The best animated shorts of 2010

As we move from January into February we’re left with no doubt that 2010 is well and truly behind us. What have we achieved this year? What did we create? Well, apart from 13 magazines – the creation was solely in your hands.

I’ve been writing the Short Cuts section of 3D World for around 3 years now, and it’s one of the best sections of the magazine to be involved in. We cover a range of animation and VFX short films, which we get sent, find online, or the most fun way to see these short, is at events like Siggraph and FMX. But it’s not gone unnoticed that an increasing number are created by students like you.

Now, while those of us on this magazine are looking ahead and working on our March and April issues – there are many students out there wishing back the clocks as they handcuff themselves to their workstation to finish a final project.

Over the last month or two we’ve been trying to help with plenty of tips, for example we posted up our 10 best animation tips & tricks, to make sure we got some great shorts to watch over the summer.

Judging by last year’s shorts, many directors don’t need them.

Despite reports like this that say some courses fall short of providing those working in 3D the skills they need, there is still great work coming through, and while thinking about what to write for my first Escape blog, I decided it would be a great opportunity to visit some 2010 short-film favourites from across the board – student, independent filmmaker, and major studio.

Elk Hair Caddis
Director: Magnus Møller, Peter Smith
This film is by a group that studied with Animation Mentor. It’s notable for working well despite the limits of time and budget that you get with a student film. It has an almost cut-out quality and the sets look hand-made. Very funny, very quirky, and highly stylised – all things that we look for when covering student work, something that sticks out among the hundreds of others that surface every year.

Will & The Wheel
Director: Margherita Premuroso
We were aware of Margherita’s excellent character animation work from previous shorts – but then time she stretched her legs with a whole new story for Playstos Entertainment. It has a very similar, simplistic style to a student shorts – but with a budget behind it, Margherita was able to spend more time to fully bring out those character quirks, of which Will, has many.

Director: Alan Short
Despite the DreamWorks partnership ending following the release of Aardman’s first all-CGI film Flushed Away, the studio clearly learnt a lot. Last year, they released Fly – a great example of how, with the right characters, they can pull the story along. Essentially just based in one room and an annoying fly, the short is still great fun, and it’s also good to see the bigger studios keeping the creative juices flowing with little gems like this.

2 Comments Andy Price

Posted by
Andy Price
Tue 8 Feb 2011: 2:03pm

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  • Thiago:

    Meet Buck is amazing! It'd be really nice to see that sort of less obvious visual style in animated features.

  • Jean-Baptiste Godin:

    I didn't watch enough animated shorts in 2010.... but I've just seen Meet Buck (released in december) and really loved it !
    It has been made by Team Cerf, a group of animation students who recently graduated from the French animation school Supinfocom.
    Enjoy !

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