Odd, Eerie, Dark, and Creepy Animated Shorts

Lisa Tate

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Last week, I shared some frightfully well-done short indie films to get us ready for Halloween, and to show off how the short film format excels at telling creepy tales.

This week, let's continue the fun with some weird, odd, or just plain dark contemporary animated shorts.

Vincent (1982)

Before The Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, and Frankenweenie, Tim Burton created this six-minute stop-motion film dedicated to — and narrated by — his childhood movie hero, Vincent Price. Believe it or not, this was done for Disney, and includes one of Burton's favorite things on the planet: an undead dog.

The Boy in The Bubble (2011)

This melancholy little tale of Rupert Shelley, a boy who turns to magic to avoid heartache, was created by award-winning Irish filmmaker Kealan O'Rourke. The late Alan Rickman narrates it. It pays homage to the 1931 horror classic Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff. He even based the narration in the trailer on the movie's introduction (which you can see before the full short). Last week we saw how great an actor Rickman was without saying a word, now we get to hear what a great voice over actor he was as well.

The Maker (2012)

Husband and wife team Christopher and Christine Kezelos (Zealous Creative) gained such a following for this short film about a creature who "races against time to make the most important and beautiful creation of his life" that it inspired fan projects ranging from cakes to cosplay. It was so popular they later expanded the story into an award-winng novel, Magnum Opus.

Alma (2018)

This film follows a young girl into an alluring toy store displaying a doll that looks just like her. She shouldn't have done that. Written and directed by Rodrigo Blaas.

While all these films are decidedly eerie, this next one is the only one on the list that is most definitely not family friendly.

The Backwater Gospel (2011)

This first film for The Animation Workshop by Wicker.Works, directed by Bo Mathorne, is a grim, gruesome, graphically violent, and disturbing old west tale where a town is visited by a haunting Undertaker. It features eerily appropriate music by Sons of Perdition, and a warning to remember: none of us should be "casting that first stone."

Header Image: screengrab from Vincent ©Buena Vista Pictures

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