Melissa's Top 20 Animated Shorts

by Sweet_Melissa | created - 29 Sep 2010 | updated - 30 Sep 2010 | Public

Melissa discusses her 20 favorite animated short films.

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1. Duck Amuck (1953)

Approved | 7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The short-tempered Daffy Duck must improvise madly as the backgrounds, his costumes, the soundtrack, even his physical form, shifts and changes at the whim of the animator.

Director: Chuck Jones | Star: Mel Blanc

Votes: 6,926

Daffy Duck displays his range, adaptability and temper as a madcap animator manipulates the scene around him.

2. Lend a Paw (1941)

Approved | 8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Pluto saves the life of a kitten, and later feels jealous towards the kitten after Mickey Mouse takes the kitten in.

Director: Clyde Geronimi | Stars: Pinto Colvig, Walt Disney

Votes: 806

This handsomely drawn remake of the earlier 'Mickey's Pal Pluto' tells a sweet story of kindness all over again. A special card in the title sequence dedicated the film to the Tailwagger Foundation "in recognition of its work in lending a paw to man's animal friends." It's the only Mickey Mouse cartoon to ever win an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

3. Flowers and Trees (1932)

Approved | 8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An evil tree stump, jealous of two trees in love, starts a forest fire.

Director: Burt Gillett | Stars: Esther Campbell, Marion Darlington

Votes: 1,559

This first recipient of the Best Animated Short Oscar is also one of the best of Disney's 75 Silly Symphonies. Nature is anthropomorphized here in a beautiful and romantic ballet of flora.

4. Pluto's Christmas Tree (1952)

Approved | 7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Pluto comes bounding outside to help Mickey get a Christmas tree. Chip 'n Dale see him and make fun of him, but the tree they take refuge in is the one Mickey chops down. They like the ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Hannah | Stars: Ruth Clifford, Pinto Colvig, Dessie Flynn, James MacDonald

Votes: 1,395

Chip 'n Dale cause mischief when Mickey and Pluto chop down a Christmas tree that the chipmunks inhabit. The film is funny, richly animated and a wonderful way to get in to the Christmas spirit.

5. Geri's Game (1997)

4 min | Animation, Short, Family

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Geri sets up a chess game to play his greatest opponent - himself.

Director: Jan Pinkava | Star: Bob Peterson

Votes: 18,166

Geri is one of the most expressive human beings I've ever seen in animation. Additionally, he's funny, clever and just a little bit senile.

6. Germans in the Woods (2008)

3 min | Animation, Short, History

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

World War II veteran Joseph Robertson remembers a German soldier he killed at the Battle of the Bulge; a story from the archives of America's national oral history project StoryCorps.

Director: Tim Rauch | Star: Joseph Robertson

Votes: 18

This powerful, Oscar-winning piece animates the memories of WWII veteran Joseph Robertson, who recalled the Battle of the Bulge for StoryCorps.

7. Mickey's Gala Premier (1933)

Approved | 7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A host of movie stars show up for the premiere of Mickey and Minnie's newest cartoon.

Director: Burt Gillett | Stars: Walt Disney, Marcellite Garner, Jerry Lester

Votes: 312

Several classic cartoons contained very effective celebrity caricatures. This is the best such film from Disney. Celebrities walk the red carpet at the premier of Mickey Mouse's latest film. Disney characters mingle with uncanny likenesses of the Marx brothers, Greta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Mae West, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable and many, many more. We're then rewarded with a film-within-a-film as the celebrities screen Mickey's new picture.

8. Up Is Down (1969)

5 min | Animation, Short

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A boy who walks on his hands enjoys a different view of the world.

Director: Millie Goldsholl | Star: Hans Conried

Votes: 19

The simple but unique animation in this poignant story of a boy who walks on his hands allows the viewer to enjoy the same alternative perspective of the world as the story's hero. In only five minutes, Millie Goldsholl manages to tell a beautiful story of nonconformity and tolerance, dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr.

9. Presto (2008)

G | 5 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A stage magician's rabbit gets into a magical onstage brawl against his neglectful guardian with two magic hats.

Director: Doug Sweetland | Star: Doug Sweetland

Votes: 18,955

Pixar blends magic and slapstick humor with such class and hilarity that Bugs Bunny would tip his hat.

10. I Love to Singa (1936)

Approved | 8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A spoof of Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer", a strict piano teaching owl is cursed with a son who "loves to singa", but only jazz.

Director: Tex Avery | Stars: Billy Bletcher, Tommy Bond, Johnnie Davis, Joe Dougherty

Votes: 1,396

This cartoon pays wonderful homage to jazz music, comedy and some notable celebrities of the day. It's one of Tex Avery's best.

11. Tortoise Beats Hare (1941)

Approved | 7 min | Animation, Family, Short

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An upset Bugs challenges the slick Cecil Turtle to a race.

Director: Tex Avery | Star: Mel Blanc

Votes: 995

This is another Tex Avery masterpiece that shows the best of Bugs Bunny's bravado and has our hero break the fourth wall in a very interesting way.

12. The Old Mill (1937)

Approved | 9 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

We see the various birds, mice, and bats that have moved into an old windmill, followed by the frogs, crickets, and fireflies making their music in an adjacent pond. Then a storm comes, ... See full summary »

Director: Wilfred Jackson | Stars: Marie Arbuckle, Jean MacMurray, Louise Myers, Clarence Nash

Votes: 2,733

The Old Mill is one of the last and finest Silly Symphonies in the series. The scenery blends with the music in a seamless and organic manner. The use of multiplane camera created unprecedented depth. The story, which takes place inside an unused mill house during a severe storm, is remarkably dark in atmosphere at points. The picture as a whole offers a truly immersive experience.

13. Out of the Inkwell (1938)

6 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

At the Fleischer studio, a black janitor, learning to hypnotize, conjures Betty Boop out of the inkwell and tries some suggestions on her. But two can play at that game...

Director: Dave Fleischer | Stars: Bonnie Poe, Oscar Polk

Votes: 296

Betty Boop defies cartoon physics as she stars opposite a live-action janitor who attempts to hypnotize her. This cartoon is evidence of the Fleischer studio creatively outperforming their peers well in to the late 1930s.

14. Mickey's PhilharMagic (2003)

10 min | Animation, Fantasy, Short

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Stagehand Donald Duck secretly puts on Mickey's sorcerer's hat and conducts an anthropomorphic symphony orchestra. But the proceedings go awry when the irascible Donald is sucked into the ... See full summary »

Director: George Scribner | Stars: Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo, Rowan Atkinson, Jodi Benson

Votes: 541

A ticket to the Magic Kingdom is a steep admission price for this movie housed in Fantasyland, but the 3D musical spectacular is one of the best attractions in the Walt Disney World complex.

15. Day & Night (2010)

G | 6 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The personifications of daytime and nighttime learn to get along.

Director: Teddy Newton | Star: Wayne Dyer

Votes: 13,261

The blending of 2D and 3D animation in this innovative Pixar short are not to be missed. Nor is its message of acceptance and diversity.

16. The Mad Doctor (1933)

Approved | 7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Mickey must save Pluto from a mad doctor's lair.

Director: David Hand | Stars: Pinto Colvig, Walt Disney

Votes: 756

That Walt Disney does horror so well makes the rare spooky cartoon like 'The Skeleton Dance' and 'The Mad Doctor' even more enjoyable. Here the contrast of happy-go-lucky Mickey Mouse and a madman performing evil science experiments on poor Pluto are a delightful contradiction.

17. Bugs and Thugs (1954)

Approved | 7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

When Bugs calls a cab he doesn't know it's the getaway car for a couple of bankrobbers (he does know the capital of Nevada).

Director: Friz Freleng | Star: Mel Blanc

Votes: 1,136

Bugs Bunny uses comedy and cleverness to get the upper hand on a couple of bank robbing fugitives, but he's not the only funny man in this caper. This movie earns a place on my list solely because it taught me to "shut up shuttin' up!"

18. Betty in Blunderland (1934)

Approved | 7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The White Rabbit materializes from a jigsaw puzzle and leads Betty Boop through the looking glass into Wonderland.

Director: Dave Fleischer | Star: Bonnie Poe

Votes: 260

I love any reference to Alice in Wonderland, and Betty Boop's dreamy recounting of Alice's adventures is especially delightful.

19. Song of the Birds (1949)

7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Little Audrey shoots a baby bird with her air rifle and is mortified when the bird's mother, and all the other woodland animals, go into mourning.

Director: Bill Tytla | Stars: Mae Questel, Amanda Randolph

Votes: 49

Little Audrey cartoons have a cloyingly sweet tone that is very much appreciated by my own girlish nature. The normally lighthearted, fantastical atmosphere of Little Audrey's stories makes 'Song of the Birds' all the more poignant. It is not unusual for a film to bring me to tears. It's less common with cartoon shorts, however. Yet seeing Audrey shoot a baby bird and then watch the creatures of the forest mourn him made me feel her grief and remorse as deeply as she did. It's an unexpectedly powerful piece.

20. Babes in the Woods (1932)

Approved | 8 min | Family, Animation, Short

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two Dutch children stumble on a clearing in the woods where gnomes are going about their business. The gnomes are friendly to the children. A witch comes and takes them away on her broom to... See full summary »

Director: Burt Gillett | Stars: Pinto Colvig, Lucille La Verne

Votes: 545

I have to end with something sickeningly cute. 'Babes in the Woods' combines some of my favorite things: adorably drawn characters, colorful backgrounds, Disney, candy and witches.