THE BEST Short Films

Günther

Günther

Former Pixar animator Erick Oh’s goofy short film is packed with the silliest array of characters we’ve run into in a while. It follows the story of a naked hot dog on a quest to figure out his who he really is, and the other possibly edible folks he encounters along his journey.

Coyote

Coyote

(PG-13: Gore) A coyote miraculously survives an attack by a pack of wolves, but remains haunted by horrible visions of the carnage as he attempts to get back to life. Director Lorenz Wunderle’s award-winning short for YK Animation is a brutal and powerful tale of loss and revenge. This one’s definitely not for the kids.

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How to Make Sushi

How to Make Sushi

Motion designer Jonathan Lindgren’s animated short film is a mouth-watering tribute to the art of making sushi. The combination of Lindgren’s sharp visuals, Luke Brown’s sound effects, and staccato voice work by Yoshi Amao, creates the perfect reflection of the precision with which sushi masters ply their craft.

Conspiracy Cruise

Conspiracy Cruise

(PG-13: Language) A group of conspiracy theorists convene on a cruise ship to meet one of their most steadfast believers. But as his crackpot theories start to show their cracks, something unexpected happens aboard the ship. Brad Abrahams fantastic short film has great performances and the perfect amount of dramatic tension.

Sounds of a City

Sounds of a City

We’ve seen other footage of empty cities, but Dayne Hudson’s short film takes a different approach, focusing not just on the stark visuals, but capturing the eerily quiet audio around Sydney, Australia during the 2020 pandemic. We’d be remiss not to mention sound designer and editor Mark Parry for his work on the piece.

Change It All

Change It All

A stoic and inflexible tree monster finds himself alone and depressed after a bad breakup. But when his ex drops his daughter off for a visit, his hardened shell begins to crack. Adam Rose-Levy’s video for Camel Power Club’s track Change It All is just the right blend of quirky and heartwarming.

Mummy

Mummy

In the first episode of his “Quarantine of the Damned” series, animator Jon Portman introduces us to a mummy living through a virus pandemic. When his neighbors start to run out of toilet paper, he sees a major business opportunity. Warning: potty humor ahead.

Into the Flame

Into the Flame

(PG-13) After a moth burrows into a businessman’s ear, he starts to have visions which take hold and set him off on a new course through life. Hue&Cry’s short film is a beautifully animated and expressive tale of self-discovery and transformation.

Quarantine Dog Good Boy

Quarantine Dog Good Boy

“I used to do tricks too, but the tricks don’t make them happy anymore.” Elke Van Der Steen, Lucia Ahrensdorf, and Michael Reich collaborated on this strange, but oddly relatable short film that takes us inside the mind of a dog while its masters are stuck at home under quarantine. Warning: Dog poop ahead.

The Follow-Up

The Follow-Up

(PG-13: Language) Filmmaker Ben Berman’s meta-documentary was made entirely under self-quarantine. He used the service Cameo to pay actors and other celebrities, along with news footage and search engine queries to paint a picture of the anxiety being fueled by social media and other rumor mills.

Facelift

Facelift

While stuck home during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to try and vary your days and mix things. up. In Jan Riesenbeck and Dennis Stein-Schomburg’s strange short film, a man explores the importance of breaking out of routines, while his floating head transforms into some of the many thoughts he expresses.

Instant Doctor

Instant Doctor

Remote visits with doctors have become commonplace these days, but this science fiction short film from The Bloc and The Youth explores what could happen if we ever let AI tech do the doctoring instead of humans, and serves as a tribute of sorts to the real doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals on the front lines.

Sounds Good

Sounds Good

Sander Joon’s cacophonous animated short film is best experienced with headphones or nice loud speakers. As its vignettes play out, each object on screen makes a familiar, but very different sound than you’d expect it to make. It turns out that mushrooms are especially noisy little dudes.

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Tight Spot

Tight Spot

While shining a new customer’s shoes, a young man discovers the person sitting on his shoe shine bench might be the suspect in a horrible crime. But will his discovery lead to his own peril, or will he eliminate the evidence before he’s found out? Kevin Haefelin’s award-winning short comedy is good for a quick laugh.

Freelance

Freelance

Freelance motion designer James Tupper presents a cheeky animated glimpse into a small piece of the world of a freelance motion designer, as he creates and programs digital imagery, waits for it to render, waits for his social media views to tally up, then does it all over again.

Born Again

Born Again

(PG-13: Gore, Language) “I call ye forth… the devil… with my name… Greg!” Jason Tostevin’s completely sacrilegious horror-comedy short film introduces us to a group of satanists who basically have no clue of what they’re doing, as they try to call forth the devil’s spawn from a pregnant woman.

Lighting with Flares

Lighting with Flares

Filmmakers Hugo Manhes and Madcow collaborated on the short film Trajectoires, which uses a simple concept to produce a dramatic effect. By dangling bright flares from a couple of drones, they created a unique source of illumination for their natural surroundings. Set to an ethereal soundtrack by Linky Larson.

Marty

Marty

Filmmaker Mike McKinlay’s documentary short film follows the story of Marty, an 11-year-old kid who’s obsessed with skateboarding and ’70s and ’80s punk rock. The film does a great job capturing the spirit of something we all craved as kids, our own unique identities. Though a real ’80s skate punk wouldn’t wear a helmet.

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.

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!

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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.

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