5 Best animated short films you must watch

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Credits: Cartoon Saloon

Animated is the new black. Maybe it doesn’t make sense but looking at the hype of animated projects and their increased inclusiveness of all age groups, it is safe to say it has started catering to a bigger audience than ever before.

Everyone is aware of the animated movies and series that have been coming up lately and they can’t be called entirely ‘kids content’ anymore. Like Encanto, which deals with generational trauma; Soul that talks about the importance of self-worth; Up, which portrays the acceptance of grief; Inside out, which revolves around mental health, animation is being used to touch topics that are otherwise grave and difficult to introduce to the viewers. 

Though series and movies are taking the spotlight, what goes unnoticed are short films. They are of a few minutes but do leave a mark, maybe because of the story or the animation style or the very emotions behind it. 

Here are a few must-watch animated shorts that are a treat to both the eyes and the heart:

Give Up Yer Aul Sins (2000)

best animated short films
Credits: Brown Bag Films

Directed by: Darragh O’Connell, Cathal Gaffney

Voice Cast: Maria McDermottroe

This ‘little longer than’ four-minute shot is nothing but just about a little kid who, in a subtle way, portrays the innocence of the childhood we all have somehow left behind. The story follows little Mary’s own innocently twisted version of the story of John, the baptist, when some ‘television people’ came to her school for recording. 

The short is made by Brown Bag films and was screened at multiple prominent film festivals including Cannes. Give up yer aul sins also received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Short back in 2001. 

Where to Watch: Brown Bag Films released the short on their website.

Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty (2008)

best animated short films
Credits: Brown Bag Films

Directed by: Nicky Phelan

Voice Cast: Kathleen O’Rourke

Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty is a grandmother’s twisted version of the well-known fairytale, The Sleeping Beauty. When her granddaughter is unable to sleep at night, the grandma takes it upon herself to tell her a story of the princess who was cursed with a long sleep by an old fairy who wasn’t invited to her christening. However, rather than focusing on the merry princess part, she got into the old fairy’s perspective, scaring the child even further.

Where to Watch: The short is available on Brown Bag Films’ website.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Villainy (2010)

best animated short films
Credits: Aidan McAteer

Directed by: Aidan McAteer

Voice Cast: None

The short isn’t in the mainstream film format but like a how-to video. And here we are talking about how to be a villain. What all one needs, what all instructions to keep in mind, what all points to take care of, and especially what all blunders ‘not’ to make (and a lot of emphasis on ‘Not’). 

The film is made in silhouette form and gives very archaic vibes in terms of timeline.

Where to Watch: The short is available on McAteer’s Vimeo handle. 

Deadly (2014)

best animated short films
Credits: Aidan McAteer

Directed by: Aidan McAteer

Voice Cast: Peter Coonan and Brenda Fricker

This adorable short film is an emotional roller coaster and follows the relationship between the Grim Reaper, Boney, who has a very tiring job of sucking people’s souls out of their bodies with what looks like a vacuum cleaner.

In the nursing home for the elderly, Boney meets Bridie who is a cheerful and spirited old lady who is confined to a wheelchair. The duo became friends over the course of time and explore concepts like life, death, grief, and dance together. 

Where to watch: It is available to watch on McAteer’s Vimeo handle.

Late Afternoon (2017)

best animated short films
Credits: RTE and Screen Ireland

Directed by: Louise Bagnall

Voice Cast: Fionnula Flanagan

The film follows an elderly dementia patient who goes down memory lane once again and maybe for the last time now. The story makes us ponder on the fact that we can never understand the dilemma and the pain of a person whose memories are just slipping through their fingers and they can do nothing about it.

Where to watch: RTE made the short film available for viewing on their website.