Hi guys! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. This week I am going to be sharing my ranking for the 2015 animated films but before that I wanted to talk animated shorts! I love animated shorts and 2015 was actually a really terrific year for the medium. I haven’t seen all of them as they aren’t all available but I watched a lot and I came up with my top 11. I worked really hard on this video and would love if you gave it a watch.
But if you don’t want to watch the video I will give the list here. I did include shorts from anthology films like The Prophet and Extraordinary Tales because I feel they stand on their own as shorts without needing the framing device. In fact, they are much better without it.
So here are my top 11 2015 animated shorts
Yep, this die hard Frozen fan puts Frozen Fever at 11 because it is sweet and pleasant but not as artistically ambitious as the others on this list. Frozen fans like myself will really enjoy seeing Anna and Elsa’s relationship grow and the new song is very enjoyable but it isn’t spectacular or anything. Just really enjoyable for fans and there is nothing wrong with that.
10. A Bear’s Story
This animated short from Gabriel Osorio and it has a bit of a steampunk feel (shorts are the best place for steampunk IMO) about a bear that makes pictograph machines with a mechanical version of his family. It reminded me a lot of Hugo and was very sweet and beautiful.
I’m sure you guys are shocked this isn’t higher but when it came down to it the 8 shorts were more artistically ambitious than Lava. I love Lava! I love the music. The song I have been singing all year and nearly anything with Hawaii has my heart but I just couldn’t get it higher. It’s a delightful, sweet short.
8. An Object at Rest
Similar to Lava, An Object at Rest tells the story of a mountain, that becomes a boulder, that becomes a stone, and continues on. It is animated by Seth Boyden and it has a sketchy sweet style like Ernest and Celestine.
7. Le Gouffre
This short was a big surprise for me but it is beautiful. It is about 2 adventurers that have to cross a chasm and build a bridge to get to the other side. It sounds mundane but it is exciting and striking with great character designs. It is from a studio out of Montreal called Lightning Bay Studio and it makes me very curious to see what the studio will do next.
6. On Eating and Drinking
This short is from The Prophet by amazing animator Bill Plympton who does all his artwork by hand and I love his sketchy style. (Check out this year’s Cheatin’ to see more of his style). This is a poem about eating and drinking and the imagery and flow with the poem are beautiful.
5. The Tell-Tale Heart
From the Edgar Allen Poe anthology film Extraordinary Tales we get the depiction of Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart. The art design with the black and white contrasting is really striking and Bella Legosi narrating gave great ambiance and immersed me in the story.
4. World of Tomorrow
I wouldn’t be surprised if after watching it a dozen more times World of Tomorrow is at the top of my list. It’s very obtuse and out there but I was intrigued by it. Created by animated Don Hertzfeldt it is basically the animated sci-fi musings of a leader and a little girl. It’s trippy and weird and different but I liked it for those reasons.
3. On Work
This short from The Prophet reminded me of a Van Gogh painting with the harvesters collecting the wheat from the field. The poem was beautiful and the animation fit it perfectly. It is bright and vivid and I loved it.
2. Sanjay’s Super TeamI loved this story from Pixar about a little boy and a father trying to reconcile their differing views of the world. You have little Sanjay who loves superheroes and his Dad who worships and prays to the Hindi Gods. It’s not about polytheism or superheroes but about how we can take the best of the old and new and make something unique and great. The animation is bright, colorful and very creative.
1. On Love
If you haven’t caught on I am kind of obsessed with Tomm Moore. His animation is so beautiful. I loved Song of the Sea- one of my favorite animated films of all time and I think Secret of the Kells is wonderful. Naturally, his short in The Prophet was my favorite of the group and of the year. It is called On Love and is of course about love. We get joy, passion, rejection, and belonging perfectly animated with the Khalil Gibran poem accompanying the stirring images.
So that is my ranking. What do you think about my picks and what are your favorite animated shorts from the year? I hopefully introduced you to a few you haven’t heard of and I would encourage you to check them out.
I know there are many I missed so please put in the comments section. Thanks!