Short films are quite often overlooked and more often than not, go under the radar of most amateur film fans. However, there are a number of short films which are truly special pieces of work, featuring some stunning animation, heartfelt messages and addressing themes in such a manner which most feature length movies fail to achieve! I’ve picked out 5 animated shorts which tug at the heartstrings and what’s even better, are completely free to watch.
Released just last month by The Humane Society of the United States, Save Ralph is a stop motion mockumentary starring Taika Waititi, Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron, Olivia Munn and Pom Klementieff. The short film follows an interview with title character Ralph, a rabbit used for animal testing. The level of detail in the short film is truly amazing and the message at its heart is both poignant and powerful.
The first free to watch short film from Disney/Pixar on this list is Purl, an animated film following a ball of yarn named Purl who gets employed in a human-dominant company, which causes her to be ignored by her fellow employees. The animation in Purl is truly spectacular, particularly the detailed textures of the yarn and what’s more, despite only being 8 minutes in length, Purl actually addresses a few mature themes in an obvious manner, somewhat uncharacteristically of Pixar.
Hair Love is an Academy Award winning short film following the story of a man who must do his daughter’s hair for the very first time. The concept is simple, but the animation, musical score and relationship between the father and his daughter all combine effortlessly. Unsurprisingly, on the back of the success of the short film, an upcoming series has been ordered by HBO Max titled Young Love.
The next Pixar short on my list of must-see short films that are free to watch is Kitbull. Kitbull follows an unlikely relationship that sparks between two creatures; a fiercely independent stray kitten and a pit bull. Like Purl, Kitbull addresses mature themes like animal abuse and really does provide a huge amount of food for thought. Kitbull is a beautifully poignant story and the cartoon style art animation is striking.
The final animated short on my list is another animal themed short film from the Southeastern Guide Dogs. Racking up over 300 million views on YouTube, Pip is the heartfelt story of Pip, a small dog with a big dream. With a beautiful music score and a sentimental message at its core, Pip will make you appreciate the fantastic work guide dogs do that little bit more.
Which is your favourite animated short film of all time? Let me know in the comments!