Phoenix Film Festival 2014 “Animated Shorts”


Animated Shorts

Cartoons! Who doesn’t love them? I do, so I went and saw this collection, which proved to have a wide mix of fantastic and … not so fantastic short films.

The Illusion

Little, weird-looking, stick-like men, and unintelligible dialog don’t diminish the message behind this short. Cute and with a point to get across, I wasn’t disappointed with the first short in this group.


One of the funniest of the group, Estefan is the world’s greatest hairdresser who’s just come face-to-face with his worst nightmare: A bald customer. With fantastic animation and brilliant design, I would absolutely watch this as a full-length feature. I nearly fell off my seat laughing, as did most other folks around me. I can’t wait to see it again!

Curious Cat’s Christmas

A curious cat on Christmas Eve, causing trouble in the present pile. I was appalled by this short. The sound was terrible, I actually plugged my ears for the duration. If I heard a cat screech like that anywhere, I’d be looking for the steamroller that must’ve run them over. The animation was a crude CGI that looked pretty childish. I was just terribly disappointed all around with this one.


Though the underlying message is about food ethics (natural vs processed, etc.) this short film was adorable, funny, and ultimately very entertaining. Two artisan food stalls have a good system going in their little market square, they don’t overlap each other, so they each get all the business they could want. Until, that is, a fast-food vendor shows up to steal all the customers away. The battle that ensues is pretty awesome, to be honest. The animation is simple but well-done, and I really enjoyed seeing this short.


Another short with an underlying message, this one didn’t really cover it all that well. Anthropomorphic ice-creams are subjected to a sweltering summer day, and weirdness ensues. I can’t fault the claymation, that was pretty well-done. The story was just a thin veil, though, and I didn’t appreciate being subjected to a moral lesson done so poorly.

The Missing Scarf

Narrated by George Takei, this black comedy follows a squirrel on the hunt for his, you guessed it, missing scarf. He tries to get help from some forest friends, but must instead help them with facing their fears. Poignant and sweet, and also pretty freaking funny, this is a must-see short film.

A Clean Break

A deadbeat P.I. tails a woman he’s been hired to follow. Gritty animation goes well with the feel of the short, but I found the story somewhat lacking.


With a potential alternate Earth accessible only by an odd energy beam over a chasm, a woman must decide whether or not to explore. The animation was solid, and the story was interesting. I would’ve liked a bit more of the background, and definitely some more info on what happened to her!


Maybe I’m weird, but this odd short that follows a little astronaut on an adventure through old household items just didn’t make much sense to me.

The Grim

Inspired by a Grimm tale, this short follows a girl who gets caught in a wicked-looking bear trap, and then taunted by a mouthy fox. The animation was awkward, and I felt like it tried too hard to be edgy and dark.


One of my favorites from this group, this stop-motion animation follows a wooden character who dreams of being a famous pianist, but with paddles for hands (like all his kind) his career options are limited. It’s an intriguing story, and the stop-motion with the wooden figures was fantastic. I was particularly impressed by just about everything this short film had to offer. I’d recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat.

animated, film, film review, george takei, indie, indie film, movies, phoenix film festival, review, short films, shorts
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As an avid Jill-Of-All-Trades, I dabble in many things, but I've always been passionate about writing and photography. I read like a fiend, all sorts of genres and authors, and I hope someday to write my own novels. I've been taking pictures since I was little, and I strive to improve my skills everytime I pick up a camera. I love all kinds of movies, from those terrible-yet-hilarious B movies to the latest superhero blockbusters. I play video games, roleplaying games, even Magic: The Gathering (much to the chagrin of my wallet, at times), because I adore delving into these other, amazing, created worlds. Check out all my interests and projects, or get in touch with me, on my Facebook page at: Http://

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