Black Angel short film

These days, Disney is the rare studio still putting short films in front of some of their features. Coincidentally, a famous company they’d eventually own did that several decades earlier. In 1980, George Lucas wanted a short film to screen in front of his highly anticipated sequel to Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back. He got his art director, Roger Christian, to make a short, and the result was Black Angel, a fantasy that was heavily influential in the years that followed. It played in a few hundred UK cinemas but prints of the film were thought to be lost.

A few years back, Christian teased that the film had been found and would get a digital release in the future. That day is today. Black Angel has now been uploaded online and you can watch the full 25 minute short film below, along with an intro from Christian himself. Read More »

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Eli Roth Restaurant Dogs Short Film

I first discovered filmmaker Eli Roth at the Boston Film Festival in 2003. Its not that his debut Cabin Fever was incredible, but it demonstrated a new and interesting voice. And for whatever the film lacked, Roth made up with his hour-long question and answer session that followed the screening. Roth, like Kevin Smith and Robert Rodriguez, is full of interesting and funny stories about the making of his films and his discovery of movies.

One of the stories Roth told that night involved his college thesis short film, a Reservoir Dogs homage/parody titled Restaurant Dogs starring a cast of fast food characters doing things so wrong that would never be seen again. Or so I thought. The film was nominated for a Student Academy Award in 1995, and won its division, but has remained one of those talked-about shorts that has never showed up online. Until now. Watch the Eli Roth Restaurant Dogs short film after the jump now.
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Pixar Logo

Almost as exciting as the release of a new Pixar feature is the reveal of the new Pixar short that accompanies each feature. Coming with this fall’s The Good Dinosaur is Sanjay’s Super Team, a seven-minute work about a little boy coming to understand his father’s Hinduism. The first lovely bit of concept art from Sanjay’s Super Team has just been released, and you can check it out after the jump.

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Star Wars Tie Fighter - Star Wars anime fan film

Animator Paul Johnson (youtube user name OtaKing77077) spent four years worth of weekends animating this incredible Star Wars anime fan film Star Wars: TIE Fighter. Paul explains:

What if there was an Empire-focussed short Star Wars animation, drawn with the crazy detail and shading of classic 80s anime that’s all but vanished from Japan nowadays? Well, I tried my best. Apologies in advance for not living up to Venus Wars standards. Drawn and animated by yours truly over 4 years’ worth of weekends, with music by the living guitar solo Zak Rahman and sound design by up and coming audio technician Joseph Leyva. Fans of Lucasarts’ seminal 1994 TIE Fighter game may notice a few familiar sights and sounds. That “incoming missile” noise gives me horrible flashbacks to this day…

The resulting fan film is beautiful and makes me wish Disney had opted for a more stylized look for Star Wars Rebels. (No complaints, I’m sure we’ll have years of animated Star Wars television shows to look forward to.) Watch Paul Johnson’s seven-minute Star Wars anime short film Star Wars: TIE Fighter embedded after the jump.

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Pixels short film

Now that everyone is excited about the Pixels movie following the debut of the first Pixels teaser trailer, I thought it would be fun to revisit the Pixels short film which started it all. The following two-minute Pixels short film was released in April 2010 and went viral. Sony acquired the rights to turn the short film into a movie, and we will finally be seeing that movie soon. After the jump you can read Russ Fischer’s original April 8th 2010 report on the Pixels short film, followed by an embed of the short.

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Wrestling Isn't Wrestling

Every week, at least twice a week, World Wrestling Entertainment puts on a TV show. There’s never a rerun, there’s a huge cast of characters, and it’s all performed live without a safety net. And unless you’re a fan, it’s hard to explain that the matches aren’t always why we watch. We watch for the drama. The story. One wrestler simply talking to another wrestler in the middle of the ring. A key interaction back stage. Something going on outside the ring while a match is happening. These are the things that make wrestling great. It’s the best soap opera on TV.

Still, wrestling has a stigma as low-brow entertainment and someone has to defend it. Who better than Max Landis? The verbose screenwriter has made a 24 minute short film called Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling where he tells the story of legendary wrestler turned executive Triple H. But Landis gender-swaps the entire cast, just to prove this epic, decades long story is on par with the best storytelling there is no matter who’s playing the roles. Watch Max Landis’ Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling below. Read More »

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The Dam Keeper header

Disney’s Feast took home the Best Animated Short trophy at the Oscars this year, but for my money the real gem of that category was The Dam Keeper. Directed by Pixar alums Robert Kondo and Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi, it told the poignant story of a bullied child. (Who happens to be a pig, because this is an animated movie.)

The filmmakers managed to cram quite a bit into 18 minutes, but now they’ll have a chance to explore the world a little bit further. They’ve revealed plans to develop a feature animation of The Dam Keeper, as well as two graphic novels. More on the planned Dam Keeper feature after the jump. Read More »

Alchemist's Letter trailer

The Alchemist’s Letter is a new short film from animator Carlos Andre Stevens, based at Laika’s commercial subdivision, Laika/house. While Laika is known primarily as a stop-motion animation company, Laika/house did a variety of work, and this is a CG short (reportedly Laika/house’s last) featuring the voices of John Hurt and Eloise Webb. The Alchemist’s Letter trailer is really pretty, with just as many interesting sights as featured in many “big” films, and has us looking forward to the full short. Read More »

Lego Back to the Future

Is there anything Legos can’t make better? If this Lego Back to the Future short is any indication, apparently not. Even one of the most iconic scenes from one of the most beloved movies of all time looks ever-so-slightly more charming when rendered in stop-motion with little plastic bricks.

Watch the Lego Back to the Future short recreating the film’s climactic clock tower scene after the jump.  Read More »