ByRob Harris, writer at
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

If Pixar, Disney and Dreamworks have taught me anything, it's that animation has a great power to create joy in the world; to transport us to magical places where our imaginations can run wild!

Now, if these short films have taught me anything, it's that animation equally has the power to strike fear into our hearts, ripping us away from reality and taking us to truly nightmarish places we quickly want to forget.

There's no doubt these animators are incredibly talented artists, but just a few minutes inside their minds is enough for me! Warning: these films may stay with you for long after their credits end.

1. The Sad Tale of Bad Breath Joe

Creator: Dimitri Kozma

The tale of bad breath Joe is indeed a sad one. Kozma's brief short is shocking to say the least, but clearly has a bit of humor infused with it. There is a moral lesson here: clean your teeth properly kids - don't use sulfuric acid!

2. Smile

Creator: Aleksander Wasilewski

Smile explores the sadistic pressures of conformity and destructive crowd psychology, boasting an extremely bizarre and unsettling ending that I'll let you discover for yourself!

3. Dog of Man

Creator: David Firth

David Firth, who you may know as the eccentric creator behind Salad Fingers, is on top form craziness for this short. If you've seen his work before, you know what you're getting yourself into.

It may be described as "A heart-warming tale of a man and his dog," but I can assure you it is anything but that.

4. Bingo

Creator: Chris Landreth

Perhaps more psychologically unsettling than straight up scary, Bingo explores themes of self-acceptance, identity and, well, clowns! It's a short but effective piece that may just leave you asking: 'Who am I?'

5. Crooked Rot

Creator: David Firth

Another David Firth special, though this time he's used stop-motion in order to mess with our heads. I'm not really sure of the deeper meaning behind this one - perhaps the fact there isn't one is the point?!

6. Doll Face

Creator: Andrew Huang

Huang's stunning animation works wonders here. The animatronic doll face seems to yearn for an idealized notion of beauty, but her efforts don't end well. In the creator's own words:

Doll Face presents a visual account of desires misplaced and identities fractured by our technological extension into the future.

Couldn't have said it better myself.


Which short was your favorite?


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