If you're anything like me, you're always on the lookout for cartoons worth watching. It could be the latest Pixar movie, some animated TV series you've never seen, or a few bite-sized shorts to enjoy while you're eating your breakfast cereal.
Who doesn't love a good short film? Disney and Pixar put them ahead of most of their movies in theaters as a sort of appetizer, and sometimes I end up liking the short a little bit more than the movie. As good as Finding Dory was, who didn't fall in love with Piper?
So when I need something to fill five minutes I tend to browse the internet for cartoon shorts. YouTube has a surprising wealth of them, the good and the bad. Here's some of the best I've found.
Though their main focus is VFX breakdowns and showreels, the channel also showcases a wide variety of CGI and hybrid animations. There's a lot of talent on display here and a lot of range, so there should be something for everyone.
- Recommendations: "Gea" by Primer Frame, "Song of the Knights" by Ringling College, "The Life of Death" by Marsha Onderstijn
This channel belongs to a publishing group specializing in art books and other resources for art and animation students, so of course their channel reflects that focus. You might find the educational and behind-the-scenes videos they share interesting, but even if you don't, they feature plenty of animated shorts of all kinds.
- Recommendations: "Second Wind" by Ian Worrel, "Red" by Hyunjoo Song & CalArts, "The Deep" by University of Hertfordshire
This is the second most widely-known channel on this list. You may not know Frederator Studios by name, but you'll know some of their productions — does The Fairly OddParents ring a bell? Or maybe you've heard of Adventure Time? All creations of Frederator Studios. They're also behind those 107 Facts videos, and an upcoming short film based on the Costume Quest RPG. But Cartoon Hangover is perhaps known best for the webseries "Bravest Warriors," among other delightful animated shorts.
Of course, the new Mickey Mouse shorts are amazing, and that's this channel's main focus as of a year ago. Those are worth watching and re-watching, no doubt. And if you're into abridged classics, the channel features "Have a Laugh" cartoons as well. If you dig deeper into some of their older videos you'll find their "Disney Favorites" series, which showcased notable animated shorts from all around. A few notables include "Figaro Pho" and "Simon's Cat." It's a shame they stopped doing this.
Recommendations: "Motorbike" by Mechanical Apple, "When I Grow Up" by Colin Hesterly, "Kagemono: The Shadow Folk" by Sabrina Cotugno, "Ku'u Lei Melody" by Disney
This is the official channel for Gobelins School of the Image, a French visual arts college best known for its animation department, which has taught many students who would later go on to work for Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks, and other big names in the animation industry. A few notable alumni include Bibo Bergeron and Pierre Coffin. Don't want to look them up? That's A Monster in Paris and Despicable Me. This channel's shorts range from the strange to the stranger, but every one of them is beautiful, and by far my favorite place to look for artistic, entertaining, original short films.
So what are some of your favorite places to watch animated shorts? Let me know in the comments below!