From heart-warming animated shorts to bizarre experimental works, Netflix has a whole lot of options in the short film category. Check out this list of seven such interesting films.
Cops and Robbers
Directors: Timothy Ware & Arnon Manor
Duration: 8 minutes
Often, spoken word poems are powerful enough to extract tears, but Cops and Robbers goes beyond that, as it speaks of the injustice meted out to the black people. This is an animated short that takes you through the games that children play and how they come to know that their innocence lasts for just a brief period since they’re racially targeted for merely being themselves.
Director: Damien O’Connor
Duration: 30 minutes
Who doesn’t love a heart-warming story that involves kids and innocence? Angela’s Christmas has both qualities in equal measure and it makes you wonder about the true meaning of togetherness and the essence of moral ambiguities in day-to-day life. When a young girl steals something precious that belongs to the church, chaos follows. But the girl has her own reasons, and O’Connor stretches that particular idea by inviting you to taste the tenderness of benevolence.
If Anything Happens, I Love You
Directors: Will McCormack & Michael Govier
Duration: 13 minutes
This melancholic animated short opens with a man and a woman having a quiet dinner. They’re seated on opposite ends of a long table, and clearly do not seem to be in a jovial mood. We soon realise that there’s a reason for their sombre appearance. Since we’re suddenly pushed into the middle of their story, the makers turn the clock back and reveal in carefully — and delicately — crafted scenes what made them a quiet couple in the first place. This is a heartbreaking tale, just like Cops and Robbers.
Kung Fu Panda Holiday
Director: Tim Johnson
Duration: 26 minutes
Pandas love to eat bamboo shoots, play in the snow, and fall every now and then, endearing themselves to us. We never get bored of watching their videos on YouTube since they come across as cute. In Kung Fu Panda Holiday, Po, a panda (voiced by Jack Black), refuses to give up his tradition of celebrating the holiday season with his dad and friends. Shrek the Halls, another short that’s available on Netflix, also runs on a similar theme, but the one with the Panda is more appealing.
Sitara: Let Girls Dream
Director: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Duration: 15 minutes
Sitara: Let Girls Dream joins Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl and the recently released Malayalam feature The Great Indian Kitchen, where the narratives deal with the second-class treatment that women receive from the men around them. It’s sickening to see that child marriages are still rampant in many countries around the world. This animated film might arrive from neighboring Pakistan, but we have our fair share of similar stories.
Across Grace Alley
Director: Ralph Macchio
Duration: 24 minutes
In clearly what has been inspired from Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Macchio makes a young boy and a wonderful dancer come together in Across Grace Alley, albeit in two different houses. Every day, the woman, who lives in another building, dances her heart out as a 10-year-old boy looks on. She doesn’t know that she’s being watched by him and he doesn’t want to be noticed either. He’s probably looking for a mild distraction since his parents are in the midst of a divorce, but he finally gets more than what he asked for in terms of life lessons.
What Did Jack Do?
Director: David Lynch
Duration: 17 minutes
In this wickedly funny black-and-white experimental work, a detective interrogates a murder suspect who happens to be a monkey. While the detective (played by Lynch) fires off questions seriously, the monkey responds sarcastically. It’s a wonderful setup for a 17-minute gonzo thriller where the plot thickens with each passing statement. Unlike BoJack Horseman, which also features talking animals alongside humans, What Did Jack Do? isn’t interested in creating a world of its own. Lynch just wants to see if he can create a wacky piece for a tiny amount of time on-screen and he mostly succeeds.