Your homework this holiday season, if you choose to accept it … is to take a break, rest up for the new year, and study some animation from the couch. We found some awesome animation flicks and videos streaming on Netflix right now that may tickle your holiday spirit. So cuddle up with your family, pets, or a bucket of popcorn and enjoy!
-The Animation Mentor Crew
- Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
- The Secret of Kells (2009)
We discovered this gem recently on Netflix and it features 12, that’s right you heard us, 12 short films from Disney. Get immersed in 1.5 hours of awesomeness.
P.S. The little director vignettes before the shorts are great!
John Henry (2000)
This gem directed by Disney’s Mark Henn is a wonderful 2D short about a legendary folk hero. The art direction is wonderful and has a quilt-like quality to the color and texture of the film which enhances this time period in American history.
This is a unique and surreal take on a cat chasing its own tail. Directed by Mike Gabriel, the musicality to this piece is a great study in animation! You don’t see this kind of stuff anymore.
The Little Matchgirl (2004)
Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story, this one made us weep. Beautifully animated to an original classical music composition by Alexander Borodin, director Roger Allers really pulled on the heartstrings.
How to Hook Up Your Home Theater (2007)
Directed by Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers, this is a classic take on the style old Disney shorts fused with modern sensibility. This one made us laugh out loud, especially if you’ve ever hooked up an entertainment system before – ugh – the wires! It was also awesome to see Goofy back!
Tick Tock Tale (2007)
Directed by Dean Wellins, this CG short is about the little clock that could. A neat little classic tale of the outcast who becomes the hero!
Prep & Landing Stocking Stuffer Operation: Secret Santa (2010)
Another short directed by Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers, this CG Short is a mix of Mission Impossible and a heart-warming tale of the elves and the big guy in the red suit.
The Ballad of Nessie (2011)
Yet another short directed by the Deters and Wermers duo, we shed a little tear for an endearing story about how the Loch Ness monster found her loch. Wonderfully narrated by Scottish actor Billy Connolly, his Scottish brogue really adds to this film. Billy also voiced the father in Pixar’s Brave.
Tangled Ever After (2012)
Directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard. This short shows the much anticipated wedding between Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. What makes this short shine is the hilarious antics of Pascal the chameleon and the scene stealer horse, Maximus, as the ring bearers. A definitive short film to study!
Get a Horse! (2013)
Directed by the first woman ever to solo direct a Disney animated film, Lauren MacMullan achieved a wonderful homage to the great Walt Disney. With the merging of 2D and 3D animation, this short was headed by two supervisors, Eric Goldberg for the 2D and Adam Green for the 3D. The look and feel of the 1920’s 2D animation is quite an achievement!
Directed by former Pixar animator, John Kahrs, this lyrical and beautiful film achieves an era that’s long gone but the concept of when a boy meets a girl is always eternal. The art direction in this film is stunning and we wish we could see more of this type of animation.
Directed by Patrick Osborne, this is the CUTEST story about the emotional ties we have with food. Another well crafted story of how a boy meets girl, loses girl, and gets the girl through the perspective of man’s best friend.
Frozen Fever (2015)
Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, this little short after the bonafide hit Frozen, made little girls all over the world squeal with delight! An endearing story of siblings and their love for one another gives us the warm and fuzzies, perfect for the holiday season. We were also delighted to see alumni and past Animation Mentor students during the credits of this little gem.
This cult classic is one of those films that inspired a new generation of animators in any medium. At the time, this film was so unique and different created by then not widely known Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick. Disney was at a new renaissance with hits like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Toy Story wouldn’t come out for two more years and in between came out this sleeper hit, The Nightmare Before Christmas. The story is so specific and original, we haven’t really seen this kind of story done in recent mainstream animation. Laika comes close with its off-beat hits like Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls. We would love to see a CG animated gothic tale – any takers?
This Belgian-French-Irish Oscar nominated Feature Animation Film depicts a young boy, Brendan’s epic journey to complete the unfinished Book of Kells. With Miyazaki sensibility, and gorgeous celtic art , this animated feature film is literally a moving piece of art. It has all the elements of an age old mythic tale of dark vs. light, ethereal characters, and a visually stimulating masterpiece to boot.
We hope you have a great holiday season and who knows, you might come up with a story that will be the next classic animation piece that will be talked about for years to come!