons. But when he heads home, the monotony and frustration of his life lead him to a dark place. Luis Usón and Andrés Aguilar’s animated short film is brilliantly executed, but incredibly somber.

Food Play

Food Play

The guys from Toronto creative studio reactiv like to play with their food. In this lighthearted animated short, they imagine that edibles were actually used for playing various sports, and making quite the mess in the process.

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While You Were Sleeping

While You Were Sleeping

Charlie Stewart’s beautifully minimal animated short film takes us on a journey to a far-off planet, where two scientists have been left to explore, and two AI-powered digital assistants who strike up a conversation as they wonder where their human masters have gone.

Charlotte’s Daydream

Charlotte’s Daydream

As Charlotte peers out into space from her observatory, she sees what can only be described as a literal black hole. As it approaches the Earth, she dives in and experiences a new perspective on her home planet. A wonderfully imaginative short film by animator Marlies van der Wel with music by Pieter de Graaf.

The Jog

The Jog

Joseph Lee Anderson wrote, directed, and starred in this short film about a man who starts his day on a very positive note, but things take a tragic turn after he heads out for his morning jog. It’s a powerful story about racism and prejudice, boiled down to five powerful minutes.

Tiny Guns 2

Tiny Guns 2

(PG-13) Corridor follows up its goofy short film about ridiculously small weapons with an action-packed sequel. Their enemies come off as stereotypical as the ones in Team America: World Police, but the battle scenes are certainly entertaining.

Cat and Dog Road Trip

Cat and Dog Road Trip

Prince Michael the cat makes a new friend, and heads off on an epic road trip in this silly short film from AaronsAnimals. It’s basically Planes, Trains, and Automobiles with a cat playing the Steve Martin role, and a dog playing John Candy’s part.

Future Thoughts

Future Thoughts

From living rooms on wheels, to 3D printed humans, to transporter beams, to robotic construction workers, Animator Loek Vugs’ short film muses on some of the likely and unlikely technologies which lie ahead for future of humanity.

Chateau de Sable (Sand Castle)

Chateau de Sable (Sand Castle)

We only recently came across this ESMA animated film from 2016, but it’s too good not to share. The award-winning CGI short follows the story of the guardians of a sand castle, as they make their last stand against a terrifying enemy.

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Mini Planets

Mini Planets

Artist Thomas Blanchard follows up his stunning short film The Other Side with a more singular effort, filling our screens with colorful planetary bodies and galaxies. Like his other works, there’s no CGI here – the images you see are made entirely from paint, oil, inks, and soap.

Dream Cream

Dream Cream

(PG-13: Cartoon Nudity) Need a dose of silliness to break up your otherwise mundane day? Look no further than Noam Sussman’s hilariously weird and wild animated short film about an elderly couple who becomes hopelessly addicted to a face cream because of its psychedelic properties.

Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue

“I planted more trees in the city of Baltimore than anybody in the history of the city…” Filmmakers Jonathan Bregel & Steve Hoover of Friendzone introduce us to a truly unique man – the retired Principal City Planner of Baltimore who, after years of working for the city, decided to cover himself head-to-toe with a blue tattoo.

M A C R O

M A C R O

Motion designer Harrison Vincent’s short film features eye-popping close-up imagery inspired by macrophotography, but was created entirely with computer graphics. The breakdown video is just as fascinating. He also provided the Cinema4D source files for download.

American Totem

American Totem

Video artist Theo Tagholm’s (aka “mustardcuffins”) experimental short film envisions an alternative version of the world, where the iconic rock structures of America’s Southwest stretch endlessly into the sky. It’s a strangely unsettling, but engrossing visual. We love how the clouds cast shadows onto the totems.

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