Animation in the Soviet Union was often a glorious thing to behold: experimental, surreal, and eclectic, even amidst government censorship. In fact, just one home-grown animated film didn’t make it past the censors: Andrei Khrzhanovsky’s 1968 satire The Glass Harmonica.
After meeting with misadventure, a space probe from the Voyager mission crashes back to Earth, centuries after it left. But Earth is a very different place now, and there’s only one person around to witness the Golden Record’s message.
In a world where most dogs still hang out at home with their owners, three canine friends have decided to try for their dream careers. But they still can’t help but wonder: did they make the right choices?
We’ve seen endless adaptations of Snow White, but we’ve never seen one quite like this. In this animated short, a crew of thieves in matching hats has just pulled the job of their lives, but things don’t turn out quite as they expected.
Teddy bears make a sweet gift when you’re dating someone, but when the relationship goes south, it’s often the plush toy that suffers. In the short film Teddy Bears are for Lovers, a group of long-suffering teddies decide to team up against the guy they feel did their owners wrong.
Tasked with finding a planet capable of sustaining life, a pair of robots ramble around unexplored terrain, conducting experiments. All is routine on their latest sojourn in Planet Unknown ... until their environment takes an unexpected turn. Good thing they’ve got each other to see the mission through.
El Rey, the Robert Rodriguez-founded network that specializes in cleverly-programmed B-movies (like the “Kaijuly Roarth” Godzilla marathon that ran July 4), is launching a series of specials highlighting new short films. The first entry will be all horror—and will be hosted by John Carpenter.
Jake Fried’s hand-drawn Mind Frame may only last one minute, but it’s incredibly intricate, crafted from detailed drawings made using ink, coffee, and Wite-Out. And this is just one of several, similar yet distinctly different experimental animations in his body of work.
If the world wasn’t already enough of a bummer, we now have this wonderfully depressing fan film about a young Clark Kent dealing with the loss of a friend to sunder our emotions, too.
Here’s a hint, though you almost certainly know the answer already: it’s about fear. This very short clip of Hayley Ashburn walking a highline stretched way above the snowy peaks of Italy’s Dolomites proves that Frank Herbert’s words can prove inspiring in nearly any context.
“ei: emotional intelligence” is a lovely short film from Dennis Sungmin Kim made during his first year at the University of Pennsylvania. There’s a touch of Wall-E here, sure, but mostly it feels like an unusually sophisticated children’s book.
Marcus Alqueres, whose superhero short Flying Man was optioned by Sony last year, takes on the horror genre with Lasiurus. It’s about a guy who’s so lost in his routine—and, unfortunately, has also forgotten to charge his phone—that he doesn’t notice that doomsday is happening all around him.
In Movie Mind Machine, a pair of buddies who love re-watching their favorite movies create a device that wipes their memories clean—so each time they watch, say, Jurassic Park, it feels like it’s for the first time. It’s so much fun they don’t want to spend their time doing anything else.
“House of Straw” is a short that seems to be a pretty typical relationship drama—except there are a lot of clues that the married couple’s problems have a rather unusual source.
If you missed Todd Rohal’s M.O.P.Z. when it aired on Adult Swim, here it is for your brain-exploding pleasure. Put very simply, it’s about a lovelorn school janitor who (tries to) invent a robot helper—and it would be weird enough even without being shown entirely in fast-forward, “because we know you’re busy.”
Why do we throw coins into fountains and pretend that a wish will come true? Oh that’s right, there’s a wish granting man underneath every fountain that can totally make it happen. Or at least that’s what happens in this very cute short animation, The Wishgranter.
Aisha Madu’s animated short Bodily Dysfunctions starts off with an awkward meeting between two men who can’t figure out how to shake hands—and quickly becomes a very surreal (and NSFW) exploration of the title. The simple animation style is absolutely perfect vehicle for all the glorious ickiness.
Stranger Things might have made creators Ross and Matt Duffer household names, but the twin writer/directors have been working in speculative fiction for over a decade. Take, for instance, their short film Eater.
The previous episode of Mr. Robot finally gave us an origin story for the F Society, specifically where the group got its weird, Monopoly Man-inspired mask that has become its symbol—it comes from a fake 1980s horror film that you can watch online.
In short scifi film Les Spectateurs, woman realizes a safe and boring life aboard a mega-satellite, which resembles a depressingly beige suburban neighborhood, is not what she truly desires. But the satellite is about to leave Earth’s orbit forever—so is it too late for her to change her mind?