Shortcakes is our weekly feature on what’s trending in animated short films. We scour the Internet, from YouTube to Vimeo to parts unknown.
This week, a word from one of the world’s greatest animators. Also some dry British wit, some social commentary, and some pure cathartic rage.
The 12 Days of Christmas – A Tale of Avian Misery
Creator: Anomaly London
They say: They are ominously silent. They say nothing.
We say: Ever really think about the true meaning of Christmas? As in, the literal meaning of “The 12 Days of Christmas”? It’s terrifying and hilarious, with a bit of a nice message at the end. Voiced narration by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (multiple UK TV shows) puts it over the top into brilliance.
Bill Plympton Animation University Introduction
Creator: Bill Plympton
They say: Every Monday night from 6-8 pm I’ll hold detailed lectures at my studio about each phase of making a short animated film.
Through the use of drawing lessons, film screenings and tips I’ve learned during my 50-year career as an illustrator, cartoonist, caricature artist and filmmaker, I will inspire and motivate the students to make their own films.
We say: This isn’t an animated short, but it is a chance to learn from the grandmaster of animated shorts. Bill Plympton rose to fame in the early days of MTV, and he’s continued to produce groundbreaking work for over 30 years. If you’re interested in the class, visit Bill Plympton’s website.
We Are Vital Voices
Creator: Nilsson Cajamarca w/ Vital Voices Global Partnership
They say: Vital Voices Global Partnership honors women who are lighting a path through the darkness around the world. I was invited by BONES to co-produce this animated shortfilm for their 2016 Leadership Awards event in Washington D.C.
We say: This short was created to promote the Vital Voices women’s advocacy group. The animation and art are simply but effective, and the cavalcade of voices is powerful and effective. It’s a great example of advertising done right, without insulting the audience.
A Special Place (In Hell)
Creator: Sarah-Anne Birch
They say: The saying “the customer is always right” is an incredibly false and outdated ideal which customers use as justification to be disrespectful to anyone in a service uniform. A Special Place is a colorful and comical animated short film about the verbal abuse of a movie theater employee; and in extension all service industry workers. It uses limited animation and abstract sound to emphasize the emotional trauma that can come with working a minimum wage job.
This animation is based off of a personal experience I had work at a movie theater, when a neglectful mother screamed in my face and damned me to hell because of how much the candy cost. Rather than tell her child to put some of the candy back she chose to verbally abuse me. After the whole ordeal a co-worker, and dear friend, said to me there is a special place in hell for people like that customer. I worked at that movie theater for 4 years and I had a lot of customer like the one portrayed in this animation.
We say: Ever worked retail? You can relate.
Creator: Riggyal Goba
They say: A short animated film, centred on the experiences of people with dyslexia.
We say: This is a school project created by Goba at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, England. It uses a variety of animation techniques to display the effects of dyslexia, both in terms of how dyslexics perceive the world and how the world perceives them. Voice over from fellow students who suffer from dyslexia or other learning challenges add to the effect. It’s a great piece.