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For your consideration: a collection of international ANIMATED short films. Ranging in length from 6 to 17 minutes, the filmmakers create films as compelling as their feature-length counterparts. Check these out, if you have access. If you can’t find these films specifically, give ShortsHD a try—this channel is nothing but short films.

First, a small collection of “highly Commended” films included in the Animated screening (most likely to fill time; these were a bit shorter than the live action shorts). I agree with the commendation—these are all superb examples of short film storytelling.

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If I was God—Canada, 9 minutes
Our young hero is a school boy in this fantastic claymation style animated film. He really wants to get the attention of a sweet girl in his class, but the pest is always after him. And he has bigger dreams, starting with bringing his dissected frog back to life.

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The Short Story of a Fox and a Mouse—France
A fox is hunting a mouse in the snow. The mouse does his best to escape, but after a tight squeeze involving two owls, it doesn’t look good for our friend. There is a happy ending, however, and it is quite unexpected. The animation in this commended film was absolutely fantastic—the fox fur blowing in the breeze is just one example. Truly spectacular when animation rivals real life.

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The Lonliest Stoplight—USA, 6 minutes
Due to a high rate of vehicular/equestrian collisions, a stoplight is put up to protect citizens. It leads a quiet life, almost too quiet. Until one day, a massive pile-up on the nearby freeway brings the traffic back and gives the hero stoplight purpose again. Narrated by Patton Oswalt which, in my opinion, raises the value of this film. He’s a fantastic voice-over actor.

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Catch It!—France, 5 minutes
A family of meerkats wakes up one morning to a vision—a lovely, plump fruit, hanging from a nearby branch, just waiting to be plucked and eaten. The vulture soaring overhead has other ideas, but the meerkats will not give up so easily.

And now, the Oscar®-Nominated Animated Short Films!

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Sanjay’s Super Team—USA, 7 minutes
Sanjay wants to watch his superhero cartoon, but dad says it’s time to pray and honor our culture. Amazingly, the Super Team shows up to defeat evil while Sanjay is meditating, and dad doesn’t think that’s such a waste of time. An adorable combination of cultures, and a fantastic relationship builder. This might get the little golden man.

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World of Tomorrow—USA, 17 minutes
Tongue-in-cheek telling of a future human race, made entirely of clones. It’s funny, because when Emily version 3.0 comes back to tell her original/Prime what’s going on, Emily Prime is about 4 years old. Otherwise, I think it’s too existential/weird. The animation fits well, in all it’s childlike, stick figure glory. Plus it’s too long. But interesting! Worth the watch.

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Historia de un Oso/Bear Story—Chile, 11 minutes
Papa bear is a street performer, telling the story of how the evil circus men attacked him and his animal neighbors and forced them to work and do tricks. He’s taken from his family and wants nothing more than to get back to his wife and son. A beautiful, poignant, tear-jerking story, told with the most incredible animated mechanical art I’ve ever seen. This is my absolute number one pick. I hope Chile has what it takes to beat Pixar—if I was voting, that Oscar® would be in South America on the 29th of February.

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We Can’t Live Without Cosmos—Russia, 16 minutes
One of the longest films, but the story is so compelling, you don’t even notice. Two lifelong besties join the cosmonaut training program and are at the top of the list to travel to the moon. The bond between the two men is impeccably shown. I was so pleased with this film! I think if Cosmos won instead of Bear Story, I’d only be a tiny bit disappointed. The animation is simple, but it’s only there to enhance a beautiful script.

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Prologue—UK, 6 minutes
If this is hand-drawn, I will lose my mind. It sure looked like it, but animation can really do anything. Maybe it was animated hand-drawn images? Who knows. This was a brutal short. It tells the story of how things started—men fighting each other. Apparently we’ve learned nothing. Again, brutal, but so realistic. Highly impressive.

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