A Pigeon, Piano, & Pixar: The Pleasures of Animated Shorts

When I was younger, I loved Looney Tunes. One of the libraries in Iowa City (probably a "town" by California standards) had copious amounts of Looney Tunes. As we didn't have any TV channels dedicated to cartoons, I always looked for new episodes at the library. After watching the shenanigans of Wiley Coyote and Elmer Fudd, I was left with, and still have, the feeling there is something about animation that to this day is just plain fun. I think for all of us, whenever we watch cartoons, even if they are more serious, our inner child has a chance to play. So sit back, and enjoy the following animations shorts.

  1. Five years in the making, first-time director Lucas Martell's Pigeon: Impossible is a short 6-minute, humorous animated short. Amazingly, Martell has never worked with animation before--you can check out his behind the scenes, making-of series also. Here is the first episode. Basic plot? A pigeon's desire for a bagel nearly ends the world…(p.s. double click for the HD version. Highly recommended)
  2. The Piano shows the ability of music to impart deeper meaning to our lives. If nothing else, watch this movie, just to hear the song played throughout--Comptine d'un autre été: l'après midi. If you've seen Amélie, you'll instantly recognize the song:
  3. Kiwi! is a classic YouTube video, receiving nearly 25,000,000 views. Kiwi birds are naturally flightless, but that inability does not prevent this Kiwi from dreaming. This is a bit more of a touching story, as I think everyone can relate to wanting, however briefly, to live each of our individual dreams:
  4. Of course, any discussion of Animated Shorts needs to include some of those shorts that are always at the beginning of Pixar movies. Chess aficionados will definitely appreciate Geri's Game, and everyone who had an awkward stage will laugh at For the Birds. Sure, those are pretty good, but after dealing with pushy street performers in Europe, and after seeing this video of a truly awesome one man band, One Man Band is my favorite: