A lot of amazing animators are alumni of the California Institute of the Arts, so it's not that ridiculous to expect another great talent to rise out of the school's current batch of students. And since the 2014 BFA student films were just released online, we can sift through to see for ourselves. At the least these are all a treat to see.
The video above is my favorite — "Corridors" by Ricky Cometa. It's an interesting take on a subject everyone faces at some point during their life: disappointment. Also there's an adorable cat in it.
Below you can find some of the other videos that stood out. But if you want to see every student film, just follow this link.
"There's A Man In The Woods," by Jacob Streilein
This short is about the power of rumors and is pretty dark. It also touches on some other subjects, like the apparent powerlessness of being a teacher. I was surprised by the turn the story took.
"Johnny & Berry," by Sang Lee (Sangyup Lee)
Most guys can relate to how difficult it is to talk to women at a bar or club. Few of us manage to conquer our fears and catch a the girl's attention, but this short shows that killer dance moves win the day every time.
"Once Upon A..." by Amber Ren
We all know that selfies are dangerous. See what happens to some of our favorite fairy tales when you add the evil technology into the mix
"S L E E P," by Tony Unser
Abusing pills is bad, m'kay? But this video about them is good.
"Blossom," by Yonatan Tal
It's hard to capture the anxiety many people feel when leaving home for the first time, but this short does a wonderful job of it by giving us the perspective of some pollen. This is a good reminder that beautiful things can grow out of the seemingly random winds of fate.
"Caught Red Handed," by Portlynn Tagavi
While not a struggle I'm personally familiar with, this short address a pretty common problem with young girls on the cusp of puberty. Getting your period can seem scary, but Tagavi shows that there's always help along the way.
"Bro Quest," by Melanie Atwater"
You know how it goes — you're out camping with your bro when a witch springs forth from the fire and kidnaps your more-muscular friend. Then you have to go on this totally self-fulfilling quest to rescue him, becoming a powerful bad-ass with some sweet loot. And when you finally save the day, you celebrate with fist bumps. This film is total brownage.
"Seen," by Katie Lee
This is a sweet short about two people (with a telescope and camera for a face/eyes) learning to stop observing life and go live it.
"Dragons Are Assholes," By Hae-Joon Lee
Can you name every dragon in this video about how they all are jerks? It's pretty funny to see them all together like this, too.
"Abracatabra," by Mira Ongchua
Making magic has never been something that comes without practice, and that's a lesson this short can teach us. Work hard and you'll figure it out eventually.
"Ajani The Brave," by Aphton
This African folk tale shows that it takes courage for a boy to become a man. And sometimes you have to find that courage while hunting a giant snake. It's basically the everyman's coming of age story.
Just kidding. I doubt any of you ever had to deal with something like this. It is a really nice short, though. That part was for real.
"Beast" by Fiona Hsieh
Friends often come from the most unlikely places. But this story about the budding friendship between two enslaved beings is a sweet short for sure. And while the beast itself is pretty beastly, the girl is just as bad-ass for sticking it to authority and helping the poor creature out.
"Mirage Maker," by Ben Reicher
You'd expect a short about a man dying of thirst/starvation/exposure in the desert to be sad, but this is definitely bittersweet. It takes a clever twist on a natural phenomena, personifying the power of mirages into something that eases the pain of the poor, lost souls of the desert.
"Memory," by Takehiro Nishikawa
Finally, we have what I felt was the second best offering out of them all. "Memory," is a heartbreaking tale of loss and grieving, showing the lengths to which one man will go to reclaim his lost love. This one guarantees to hit home, and the twist at the end was gut-wrenching, but bittersweet, in a way.
Which did you like best though? Who do you think has the talent to, one day, make the next hit cartoon?