There’s an avalanche of media coming our way these days – we’re stuck in lockdown and consuming more entertainment than a critic on adderall. This also means Netflix, Hotstar and the like will soon be out of things to please us. Luckily, YouTube’s got a whole lot of shit for free, baby!. Enjoy these lil’ cinematic nuggets, you deserve it.
1. Garden Party
A verdant, amphibian-stuffed slow burn that takes place in what seems like paradise – at least for the sticky creatures at play. But there’s a deeper mystery unfolding in this gorgeously animated short feature that is guaranteed to delight.
2. One-Minute Time Machine
Featuring the impeccable comedic talent of Erinn Hayes, this short film is about a man attempting to flirt with a woman he meets at a park. Every time he messes up, he just uses his nifty time machine to try again, unaware of just what might happen.
A charming story about an out-of-work stop motion animation villain. Phil, a skeleton who once wreaked terror on screen, is past his prime and now struggles to find work. We all yearn for the golden days, and this creative little film on passion and struggle is something to help come to terms with that emotion.
4. The Jester
A truly unsettling short film about a guy returning home from work late at night – Halloween night – when he encounters a masked trickster. What starts as a series of innocent cards tricks soon takes a sinister turn.
What starts off as a disturbing, almost anti-drug PSA involving a fix-everything cream soon turns into a scathing attack on society, especially the greed of the rich. This short film, by the creator of Salad Fingers, is a metaphor for how human nature eventually destroys the very thing that helps better itself.
Set in the near future, people everywhere rely on a drone-delivery system that caters to all their needs, so much so that life without it has become impossible. 2 teenagers who don’t fit in manage to hack this everpresent piece of technology, leading to some deadly results. It’s even got a bit of Jude Law in it!
7. Cautionary Tales
A touching, well-thought out short film about a man with a face disfigurement, who has trouble fitting in with the regular world. Humans are social beings however, and a search for company lands him in the arms of a group of outcasts who help him feel like he belongs. This one has a great soundtrack, and a quirky backstory as well.
8. The Gunfighter
A quirky parody of Western movie tropes, this short film is about a lone ranger who enters a saloon, following which the narrator sets the scene up. Unfortunately (or fortunately), everyone there can also hear the narrator, who’s voiced by the inimitable Nick Offerman. Things soon get hilariously confusing.
9. I’m You, Dickhead
A hilarious and heavily moustachioed short film about time travel (yes, another one). In this world, jumping through the ages is a simple hospital procedure, so one man decides to use it to go back in time and force his younger self to learn to play guitar. If that’s not a solid premise, I don’t know what is!
10. Lost & Found
A group of crocheted toys have a more than interesting life, full of complex relationships and the chase for love. Among them, a toy dinosaur sacrifices something unbelievable in order to save the love of his life.
11. The Box
This short film is a metaphor about thinking outside the box, taken into extreme terms. A group of withered, borderline-catatonic creatures stuck inside a box have to deal with a new arrival that’s full of life, but that keeps being pushed down and forced to act within the confines of its surroundings. It’s a beautifully crafted film with creative animation and a very relatable message.
12. Next Floor
If you’ve watched The Platform on Netflix, you’ll notice how inspired it was by this disturbing short film. Next Floor works extremely effectively at portraying how humanity’s rampant over-consumption leads to its own downfall – literally.
Well, that should bide the time!