Thomas Middleditch artificial intelligence

Thomas Middleditch is one of the stars of HBO’s tech comedy Silicon Valley, and the most recent season involved his character having some awkward interactions with a robot powered by artificial intelligence. But the actor also has experience working with real A.I., and he’s just appeared in a new short film called Zone Out that was written and directed by an actual A.I. that named itself “Benjamin.”

Watch the latest Thomas Middleditch artificial intelligence short film below, and get a behind-the-scenes look at how the project came together. Read More »

looney tunes revival

What’s up, Doc? Well, just the greatest news that could arrive for classic animation lovers. Warner Bros.’s staple of short film animation, Looney Tunes, is coming back to TV. And not just TV — the Looney Tunes revival will be made available on “all screens,” meaning the classic animated characters of Looney Tunes will be coming to a digital and mobile screen near you. Read More »

best animated shorts

(Welcome to Let’s Get Animated!, a column that spotlights the best of film animation. In this edition: here are the most essential stop-motion animated movies.)

With every new Pixar movie comes the promise of another one of the studio’s beautifully constructed, deeply felt animated shorts. And the upcoming short paired with the highly anticipated Incredibles 2, the empty-nester fable Bao, looks like it will be all that and more. But it’s easy to forget that Pixar and Disney aren’t the be-all-end-all for affecting, cutting edge animated shorts. In fact, some of the best animated shorts may lie outside the realm of the two animation giants.

There’s a wealth of animated short films that have pushed the boundaries of animation and storytelling, both in and outside the Hollywood studio system. So let’s run down some of the best animated shorts that don’t come from Pixar or Disney.

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An Emmy for Megan

The Emmy is a coveted award among television talents both in front of and behind the camera, but there are varying levels of Emmys among the various kinds of media out there. One of the Emmy categories created by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences rewards short-form series, which basically allows any Tom, Dick or Harry to be eligible (though not necessarily deserving) for an Emmy with an iPhone, some basic editing software and a decent internet connection at their disposal.

The Good Place writer Megan Amram is hoping to win an Emmy in that category by adhering to the rules of eligibility for that category as close as possible with a new web series called An Emmy for Megan, which is all about Megan Amram trying to win an Emmy for Best Actress in a Short Form Series. Read More »

marvel one shots

It’s been a long, satisfying 10 years to Avengers: Infinity War, but it wasn’t only the 18 films that helped shape the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At the beginning, when Marvel Studios was still finding its footing, there were the Marvel One Shots.

The Marvel One-Shots were self-contained short films included on the Blu-ray and home video releases of the early Marvel films, up until Thor: The Dark World. They were fun little stories that let us revisit some fan-favorite characters — and provide a back-door pilot for a few ABC TV shows — but most importantly, they also helped expand the world of the MCU. But since “All Hail the King” was released in 2014, the Marvel One-Shots have gone silent. And from the looks of the jam-packed slate of the MCU, we may not get any more for the foreseeable future.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Bao clip

Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 arrives in theaters this June, but before we reunite with the superheroic Parr family, we’ll be treated to a brand new Pixar short film called Bao. Now the first Bao clip has made its way online, and if there’s such a thing as a trigger warning for cuteness, I’m implementing it now. Warning: watching this may cause squeals of delight or maybe an involuntary “awww” to escape from your mouth. Read More »

Dr. Evil on The Tonight Show

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, Mike Myers brings back his Austin Powers franchise villain Dr. Evil for a topical sketch on The Tonight Show. Plus, friend of the site Will Goss has a clever and charming new short film called Pick-Ups that you should check out, and find out some fun facts you might not have known about Pixar’s Toy Story. Read More »

bao first look

Pixar’s newest short film, Bao, looks so good that you could just eat it up. And you can now get a Bao first look, with the first images from the Pixar short that will air in front of Incredibles 2 dropping on the internet.

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There’s something magical about watching a Pixar short. You go into one without any clue what to expect except for something truly spectacular — whether it be a feat of technological prowess, a wacky creative experiment, or a peek into another culture.

It sounds like the new Pixar short is a combination of all three. Bao, the Pixar short set to screen in front of Incredibles 2 this summer, will follow a lonely empty-nester mother who is delighted when a baby dumpling comes to life.

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Forces of Destiny season 2

Of the many ways Disney builds their Star Wars brand outside of the theater, Star Wars: Forces of Destiny may be one of the best. It’s a campaign made up of animated shorts, toys, and kids’ books that are all intended to bring some extra attention to the franchise’s female characters. We wrote about the first season of animated shorts last year, and now Disney is back with Forces of Destiny season 2.

Star Wars actors Daisy Ridley, Lupita Nyong’o, Kelly Marie Tran, and more lend their voices to the animated versions of their characters, and this batch is especially notable because it features the return of Mark Hamill voicing Luke Skywalker. Check out all eight episodes below.

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