With 2009 now behind us, it’s time to look at the great shorts and animations that have inspired us throughout the year.
Fallen features the most unlikely of main characters: a falling asteroid. The short follows his quick descent down to earth as he deals with the concept of life and death. The ending is executed perfectly, and more than nails home the point: Live your life to the fullest, regardless of the end.
9. French Roast
Winner of several major film festivals, French Roast focuses on a quiet restaurant patron who wants nothing more than to enjoy his coffee and read his paper. It’s a fun little short with a great ending, that manages to fit a complicated story into almost only one camera shot.
8. Ataque de Pánico!
Ataque de Pánico! plays like a 10 year old boys wet dream: Giant robots blowin’ up a city. But whilst it wins no points for it’s story, it more than makes up for it with it’s impressive special effects. The variety of locations and quick cuts means the viewer doesn’t get a chance to get bored. The amount of work that went into rotoscoping and filming all this is worth the watch on it’s own. But what blows my mind is that all this was shot on $300 budget, and yet it still manages to pack the punch of a major hollywood blockbuster.
7. Spec Ops: The Line Trailer
This beautifully crafted trailer paints the scene of a deserted Dubai after cataclysmic sandstorms have blown in, scaring away the once thriving population. The amazing visuals combined with haunting soundtrack of Bjork build an eery tension that leave you wanting more.
6. Blood Trails
(Viewer Discretion is Advised – Extremely Violent)
Blood Trails, is definately the most disturbing animation I’ve ever seen in my life, but it’s also one of the best. The trailer was produced and directed by Nathan Love who was asked by Perspective Studios to create an engaging trailer for a feature length script to help sell the concept to investors. Whether or not this will one day be made into a film is beyond me, but the sheer excitement and terror contained in this trailer makes me think it probably will. For more info on this short, check out this interview with Nathan Love.
5. Please Say Something
This isn’t your typical short, and it’s not for everyone either. Please Say Something, follows the story of a troubled relationship between a cat and a mouse. The fast paced abrupt editing can at first be hard to follow, but by the end you’ll be completely drawn in. The character building is absolutely fantastic and the old school stylized video game look is the icing on the cake.
4. Yankee Gal
Set in World War II, Yankee Gal shows a pilot’s dream-like moments between life and death. The amazing visuals combined with the superb audio effects, make for an amazing short that stays in your mind long after it’s finished.
Certainly a late comer to the party, Alma was released less than 2 weeks ago in time for Christmas. This amazing short was created in 2 years by an enomously talented team of artists. The ending was predictable, but with the creepy sounds, brilliant colors, and steady pacing, it didn’t matter: my eyes were peeled to the screen from start to finish.
2. Partly Cloudy
It shouldn’t surprise you that Pixar’s Partly Cloudy got a mention here. It’s comical enough to entertain children, yet wholesome enough to give the adults the warm and fuzzies. This charming tale about personal responsibility is told without a single line of dialogue, but thanks to Pixar’s knack for story telling we know exactly what’s happening.
1. Steel Life
Steel Life is a visually stunning masterpiece that takes the viewer on a journey of life’s deepest emotions. It’s not the sort of movie you’d put on to entertain your friends, this particular short is best viewed by yourself, in a dark room, with the volume up. Steel Life is a truly engaging experience, and in my opinion is the best animation of 2009.
So there you have it, the cream of the crop of 2009. If you think I missed one, please point it out in the comment section!
If you liked this post you might also like my list of 6 more Amazing Animated Shorts.