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One of our animation festival categories is ‘short shorts’—films less than five minutes long that concentrate wit, imagination and creativity into focused, funny and moving bursts of cinema.

Pythagasaurus, Peter Peake

Aardman’s Pythagasaurus, directed by Peter Peake, follows two dim-witted Neanderthals who seek the help of the titular maths enthusiast dinosaur when a volcano appears next to their village.

As with all Aardman animations, the film is bristling with witty British humour and silliness and, with voice acting by the fantastically funny Bill Bailey, shows off some of the adult-orientated animation that is often overlooked amid the company’s output.

Alzheimer, Julien Mouron and Johann Rosti

Alzheimer, from Swiss animators Julien Mouron and Johann Rosti, forces the viewer into the mind of a sufferer of the degenerative disease. Taking on a stream-of-conscious form, images and memories fill up the mind of the protagonist before being swept away into the grey realities of the patient’s everyday existence. Thought-provoking and moving material.

Kubla Khan, Joan Gratz

Joan Gratz’s Kubla Khan is an impressionistic rendering of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic poem in which the great writer’s words are represented in vivid brushes of shape and colour that mix and morph into moving images.

It’s a pitch-perfect visualisation of the artist’s work as well as a visualisation of the opium indulgences which fuelled its original creation.

Tosh, Daisy Jacobs

Tosh by Daisy Jacobs is a vindictive poem set to animation that satirises and critiques the hubris of the male upper-middle class mindset, a message that has deep resonance after the Occupy protests of the past year.

Bob on Sport, Darren Walsh

On the other end of the class scale, Bob on Sport, by 12foot6 and Darren Walsh, presents the bullish opinions of an East End boozer and uses a mixture of stop motion and animation to humorous effect.

Organopolis, Nieto

Organopolis by Nieto shows the thought processes that go into creating the perfect comeback. The internal monologue of a schoolboy is dramatised through puppetry and stop-motion animation as his ears, brain, heart and feet process an insult doled out to him by a fellow classmate.

Strange and surreal with just a hint of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, this is imaginative and quick-paced fare.

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