Kitbull

Pixar has released another short film from their SparkShorts program, and it’s extra special, because it’s hand-drawn. While the studio is known for their pioneering digital animation, their latest short – Kitbull – is entirely hand drawn short. Watch the full Kitbull short below, along with a making-of featurette and an introduction to the filmmakers.

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Neill Blomkamp Anthem

District 9 director Neill Blomkamp hasn’t directed a feature film since 2015’s Chappie, but he’s since become a prolific director of short films, helming ten of them in the past four years at his company, Oats Studios. Now he’s teamed up with EA for his latest short called Conviction, which is a live-action prequel to BioWare’s highly-anticipated upcoming video game Anthem.

Check out Blomkamp’s latest short film below, which continues to prove that short films are where he can truly thrive as a creative storyteller. Read More »

Holesum Short Film

Right now you can see the crowd-pleasing Isn’t It Romantic? in theaters to give your Valentine’s Day a little spark. The charming, hilarious new movie starring Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine, Liam Hemsworth and Priyanka Chopra is a love letter to romantic comedies and a great way to spend this greeting card holiday, whether or not you have a date.

But before you go see the delightful romcom, maybe you’d like to check out something a little different from the film’s director, Todd Strauss-Schulson. During the editing process for Isn’t It Romantic?, the filmmaker shot a short film called Holesum. It features The Final Girls star Angela Trimbur and Hamilton‘s Jon Rua, and they both choreographed their own dances too. Watch below! Read More »

Smash and Grab

Pixar, the Oscar-winning animation studio that once wore Hollywood’s animation crown, is in a bit of a creative transition following John Lasseter’s exit from the company. As they begin to establish their identity under new leadership, they’re looking for fresh directorial voices – and they’re finding them thanks to the SparkShorts program, an experimental storytelling initiative that serves as a sort of developmental league for filmmakers.

The first short from this program, entitled Purl, hit the Internet last week, and now they’ve released Smash and Grab, a new sci-fi short about two robots who break free from their laborious jobs and try to take control of their own lives. Check it out below.
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2019 oscar nominated shorts

It’s getting closer and closer to the February 24 Oscars ceremony, and if you’re still no closer to seeing all the nominees in time for your Oscar pool, fear not. All the 2019 Oscar nominated shorts, from animation to documentary to live-action, are coming to theaters. Here’s your chance to cry in the dark over Bao again.

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Pixar Short Purl

Last month, we learned about Pixar’s new SparkShorts program. The animation initiative aims to give up-and-coming storytellers the spotlight and allows them to experiment with new storytelling techniques and production workflows. And the first Pixar SparkShorts project has just debuted online for everyone to see.

Purl is directed by Kristen Lester and produced by Gillian Libbert-Duncan. It follows an enthusiastic ball of yarn named Purl who starts working at a fast-paced, high energy start-up called B.R.O. Capital. Needless to say, she doesn’t exactly fit in. So how far is Purl willing to go in order to feel accepted? Watch the Pixar Short Purl to find out. Read More »

pixar sparkshorts

Pixar shorts have long pioneered storytelling and animation techniques, and now the animation studio is unveiling a whole program focused on just that. The SparkShorts experimental storytelling initiative cultivates new creative voices inside and outside of Pixar, and will unveil its first three short films next week at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre for an exclusive one-week run. The shorts will then be made available online in Pixar’s first-ever YouTube exclusive launch in the weeks that follow.

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oscar animated shorts 2019 shortlist

Best Animated Short has long been a category overlooked by audiences — maybe they’re too experimental, too niche, too idiosyncratic. But perhaps the largest reason they’re overlooked is because no one has seen them. Apart from Pixar and Disney animated shorts, which reach the highest audiences thanks to their placement in front of theatrical releases, Oscar-nominated animated shorts often suffer from engagement scarcity, nearly always kept offline even after the shortlist is announced. This was an exclusive strategy that hurt the directors, but also hurt the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which only alienates its audiences by presenting awards to films no one had seen.

But this year, we’re seeing a dramatic shift for the first time. This year, all the shorts on the Oscar animated shorts 2019 shortlist are available online for everyone to see. The filmmakers and studios have each released their films online, allowing audiences to finally see what the Academy is voting for — and maybe get a more accurate Oscar pool going this year.

Check out all the films (via CartoonBrew) below the jump.

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yoshiaki nishimura interview

An underwater fantasy epic. A slice-of-life drama about a kid suffering from an egg allergy. An invisible man who becomes an unlikely hero. All three of these stories are segments from Studio Ponoc‘s Modest Heroes, an anthology film following up the animation studio’s highly anticipated inaugural feature film, Mary and the Witch’s Flower.

Modest Heroes comes to the U.S. (in theaters January 10 and January 12) amidst a sea of buzz, much like last year’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower, an enchanting and serene fantasy adventure directed by the director of The Secret World of Arrietty. Why so much buzz around a rookie animation studio? Because it’s made up of chiefly Studio Ghibli alumni.

It’s no surprise that Studio Ponoc is being informally positioned as the successor to Studio Ghibli in the wake of legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki‘s retirement (and subsequent return). The fledgling studio was founded by Yoshiaki Nishimura, the Oscar-nominated producer behind Isao Takahata’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya, and is staffed by the 150 Ghibli employees who were left without a workplace after Ghibli’s film division shuttered in 2014. But though many rising companies would shrink at the prospect of being compared to one of the greatest animation studios to ever exist, Nishimura is embracing it.

“At Studio Ponoc it was really our intention to carry on the Ghibli spirit,” Nishimura told /Film in an interview via translator. “That was our biggest personal challenge to meet that high bar.”

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bao recipe

Are you ready to cry? And if you’ve already seen Pixar’s heartwarming story of parental connection, are you ready to cry again? Bao, Pixar‘s acclaimed animated short that made history for being directed by the studio’s first female shorts director, is now available watch online — for one week only. So if you’re craving a good cry, or maybe just want to appreciate your parents more, watch Bao now.

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