Animation Shorts Section 2

Reviewed by Tyler Rowland.  Viewed at Santa Barbara Film Festival 2012.

These eight short films challenge the audience to interpret scenarios at more than just face value and to decipher facets of life in a way that we each seem fit, as individuals, rather than mindlessly trudging through each day.  Instead of giving a deatiled description of one of these shorts, I feel a brief overview of each short is in order.  Each of these take life in their own volition, not subject to the audacious objectivity that is harbored in most of the animation that is recognized on a mainstream level.  Real story-telling here.


When a dead man suddenly springs to life in the morgue, he longs to reunite his heart with the love he shared his life with. When his plan goes the way of mice and men, he finds that his eternal hope is not all lost.  The narrative structure embraces an eerie Poe-like feel, while the animation is reminiscent of a modern day Duckman.  Actors Christopher Lloyd and Kathy Bates provide their voices for this poetic look at the afterlife.

The Man with the Stolen Heart

A man who finds that his heart is missing one day finds that it has paired with another heart.  As he is unwilling to accept life without a heart, he takes them both.  However, the other heart has an owner that refuses to let it go.

Playing Ghost

While Amy and her mother are in very different places in reality, the attempt to escape from the world she knows offers a chance for the young girl to skew the lines between life and death.  This “game” vies to charge a hefty price for the inquisitive Amy, but her mother is unwilling to accept that possible fate.

3 Fragments of a Lost Tale

This deep and psychologically challenging stop animation short takes aim at values of life that are constantly questioned:  Is there a God?  Were we created?  What is the correlation between space and time?  More is left unexplained than answered, but maybe that is a good thing.

Tales from an Old Piano

With the combination of claymation and animation, we are brought through the brilliant life of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  With thematic music to the fleeting visuals the Russian composer reminisces upon, the audience is moved through the highs and lows of a soul that was torn from the emotions of love, death, and everything in between.  In addition to the music and visual ambiance, voiceover helps to fill in the gaps of this biographical representation.

It’s such a Beautiful Day

While crude in visual character design, this short more than makes up for it by the aura reminiscent of a Salvador Dahli painting.  This is part 3 of 3 from award winning animator Don Hertzfelst’s series Everything Will Be OK.   Although initially it looks as if it is a simple nuance, the story does not lack any credential for a compelling and heart felt saga.  When a man begins to lose his memory and all hope seems to go for him, we come to find that it may not turn out all be bad in the end.


Sketches, paintings, and other assortments of artistic innovation provide a seamless and ever-changing landscape for a love story that takes place entirely in a fantasy world while a boy naps upon an airplane ride.

Muybridge’s Strings

Pioneering photographer Eadweard Muybridge is portrayed along with an antagonistic Japanese woman as his yearning to capture still photos in a way that makes the images come to life is only an allegorical interpretation that supersedes place and time and is an individual experience received differently for each person involved.


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