A 2017 conversation about animated short films

Another year, another bundle of short films to watch. Let’s talk it out.

It shouldn’t be necessary, but here it comes: SPOILER ALERT!

Piper – USA – 6 minutes

Diana_round“I almost forgot how amazing short movies are. And Pixar are the masters. They often win and this little piece of magic makes it very evident why they do. The animation is flawless and the story is so encouraging. We’ve only watched one but I feel like we might have set the bar high for the four films to come.”

Rikke_round“This is the cutest! Yes, to the beautiful animation and the simple story of overcoming your fear and crowing. And also, as I said, it is the cutest. Piper is an adorable little sanderling and we both awed out loud when she got wet and looked all ruffled.”

Diana_round“I loved ruffled Piper. She looks so cute and fluffy. There was a lot of awing out loud in this one. The end is also really cute and I like to imagine Piper growing up and being Queen Piper of the sanderlings. I’m as impressed as always with Pixar.”

Rikke_round“Ah, that would be amazing. But really folks, this is six minutes of fluffy cuteness, so do yourself a favour and watch it!”

Borrowed Time – USA – 7 minutes

Rikke_round“So, not a lot of fluffy cuteness in this tale of confronting the past. It is without a doubt a beautifully animated film and despite its short length it packs a punch. You see the gun and you know something bad is going to happen, yet you think that maybe it will work out, but it never does.”

Diana_round“I didn’t see the gun thing coming. Maybe it is because I don’t know that much about shotguns  and thought it could be secured like all other guns I know, but alas. It is heartbreaking but also a little confirming in life. It was an accident and the son has and will always live with that but he can live despite it. I just love how short a time is needed to tell stories like these.”

Rikke_round“I know nothing about guns, but I do know about storytelling and introducing a gun always means it has to be fired. Chekhov said so, I think. It is strangely life affirming that we see the son as an old man and know that he has tried his best to live with this, but can’t anymore. Until he sees the pocket watch and we see him actually forgive himself. Beautiful storytelling.”

Pearl – USA – 6 minutes

Diana_round“I love this type of animation. It makes me happy to watch. Once again – as always – it amazes me that you can tell a whole life story in just six short minutes. In those six minutes we get every emotion on the spectrum. The short films always stay with me for so long after watching them because they are so packed with emotions. And the song is catchy!”

Rikke_round“This was indeed delightful. I love the slightly blocky animation for this, because it really supports the underlining nostalgia throughout this short. It makes perfect sense. I love that we got to see a little girl grow up and mature all from the car. The car was as much a part of the family as the dad and daughter. It just made me really happy.”

Diana_round“Just as much as the animation I love the use of colour. The hair changes with the mood and with time, which told a great story in itself. The car WAS the family. It was where they had a life for so many years and meant more, I think, than the house they later moved into. It was just a little gem amongst all the other gems.”

Blind Vaysha – Canada – 8 minutes

Rikke_round“One of the things I love most about watching the animated shorts is that we get to see animation which is different from the standard Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar stable. We get Blind Vaysha. A tale of how seeing only the future or the past is not a way to live. The animation supports the story, when we look at Vaysha the animation doesn’t take up the whole screen and when we see what Vaysha sees, we get full screen divided in the middle. The animation itself tells the tale.”

Diana_round“I love how this flawless animation is perfect for the story. The lines are not tended to in the same way as with Piper. Besides the animation this is also a story, which features narration. Even narration that breaks the fourth wall and talks directly at each one of us. It is magnificent. The dark lines are very interesting. I am a little confused about the butterfly though.”

Rikke_round“Yeah, no clue about the butterfly. I too liked the narration and the inclusion of the viewer in the story of how Vaysha sees the world was masterfully done. It is some well done meta commentary on the way humans look at the world. And I love Caroline Dhavernas, so it was a delight to hear her voice.”

Diana_round“The narration was amazing yes. Not that I think I know anything else she is in, but she did a good job on this. To me the inclusion of the viewer is always very much hit or miss – no in between – here it is a hit though.”

Pear Cider and Cigarettes – Canada/UK – 35 minutes

Diana_round“Okay I have a lot of thoughts. First of all I love the superhero cartoon animation feel. It reminds me of when I used to watch batman when I was a kid. The use of colour in this is also amazing. It contrasts and underlines the plotpoints beautifully. Short films are the best”

Rikke_round“Same here, so many thoughts. Superhero cartoon animations is close to my thoughts of how it felt like reading an actual comic book. Besides the use of colours I also want to highlight the use of shadows and contrasts to really underline how dark this movie is in both animation and story.  As we find out in the end, it is based on the real life of Techno Stypes which makes it an animated short documentary”

Diana_round“It is well made and the narration feels genuine. The monotone voice is very matter of factly despite the many aspects of the story. It goes perfectly with the story though and surprisingly it isn’t dull to listen to. Though I do think this is my least favourite of the five shorts. It is a short, but it need a lot more time than the others do in order to really tell the story.”

Rikke_round“My least favourite as well, but it still so well made. This story need all 35 minutes to tell the story and I want to be told the story, because even if it is about one specific guy, I still feel like it is a relevant story to tell. Furthermore I love that this is an animated film for adults, since I think some adults dismisses animation as just for children, which it isn’t. As you can see with this, animation is an art form that adds another layer to a story.”

Diana_round“Absolutely it should be told, but I just think the other films in this category do it better in a shorter time. Being for adults is a definite plus. Short films and animation should be distributed way more often than it is, to an adult audience.”


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