This might be the one list I was most excited for. It’s the last one I came up with, too. I had all the others and then, I don’t know, about two weeks before I unveiled that I was gonna be doing all this, I thought, “Animated shorts would be a really terrific list to pull off.” Because, like songs, animated films are something that we all can consume pretty quickly and easily and have real opinions on. And each year, it’s one of my favorite categories to delve into when we get to awards season. And all too often do we forget about all the great ones we watch and never go back to them. When in reality, a perfectly crafted animated short of is one of the greatest viewing experiences you can ever have.
This was also a list I had to do the most homework for. Because aside from what gets shortlisted for awards, there are also dozens of other shorts that come out each year that most people don’t even know about. Occasionally they’ll be highlighted on a video site or get press, but most of the time they come and go without anyone knowing about them. So I really tried to dig and find stuff that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about in the hopes of making a list that was truly worth discussing. I almost wanted to be as inclusive as possible and go to 100, but in the end, I felt 50 was the way to go. Because I’m really happy with the 50 that I chose.
I’m gonna try to make this a point going forward, that I’m going to seek out more animated shorts on a yearly basis, and make them a part of my repertoire for watching and showing people things. Here’s what I’d suggest we all start doing — before you sit down for a movie night with friends or family or your children or whomever… just put on one animated short before your film. Like Disney and Pixar do. They give you a short film, and then the feature starts. I think it’s a great way of doing things and exposing yourself to great, compressed stories that you wouldn’t otherwise get to see.
So, in the spirit of that, here are my favorite animated short films from this past decade: (more…)
182. “The Backson Song,” from Winnie the Pooh
What a lovely song. People forget about this movie. But as you can see, Kristen and Robert Lopez did the music and Zooey Deschanel wrote one too. And it’s just a lovely movie.
This song is the one that the entire plot hinges around. Basically, Christopher Robin leave a note saying he’s going away but will be “back soon.” But because no one can read, they all misread it as “Backson.” And they wonder what a Backson is. So this song is Owl whipping them all into a frenzy, creating this fictional monster that makes them terrified about Christopher Robin’s well-being. It’s a very fun song, with the nice punchline at the end where they might actually realize what’s going on.
And then the movie wonderfully gives us a punchline to all this after the credits as well.