THE BEST Short Films

Honour

Honour

Travel to an exotic planet where a creature finds itself banished, and while exiled, it stumbles onto something unexpected which could help it take revenge on those who sent it away. From the illustration style to its orange color palette, to its concise storytelling, Frederic Siegel’s animated short makes for some intense viewing.

Hybrids

Hybrids

(Gore) Directed by a team of students from computer graphics animation school MoPA, this intense short film envisions a dark undersea world where creatures have evolved and adapted in strange and fascinating ways after pollution ruins their habitat. Making of here.

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Cat Days

Cat Days

A young boy named Jiro feels sick, so his father takes him to the doctor. But his initial diagnosis is highly unusual, and could mean big changes for Jiro and the people around him. Animator Jon Frickey’s charming and colorful short film is truly deserving of the heaps of praise it’s received on the award circuit.

The Stained Club

The Stained Club

This short film from a group of Supinfocom animation students packs an emotional wallop. It follows a boy who tries to fit in with a group after he discovers “stains” on his body that he thinks they have in common. But it turns out their marks come from a much darker place than he thought.

I’m Dead Inside

I’m Dead Inside

From the inimitable mind of London-based Dan Britt comes a tale of deep internal contemplations, existentialism and ultimate self acceptance, all set to a very catchy 80’s-style synth-pop tune in his animated short I’m Dead Inside.

Alpha Squadron

Alpha Squadron

(PG-13: Language) Michael Lukk Litwak’s lighthearted science fiction short film introduces us to the elite fighters of Alpha Squadron just as they lose one of their own to pursue a new life, and ends up with a team member without quite the same abilities. The low-budget, practical visual effects add to its charm.

Negative Space

Negative Space

Ru Kuwahata & Max Porter’s Oscar-nominated, stop-motion animated short film explores the bond between a son and his father, in which they built the entirety of their relationship through the fastidious and precise packing of suitcases.

The Redness of Red

The Redness of Red

Emily Downe’s animated short film explores the notion that our brains and eyes have a tendency to anthropomorphize even rudimentary forms, and how we might react as artificial intelligence becomes more and more humanoid, regardless of whether or not they are living beings.

Yarrow: The Virtues of Monochrome

Yarrow: The Virtues of Monochrome

Untitled Film Works’ short about one artist’s creative process becomes a film about three artists. At once, it’s a glimpse inside the mind of fine art photographer David Yarrow as he seeks the perfect shot in South Georgia, while showcasing the vision of directors and cinematographers Abraham Joffe ACS and Dom West.

The Moon’s Milk

The Moon’s Milk

It took over seven years for Ri Crawford and his co-creators to make this stop-motion animated short, but the finished film was well worth the wait. Narrated by Tom Waits, it takes us on a fantastical journey with Captain Millipede and his crew to harvest the milk seeping from craters on the moon as it hovers incredibly close to the Earth.

Signal

Signal

We just want to bottle up and drink the warm and dreamy visuals in filmmaker Hwang ji – lee’s animated short film. We can think of no greater application of the phrase “every frame a painting” than to this beautiful and captivating clip of otherwise mundane subject matter.

NEBULA

NEBULA

Marcin Nowrotek’s abstract experimental short film was created with a Kinect sensor and volumetric digital effects to transform a scene of jazz musicians into the most beautiful music visualizer we’ve ever seen – as the sounds from the instruments influence the imagery.

Fire in Cardboard City

Fire in Cardboard City

New Zealand filmmaker Phil Brough’s wonderful animated short tells the story of a fire brigade who attempts to save their city from a fire, but are frustrated by the fact that everything around them is made of cardboard – and apparently filled with gasoline.

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Robot & The Robots

Robot & The Robots

Design studio Animade shares one of their fun little projects. Robot & The Robots is a computer animated short film about a band of musical instruments that play themselves. Watch them perform their (only) song, Robot_Song_03.mp3.

Ayuda

Ayuda

(PG-13: Language) Two day laborers are hired for a grim and possibly criminal task by a stranger, and they struggle with the consequences of their decision to take the job. Patrick Mason’s short film is filled with tense moments, and at least one big surprise along the way.

Las Vegas in Infrared

Las Vegas in Infrared

Filmmaker Philip Bloom used a modded Sony RX 100 Mk. IV and some post-production tweaking to depict Las Vegas in infrared. The resulting parched look is perfect for the city. It’s like catching an old impersonator without his makeup and costume on. Making-of here.

Attraction

Attraction

Experimental filmmaker and motion graphic artist Dirk Koy provides a unique perspective of a traffic circle. By rotating top-down, time-lapse footage of vehicles as they pass in and out of the lanes, it almost looks like they’re being magnetically pulled towards the center of the circle, then released back into the world.

Catastrophe

Catastrophe

A cat is tempted by a little bird in a cage, but its owner is having none of that. Despite the cat’s best intentions to honor its master’s wishes, all hell breaks loose as soon as she leaves the house. A hilarious and dark slapstick animation by director Jamille van Wijngaarden and keplerfilm.

Bone Mother

Bone Mother

Dale Hayward and Sylvie Trouvé’s incredibly inventive animated short film tells the story of a “a vain and arrogant youth dares to enter Baba Yaga’s living house of bones.” But after the young man wreaks havoc on the old lady’s world, she delivers a swift and just punishment for his misdeeds.

Gummy Gas Crisis

Gummy Gas Crisis

The evil Lord Gasideous plans to gas an entire city. Good thing the mayor knows just who to call: space gasman Ed. Blirp Studio’s wacky short film draws inspiration from video games and revels in its combination of 2D and 3D animation.

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A Sun Will Always Sing

A Sun Will Always Sing

In this beautifully illustrated short science fiction film, a pilot and a spaceship depart on a very long journey with some very precious cargo headed for a better place. Based on a short story by Karin Lowachee and directed by Chad Thompson for Yeah Haus as part of The Verge’s Better Worlds project.

Portals

Portals

Digital artist Tomin’s short film features one of the slickest and most mind-bending transition effects we’ve seen. Each location starts out looking quite ordinary, but then as the camera approaches, it fragments into blocks, revealing a new scene.

Moth

Moth

Director Mackenzie Sheppard’s dark and esoteric short film does a great job setting a sense of mood as a moth flies emerges from a white gateway, and visits a series of strange and intense scenes. But is the insect simply a witness, or is it the bringer of chaos? The sequel Butterfly may or may not hold some answers.

Recurrence

Recurrence

While you think you might eventually get to ground level in Julius Horsthuis‘ short film, it just isn’t going to happen. Instead we’re taken on an endless descent into a trippy virtual city created with fractals textured with maps of a city.

30 Wasted Years

30 Wasted Years

Russian animator Lazy Square sums up 30 years of slacking just 30 seconds with this well-executed mini short film. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel for more great animations – we especially enjoyed his unofficial NASA recruitment commercial and his Terminator 2 parody.

Ovum

Ovum

In Cidney Hue’s near-future short film, a woman decides to undergo a procedure after her life takes an unexpected turn. Like a 6-minute-long episode of Black Mirror, it raises some deep philosophical questions about technology, while also making a statement about real life.

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