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Short films


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles done Invader Zim style

Featuring the cast of Workaholics!
Jul 28
// Geoff Henao
Fans of the cult classic Invader Zim can attest to how ridiculous (re: genius) Jhonen Vasquez is. While we might still be lamenting the series that left us too soon (as can be said for a multitude of Nicktoons over the years)...
Donkey Kong short photo
Donkey Kong short

Live-action short film does the first board of Donkey Kong

Not as hot as Billy Mitchell's sauce
Apr 26
// Hubert Vigilla
The first board of Donkey Kong is easily recognizable. It may be on the same iconic level as the Pac-Man maze and 1-1 from Super Mario Bros. It's the stuff of playgrounds, construction sites, and obstacle courses, and Banks h...
#SickBernBurn photo

College Humor's Why Bernie Sanders Is Actually Winning accurately recreates delegate discussion with people who #FeelTheBern

There's math and there's Bernie Math
Apr 26
// Hubert Vigilla
If this year's Democratic primary has reaffirmed one truth, it's that smart people will believe dumb things as long as these things confirm their biases. Full disclosure: I say this as someone who voted for Bernie Sanders in ...

Tribeca: Allumette showcases the game-changing potential of immersive VR storytelling

Apr 14 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]220506:42913:0[/embed] Allumette centers on a girl and her mother who sell large, magical matchsticks around town. The world they inhabit is sort of like Venice by way of Hayao Miyazaki and classic Final Fantasy--a city in the clouds with bridges and tiers, and little docks for the airships that course through the sky. Allumette is essentially a 20-minute silent movie, with the characters communicating in hums and sighs, expressing emotions through body language like classic pantomime. "Alfred Hitchcock said that to be good with spectacle you had to be a simplifier," Chung noted. "Painters and writers can be complicators, but when you're working in spectacle (i.e., cinema and now VR) you have to simplify. So you have to take something and strip it down to its core elements." The heart of the story concerns a mother's love for her child and the sacrifices people make, all rendered with simplicity and sincerity. Even if the core of the spectacle is simplified, there's lots of room for the viewer to explore. The very beginning of Allumette seems to invite a look around. As the opening credits appear against a black background, a window lights up as if watching a building across the street. The window dims. Then another window, then another in your peripheral vision, and then windows all around as you turn in a full circle. It's as if you're surrounded by dots of candlelight, each one a window, and you can walk up and peer in a little closer at the shadow puppet story inside of it. I found myself pacing around the virtual set of Allumette. At first I was trying to frame shots of these characters, like I was cinematographer, leaning in for close-ups, bending down for a slightly different angle, even trying to simulate a slow tracking shot. But every now and then I would feel less self-conscious about the HTC Vive on my face. In those moments of total immersion, I was just a bystander in the imaginary city watching a mother and daughter do their thing. Occasionally I'd stray too far to one side--there are edges to this virtual world--and I'd feel a gentle tap on my shoulder from someone nearby just to get me centered again. The mother and daughter's airship is one of the great elements of Allumette, and a source of wonderment as well. It docked in front of me after I'd watched it descend from above. Just through the headphones I heard Jimmy Maidens, lead technical director at Penrose, say that I could look inside. Until Maidens mentioned it, the thought had never occurred to me. The sense of immersion made me feel like there was an actual boundary between this object and me. My mind thought it was physical, real, like a dollhouse, but I could actually peer into it, as simple as dunking my face into a pool of water. The airship interior was a miniature world within this virtual world. It was one of many strange moments of realization, like when I first looked down at the lower level of the setting in Allumette. I expected to see my feet; instead, clouds and sky and a town square. This mix of emotion and technology seems to fit with Chung's own sensibilities. His mother was a CPA, and his father was an opera singer. "I've always had this duality of left-brain/right-brain all throughout my career, which is important for VR," he said. Even before founding Penrose, the duality is evident: Chung attended NYU Film School and Harvard Business School, he worked in production at Pixar and then became a venture capitalist. Allumette is the second project by Penrose Studios. The San Francisco-based startup is just a few months old but has assembled a team of artists, engineers, and storytellers with backgrounds at Oculus, Pixar, and Dreamworks. The company's previous VR piece, The Rose and I, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and was very well-received. Penrose has other VR projects in the works, though they have yet to announce their slate. They've been experimenting with an interactive component to VR at the moment, though Chung explained it's really a matter of how the interactivity can be used effectively as part of the storytelling experience of a piece. "Presence is that feeling of being someplace else; storytelling is storytelling," he said. He added, "When you're given agency, it changes the way you perceive the story." With the way things are looking, VR might change the world of storytelling.
Allumette VR storytelling photo
An immersive and emotional experience
Watching Allumette is almost like watching a Pixar movie as an immersive theater experience, but even that description seems to sell the film short. It's difficult to describe VR storytelling without using familiar contexts. ...

Depp as Trump photo
This is a yuge, luxurious parody
This is a pleasant surprise. Funny or Die just dropped The Art of the Deal: The Movie, a 50-minute mockumentary that lampoons Donald Trump's general douchebaggery. Starring Johnny Depp as The Donald, the parody also features ...

The Chickening photo
The Chickening

Watch The Chickening, a NSFW and WTF parody of The Shining

What has been seen cannot be unseen
Jan 27
// Hubert Vigilla
Nick DenBoer and Davy Force's The Chickening is a poultry-centric parody of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. I want you to pause a moment, read that sentence again, and then just watch the NSFW video below. That was the Citize...

New Pixar Short Brings Us Superpowered Hindu Heroes

You'll laugh AND you'll learn
Jul 06
// John-Charles Holmes
One of the best parts of any new Pixar film (or most animated films these days) is the little short films before the feature. Usually these will showcase unsung animators, student works, or something the new guy was tasked to...
FFS: Wrestling photo
FFS: Wrestling

Flix for (Not So) Short: Wrestling Isn't Wrestling

Mar 18
// Nick Valdez
Regardless of your feelings toward Max Landis' work (last seen in Chronicle), the guy can put together an interesting, and informative pop culture video. The last time we saw one of his videos, he took on the famous Death of...
FFS: Power Rangers photo
FFS: Power Rangers

Flix for Short: Power/Rangers, a super gritty MMPR fan film

No No Power Rangers
Feb 24
// Nick Valdez
Last year, around the time Saban and Lionsgate announced they were working on a new Power Rangers movie, I wrote up a few ways to do it properly. One of those suggestions is to keep the grimdark stuff as far away as possible...

Flix for Short: The Missing Scarf

Oct 10
// Liz Rugg
The Missing Scarf by Eoin Duffy was my favorite short from this past year's Oscar nominated animated short films - and I'm excited to say everybody can finally watch it online! Narrated by George Takei, The Missing Scarf fol...
Twilights  photo

More Twilight films in the works...sort of

Oct 06
// Nick Valdez
With all of the Young Adult properties out there now trying to fill the void Twilight left behind, you figure we'd never hear about the series again. Well, someone out there really wants to explore those films again. Luckily,...

Flix for Short: Space Cat Hob

Sep 26
// Liz Rugg
In Space Cat Hob, we meet Hob, an anthropomorphic cat with a fancy space suit who has crash landed on a dangerous planet. Despite just wanting to do the right thing, Hob finds himself in trouble after trouble as he navigates...
FFS: The Shift photo
FFS: The Shift

Flix for Short: The Shift

Sep 24
// Nick Valdez
The Shift, written and directed by Francesco Calabrese, is a short film set in the 60s with a neat twist on science fiction films like The Stepford Wives and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. As a husband comes home from work ...

Flix for Short: The Planets

Sep 19
// Liz Rugg
The Planets, by Andy Martin, is a wonderful short film "told in twelve parts." The short features 12 mini-stories, each on its own planet and each with its own brilliantly unique animation style. Towards the end the larger s...

Flix for Short: Manly

By Adventure Time writer Jesse Moynihan
Sep 03
// Liz Rugg
Adventure Time writer and storyboard artist Jesse Moynihan teamed up with his brother Justin Moynihan to create this awesome Cartoon Hangover short film; Manly. In the short we meet Manly, the daughter of the emperor god of ...
Usagi Yojimbo  photo
Usagi Yojimbo

Watch this stop motion Usagi Yojimbo short, The Last Request

Aug 18
// Nick Valdez
While Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is currently overturtlepowering the box office, let's not forget another anthropomorphic comic book hero, Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo. Usagi, a rabbit samurai, once hung out with the turtles...
FFS: Duet photo
FFS: Duet

Flix for Short: Duet, a film by former Disney animator Glen Keane

Jul 16
// Nick Valdez
Although you may not know Glen Keane, chances are you recognize his work. He designed characters from famous Disney Animated films like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast. Although traditional 2D anim...
FFS: The Gunfighter photo
FFS: The Gunfighter

Flix for Short: The Gunfighter, a western with Nick Offerman as the narrator

Jul 01
// Nick Valdez
From director Eric Kissack and writer Kevin Tenglin comes The Gunfighter, a short western where a man walks into a saloon and soon everyone can hear the narration of the film. It's short, hilarious, and definitely worth a watch.  So much infidelity.  [via Short of the Week]

Flix for Short: Butter Ya'Self (NSFW)

A stop motion rap about food
Jun 27
// Liz Rugg
Presenting: Butter Ya'Self, a stop-motion animation of food rapping about food. You're welcome. Butter Ya'Self was created by a bunch of people at CalArts, but specifically by Julian Petschek. The characters are all voiced b...

Flix for Short: Big Bang Dog

Jun 20
// Liz Rugg
"Is it possible that it happened yesterday? He disappeared right before my eyes and everything remains just as different? Why do they multiply and divide? Only the dogs take this as a natural fact. Please don't go into the ...
FFS: O Futebol Classico photo
FFS: O Futebol Classico

Flix for Short: O Futebol Classico, a Mickey Mouse short

Jun 17
// Nick Valdez
To celebrate the FIFA World Cup kicking off in Brazil, Disney has crafted a new Mickey Mouse short entirely in Portuguese, O Futebol Classico. It's short, sweet, and funny. You don't even need to know Portuguese to like it!  JOSE CARIOCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.  
FFS: Poulette's Chair photo
FFS: Poulette's Chair

Flix for Short: Poulette's Chair, designed by Ghibli animator Yojiro Arai

Jun 11
// Nick Valdez
Poulette's Chair, directed by Hiroyasu Ishida with character designs from Ghibli animator Yojiro Arai (From Up On Poppy Hill, The Secret World of Arietty) is a short and sweet animated short about a little girl and her living magical chair. There's not much to say as the film itself is less than five minutes, but the kinetic movement is absolutely splendid. Give it a watch, yeah? [via io9]
Street Fightah photo
Street Fightah

You should watch Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist

Jun 04
// Nick Valdez
So apparently Ultra Street Fighter IV Supreme Deluxe Pizza Extra Mushrooms with a Side of Cheesy Sticks released on Xbox and PS3 recently. In celebration of that, Machinima released a line of short films much like that ...
FFS: Secondary Education photo
FFS: Secondary Education

Flix for Short: Secondary Education, a science themed Kamen Rider

May 27
// Nick Valdez
Secondary Education, a short by Jon Truei, takes tokusatsu influences (namely Kamen Rider and Power Rangers) and gives them a science spin to provide a fun, educational adventure. It's sort of like Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus became a masked hero and fought a lobster man. You should give it a watch. [via io9]

Flix for Short: Phantom Limb

May 16
// Liz Rugg
Phantom Limb is a wonderful animated short by animator Alex Grigg about a couple's struggles physically and psychologically after a motorcycle accident. The animation and design of the characters and settings is simple but s...

Flix for Short: Birder Dash

May 09
// Liz Rugg
Birder Dash is the first animated short from Russian illustrator and artist Max Litvinov. It's a pretty cool little short, the animation style is full of repetitive yet somehow fresh movement - it feels more like a comic bro...

Flix for Short: Johnny Express

May 09
// Liz Rugg
The year is 2150. Johnny is a great delivery man. He is however, incredibly lazy. All Johnny wants is to sleep in his automated space delivery ship. All he has to do is deliver the packages he's sent. However, his deliveries...
FFS: Steadfast Stanley photo
FFS: Steadfast Stanley

Flix for Short: Steadfast Stanley, a tale of a Corgi in the zombie apocalypse

May 05
// Nick Valdez
Steadfast Stanley, a short film created by third year CalArts student John Cody Kim, is the story of a Corgi pup trying to find his lost boy in the zombie apocalypse. It's the most heartbreaking, yet heartwarming thing I've ...

Flix for Short: Francis

Apr 04
// Liz Rugg
Francis is an animated short based off of a short radio piece for the (incredible) radio show This American Life. The original short story was written by novelist Dave Eggers and was later transformed into an animated short ...

Katsuhiro Otomo's Short Peace will be shown in select U.S. theaters

Mar 28
// Liz Rugg
Katsushiro Otomo, the Japanese animation director most well known for his seminal film Akira, has a brand-new animated film about to his U.S. shores! Well, sort of. Short Peace is actually a collection of four short films pr...

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