Even though shorts have a couple of advantages over feature films, a lot of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent goes into the making. Having shorter leeway for people to look away, they also have a shorter chance to capture our hearts. What’s more is the time and effort that goes into animated shorts, making colored characters move around and writing full plots in a matter of minutes. But when animators do the right thing, we get gems like Pixar’s Oscar-winning Piper and the famed short that was released with Inside Out, Lava. Check out ten of our favorites below.
• On the Same Page (2015)
Ringling College of Art & Design is a powerhouse for powerful shorts, and here is one of them. In a city of words, a man who works at the local newspaper is led away from his monochromatic life by a technicolored woman from the comics building, as she helps him collect all his papers that flew out of his window.
• Jinxy Jenkins & Lucky Lou (2014)
This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a luck story. Two polar opposites start the film, with Jinxy Jenkins being a magnet for bad luck and Lucky Lou defying the laws of gravity with her shiny luck. The two coincide and misfortune gets the better of them, somehow making them fall into a cart that goes around San Francisco and leads them to multiple potential death scenarios, but somehow, it’s her touch that leads luck back to their path.
• Suicide Lover (2013)
Straight from Singapore-based animator Mark Chee, we have a sick tale of unrequited love when a man wakes up and discovers he has a bomb planted in his head that will explode if he doesn’t fall in love by midnight.
• Alma (2009)
Y’all wanted a twist? A seemingly sweet story starts with little Alma, innocently writing her name on a wall, then seeing a doll that looks just like her, the story takes us to an eerie, drawn-out tale.
• Madame Tutli-Putli (2007)
The start of stop-motion Madame Tutli-Putli may set the tone with really dark beginning already, featuring the anxious lady taking the train and sitting across a pervert. But things get a little weirder, so hold on to your wigs and get ready to clutch your pearls.
• A Love Story (2016)
What might have been love at first sight between Ivan, a boy with an orange juice stand, and Evie, a girl with a successful lemon juice stand, becomes a lifelong rivalry. But after a little Black Mirror-esque turn of events, they come together and build a new brand together. The clincher of this beautiful story is that it’s brought to you by Chipotle.
• French Roast (2008)
Fabrice Joubert’s first short sees an uptight businessman in a ’60s Parisian cafe who consistently turns away a homeless beggar. He soon realizes he lost his wallet, and resorts to ordering more coffee as a way to bide his time. But when things make a hectic turn, the same homeless beggar ends up paying for his bill.
• Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty (2008)
When Granny O’Grimm’s granddaughter has a hard time sleeping, she whips out a story that is nowhere near subtle from social commentary, retelling the tale of Maleficent and the other fairies as ageists or “younger and more exciting fairies who all still have their muscle tone.”
• Something Left, Something Taken (2010)
When a couple takes a trip to California, the two are picked up by someone who they think could be the infamous Zodiac Killer, and thus figure out what to do with their bodies to make sure their killer gets caught.
• Paperman (2012)
Possibly the most mainstream in all the list, but also arguably the most heartwarming, Disney’s silent short sees a man and woman brought together by fate in the form of paper airplanes.–JANROE THE BOAT × KRISPY KIM