Can you solve a Rubik's cube? This charming new animated short film titled Scrambled is about a cute little Rubik's cube that comes alive in hopes of being solved by a woman waiting for a train. Scrambled is made by the animation house Polder Animation based in The Netherlands, written and directed by Bastiaan Schravendeel. It's a simple story but with some intelligent nuance in both the style and substance, about a young woman who's inspired when she figures out how to solve this (lonely) Rubik's cube. It's a great lesson for everyone - about how taking a break and exercising your mind by playing a game or solving some other problem might actually give you a fresh perspective you can use to solve other problems in your life. Enjoy.
"Time to light it up, kid." Warner Bros has debuted a funny short film for the holidays in promotion of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, the sequel to the wildly successful and highly acclaimed original The Lego Movie released in 2014. This short is about Emmet Brickowski putting together a holiday party in their Apocalypse-berge city, which (not-so-subtly) is hinted at in this short, will end up attracting their next foe. This time around, the citizens must fight off Duplo invaders from outer space. The main voice cast for The Lego Movie 2 includes Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Stephanie Beatriz, Elizabeth Banks, Channing Tatum, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Jonah Hill, and Tiffany Haddish. We also recently featured the second trailer for this animated sequel, so this is just some extra icing on the cake. Plus I don't think of the footage from this short will end up in the finished movie anyway. But it's amusing and harmless - have fun.
Meet Juna. Okna Pictures has debuted the first official trailer for The Seed of Juna, a new CGI-animated short film made by filmmaker Alvaro Garcia. Garcia is a VFX veteran, working on major Hollywood films for ILM, but this is his latest independent project - a short proof-of-concept for a wicked cool idea about a rebellious girl who is reborn in a different part of the universe after being killed by a ruling religious sect on Earth. "The goal is to offer the audience an adrenaline mix of discovery, awe and discomfort about the wild universe and a human caught up in the middle of it." The full short will be out sometime in early 2019, and we don't usually post trailers for shorts, but this looks so crazy ambitious and we just had to share it. I'm not really sure what's happening on this other world, but these visuals certainly got my attention. Check it out.
"The Emperor protects!" Nothing like a visit to the dark future that lies ahead. Guardsman is a fan-made short film based on the Warhammer 40,000 game series from Games Workshop. This very, very dark short is about a trooper named Guardsman Raines who ends up deep inside of enemy territory in an abandoned Imperial guard training facility. If you're a fan of the Warhammer 40K series, you know what to expect - and a Space Marine does show up to help him out. That's when this gets good, real good. Guardsman stars Erik Steffens, with Terry Skrinjar in the armor, and Pete Beaumont as the voice of the Space Marine. This is very short and I do wish there was more to it, but it's impressive they made it without much to work with.
"Seriously, you didn't lock the door, Adam?! Nice going!" Another horror comedy short with packed with a healthy dose of absurdity. Cabin Killer is a new short film made by filmmaker Michael Rich, and it's an enjoyable 10 minute watch. The film took top honors at Shriekfest, where it won Best Super Short Film, and played at numerous other festivals. Cabin Killer is about a couple that goes on a weekend getaway to work on their relationship, but their cabin isn't exactly what they expected. Starring Chris Orlandi, Gabi Van Horn, and Jose Martinez. Rich wanted to make a film that isn't what we all expect, but still pulls viewers into "the growing absurdity of the story." It's more of a relationship comedy than horror, still quite bloody.
"I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi, like my father." Disney + Lucasfilm have debuted the first set of animated shorts films for a new series they're calling Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures. These shorts feature key moments from the Star Wars cinematic franchise re-told in short form animation, in order to "introduce the classic themes, pivotal moments, and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga to the next generation." In addition to the new series of shorts being debuted online, a new Hasbro toy line is debuting at Walmart in December and expanding nationwide in January 2019. The first six of the 1-minute shorts are available now, and explore Luke's meeting with Obi-Wan, Vader's pursuit of Leia and his reign, plus introductions to R2-D2 and Chewbacca. These are pretty cool - even if they are made for kids. Enjoy.
"I need you to help me with something… Think of it like it's a game, like a memory game." What if we lived in a world where all of our memories were stored into a digital database? Now is a short film written and directed by Justin Zachary, and plays with that concept. The story is about a computer scientist who digs through his girlfriends memories only to discover a haunting truth that he's desperate to cover up. Zachary also stars in the film, along with Susanna Ericsson, Craig Braun, and Francesca Fondevila. I like the low-key sci-fi elements, subtle and simple but just enough of an edge to make this a believable "near future" story. This reminds me a bit of Ex Machina, and you'll see why once it gets into it. Definitely worth a watch.
"There were lots of things you didn't do, but you put up with me, and you loved me, and protected me…" This is guaranteed to make you cry. And it's only two minutes long. Initially released on Veteran's Day, But You Didn't is a new short film made by filmmaker John Wikstrom, who has made a few other fantastic shorts that we've featured previously: The Hatchling and Chloe. This one is an emotional tribute to veterans and soldiers (and their loved ones) and all those who fight for their country in the military. But You Didn't stars Kelsey Flynn & Jacob Taylor, with Roosevelt Stone & Isabella Barbarasa; and a voiceover by Maya Tuttle. Another example of how visual storytelling can achieve so much in just two minutes of time.
The holidays are just around the corner, which means new holiday ads to get you in the mood to spend more money. Apple released their holiday ad last week titled Share Your Gifts, which is a 3-minute animated short film about a girl who makes wonderful things but is afraid to share them with the world. Until one day her greatest creation gets blown out the window and ends up in the hands of locals, who love it. The short features practical hand-made sets, with CG animation for all the characters - a mix of stop-motion-esque set design and computer animation. This is one of Apple's first ever fully animated ads, and it's quite charming. I love the set design, and the oversized sweater she wears, and her big shaggy dog. This is delightful - enjoy.
"An overflow of doubt became a burden on their back." This is a short film that is beautifully made and just as powerful in getting a message across. The Ostrich Politic is an outstanding animated short directed by filmmaker Mohamad Houhou, about a world made up of ostriches, with a society and culture just like our own. The story is about how they are unable to deal with change, visualized by the ostriches and the way they bury their head when ther're afraid. If that isn't a clear reference for what's happening with humanity, then I don't know what is. But the honest storytelling, and impressive animation to go along with it, makes this so soothing and persuasive. Featuring narration by Kester Lovelace & Fabrice Ziolkowski. Enjoy.
"Becoming a space explorer takes time. And money." If you're looking for something to cheer you up, bring a bit of joy to your day, this might just do the trick. Coin Operated is an animated short film written & directed by Nicholas Arioli. An engineer by training but an artist at heart, Nicholas spent years in the technology industry before making the jump to filmmaking. "Proudly made by independent artists" it says in the credits at the end, a short film made without any agenda, just a desire to tell a good story. This reminds me a bit of the opening in Up, and the other recent young astronaut animated short One Small Step, but still has its own feel to it as well. It's a delightful story, plus the animation is top notch - definitely worth a watch.
"Welcome To Britannia. Together We Stand Alone." Here's another compelling, thought-provoking, unique short film worth your time to watch. Transmission is a short film made by Britsol, UK-based filmmakers Varun Raman & Tom Hancock, shot on Kodak 35mm film stock. It premiered at Fantasia last year and has played at 90 other festivals including BIFFF, L'Etrange, and Rhode Island Flickers, receiving 12 awards. The film is about an alternate Britain that uses quite a peculiar interrogation method to get information out of a political prisoner. Starring James Hyland, Kelby Keenan, and Michael Shon. The filmmakers on why they shot on film: "Its grain and response to light and colour creates a dream-like quality that has yet to be rivaled by digital. And the filmmaking process is engendered with an ultimate dedication to preparation."