Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
This is an ongoing list on films that depict these two opposing views, sometimes confronting both views in the film, some others presenting just a view of one of them. There is a majority of films about the noble savage and not as many showing anti-primitivism approaches.
Most of them are silent, with no language spoken, others have English subtitles and a few are in their vernacular language. Different genres, styles and stories, mostly for adults.
If you find any broken link or anything out of the ordinary, please let me know! I hope you enjoy the shorts!
My fav non animated films are listed in another list called I love them! Check them out!
An ongoing list.
+107.000 visits! You naughty people!
An ongoing list, randomly ordered.
Some movies that deal more with insanity and its limits with reality are not included here, or those focusing on the effects of hallucination.
An ongoing list.
L'homme sans ombre (2004)
Interesting retake on a classic of European Literature
The Man without a Shadow is a retake on a 19th century German novella written by a French expatriate Adelbert von Chamisso and fits well with some other Faustian novels that we still considered classics, even though they were written later on: Goethe's Faust and Wilde's the Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wild. The theme of our identity and soul being for sale in exchange of something permeates the three.
This animated film presents the whole story with some final modifications, and brings it to a more modern time, not the present, but perhaps the 1950s.
This is a story about the repercussions of selling yourself for the riches, of the dark side of betraying yourself, how redemption is always at hand, in your hands.
The animation design is very artistic, painterly and with a great influence of De Chirico: the same bold flat colors, the same long shadows, ample spaces, Renaissance-like buildings, endless arcades, and so on. However, the characters aren't as indebted to the Italian painter. Despite this being a very modern short, the animation feels chunky and stiff regarding the movement, with still images sustained for too long and poor character movement in general. To me, the best animated scenes are the square-interlinked animation that precedes the initial title credits and the very organic succession of landscapes of the last part of the film.
I thought that the rhythm of the film was not good. There are unnecessary elements that slow the film at the beginning, like the main character's opening walk, while other bits that needed more time to be developed are hurried up unnecessarily.
Not my cup of tea, but a good short overall.
Very charming and entertaining
I was a fan of the series Minuscule, so I was looking forward to watch this feature film. Miniscule and the Valley of the Lost Ants has the same charm, visual impact and sense of humour as the episodes of the series, but there is a well-developed story here.
A young ladybug loses track of her family and, by accident, pairs with a group of black ants trying to carry a big case of sugar cubes to their hive. There is a considerable distance, and the weight of the case makes them take a detour through the forest. The adventure commences when the aggressive red ants get interested in the treasure.
Minuscule offers a very simple story, but it is very charming and engaging. Clean universal humour, for both children and adults, for people all over the world no matter their culture. If you haven't watch the series, it will surprise you see the character bugs being just bugs, not talking humans masked as bugs. However, they are enjoyable because they feel real bugs but also have situations that are basically human.
There are so many lovely scenes in the movie, so is difficult to choose one. However, my favorite is the one involving the spider, which is adorable! And the battle of the ants is absolutely epic!
The animation is great, a mix of natural backgrounds and 3D characters fused together as one. The filming of the backgrounds is fabulous because during the walking, flying or racing scenes the viewer feels that the magnitude and movement of the background is that a bug experiences.
The sounds of the different characters are wonderful and so very funny!
Some of the things that made Minuscule the series most appealing to me were the domestic environments in which many of the bugs' stories occurred, so I would have loved a bit of that also in the movie. That is a personal preference, of course.
Personally, I thought the film could have been shortened and some unnecessary scenes edited out and the film would still be as good.
Great fun, clean humour, very entertaining.
Ernest et Célestine (2012)
Ernest an Celestine feels like an old Beatrix Potter's book brought forward in time. The story is actually based on a series of children books by Gabrielle Vincent, a Belgian author and illustrator.
This is a story about an impossible friendship and partnership between a male lonely street musician bear and a dentist apprentice female mouse who just wants to be a painter. The two live in the same city but in different worlds that don't mingle and despise each other, but are essentially a version of each other. Ernest and Celestine, despite their origin, have an immediate connection because they are practical common sense people, artists with a sensitive nature and a view of the world that don't easily accept absurd societal norms.
The story is very simple, with a great message and mix of heart, fun and cuteness, perfect for small children, still enjoyable by adults. It is well narrated, very entertaining and visually wonderful. The hand-drawn animation in pastel colors is absolutely gorgeous, especially beautiful regarding the backgrounds and interior design. Celestine's character is uber-cute. There is not much to tell about this movie, it is heart-warming, has a good message of acceptance of different people, teaches you not to judge a book by its cover, and speaks of how wonderful is having a good friend.
The film is 90 minutes long, but it feels shorter.
I watched this movie dubbed by the Americans, and I found all the cast stupendous. You know the cast of an animated is good when you don't recognize their natural voices. Forest Whitaker is excellent and unrecognizable as Ernest, Mackenzie Foy is delightful as Celestine, Giametti makes the rat judge really despicable, and Jeffrey Wright has a wonderful judging calm voice as the Grizzly Judge. Lauren Bacall is great as the Great One. All great assets for this delightful movie.
Bite of the Tail (2013)
Intriguing but a bit pointless
I don't know what to make of this short film. One one hand, I find it very original, told in a traditional way but with an intriguing underlining story and marked symbolism.
The story revolves about a young couple, normal people with normal lives. They are having couple's issues: lack of communication, apathy, monotony, and small lies. The main thing happening is that she is suffering from a debilitating undiagnosed stomach malaise and that her husband seems more interested in spending his free time in an empty lawn. The only other extraordinary thing is the presence of a snake in certain moments of the story.
The film is shot in mostly black and white, with some pastel minimal hues, except for the intense splashes of red, used in drawings of the internal organs and the snake tongue. The drawing is very clear and detailed, but deprived of anything superfluous. The animation is very realistic and very cinematic, as if this was a normal movie transformed into drawings, and not proper animation, but it is.
The main intrigue of the short is in what the snake has to do with the story. We know it is symbolic because one of the scenes in the movie shows that clearly. The archetype and symbolism of the snake, with different meanings can be found in all cultures, from Antiquity to the Renaissance to the Jungian revival of the power of the myth. Two main meanings seem to fit the story of this short. One is the Gnogstic oroborus, a snake that represents, at the same time, the active and the passive, the constructive and the destructive. The dynamics of this couple seem exactly a constant play of those two elements. For the Romans it was a companion of Chronus (time), and therefore the snake that bites its tail is an attribute of time, of the infinite and eternal, like something that starts and ends at the same time, a perennial something, like an obsession, like a compulsion. Snakes have been symbolically associated with life, power, the underworld, death and the dead, rebirth, sin, evil, or just as carriers of venom. All of those values could be associated with the film, but not clearly so for the viewer. Probably death, the clicking clock, and the never ending nature of the obsessions shown in the film are there.
I thought there were many good things about the film, but it feels a slice of life that has no point. The symbolism is difficult to grasp by the normal viewer. And there is no digging into the psychology of the characters. Besides, the ending is not really an ending, to me.
Doctor Strange (2016)
Entertaintment with capitals
I'm not into superheroes comics or movies at all. I haven't read the Dr Strange comic ever either. I watched the trailer of this film at the cinema and I thought it looked too cool to let it pass. Besides the caliber of some of the actors involved in the project was a great sign that his wouldn't be yet another Marvel movie with more visuals than substance. Gladly, my hunch was good.
Not having read the comic, I cannot comment on whether the adaptation to the screen is good or not. Thus, this review is just about the movie.
Doctor Strange is utterly entertaining and has the right mix of drama, adventure, humour, philosophical teaching, character exploration, wow effects, goodies and baddies.
The visuals of the movie are spectacular, and they are at the service of the story, not just to wow us with fluff. The styling, coloring, wardrobe, and city landscaping are awesome.
To me the philosophical spiritual exploration of the main character is perhaps the thing that enjoyed the most, watching a prick transform from selfishness and narcissism into a person with a mission that transcends himself and puts himself at the service of others and of a greater cause, and that is done through inner hard-work catharsis.
I found the British wit displayed in the film great!
All the actors are believable in their respective roles. I especially liked Mikkelsen, Swinton, Cumberbatch, and Benedict Wong in this order. However, all the cast does a great job and are believable in their respective roles.
Please stay for the full credits, until the very end, because there are two extras there that you don't want to miss.
Entertainment as it should be.
La cabina (1972)
An unforgettable classic
The Phone Box is one of the most impacting intriguing shorts I have ever seen.
The film mixes the theater of the absurd with some white horror and a psychological exploration of the character. It has a great atmosphere, a great performance by the leading actor, and a fantastic ending. The story is able to convey the viewer the character's anxiety, claustrophobic feelings and sense of hopelessness. Rightly deserving of the Emmy it won in 1973.
The main actor is Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez, a popular actor in the 1970s, known mostly because of his comedies and his likable characters. He showed his dramatic side in this short and blew most viewers away; probably not as impacting if you have never seen his old movies and performances. The story relies on his performance to be successful and he delivered.
The director is a classic of Spanish TV known for his TV family series and light movies. This was his first work as TV director and, wow, what a way to start. Probably the best thing he has ever done.
I have watched thousands of movies and shorts and this is one of those that still stands fresh in my memory, mostly because I watched it when I was a teen, and I found it utterly cool and utterly disturbing.
This is one of my favorite short animated films ever. The short film has a very futuristic look, but it also minimalist and sleek, an has a lovely soundtrack.
Life Line is a extremely simple short at face value, but it is not that simple, as it is able to convey a great philosophical view of what life is, does so in an universal language, the wordless language, that of using imagery to create meaning that is easy to apprehend.
We see a bunch of androids running, they represent the many possible life paths. Life is never still, it is constant movement and change. Change is the only thing that doesn't change in life. Life is rarely a straight unique line. Life is a constant running; following a path is not always possible as we sometimes cross paths with other people and form a joint path, other times the paths are too short and break down abruptly, others we need to change paths to get a better life, and others the change is not sought it just happen. The possibilities are endless. The examples are endless.
Beautifully done, understated and soulful.
Mercury Bird (2010)
Cute format, poignant message
This short is a great surprise, a short film made by students of a German Animation School, he Filmakadema ie Baden-Württemberg.
The film starts as another cute story for children, one might think: A family of mini-bears are gathering their food with great difficulty in their world forest. They find an egg that hatcheS and a luminous powerful mercury bird comes out; the bird flies high and collects the food for them. From there, the story turns darker and the cute bears become greedier, more tyrannical and nasty by the second, forcing the bird to work despite is leaking mercury and being on the verge of exhaustion.
The film is very pleasant to the eye, but also visually very simple. However, it uses that simplicity to convey, through symbolic message, a depiction of the environmental issues of our modern world -- the overuse of the natural sources, the destruction of the environment, the senseless accumulation of resources based on greediness and not on need, the exploitation of workers, and the dumping of toxic chemicals, like mercury, into the environment, contaminating for centuries, fauna, flora and the seas.
The more that times passes, the more uncomfortable the viewer feels with the flights of the mercury bird in this short film.
En la opera (2010)
A Visual Joke
Having watched Luminaris and Lapsus and seeing the versatility and originality of Zaramella, I had (and have) very high expectations about anything under his name. This is a very short short, barely over a minute. This is a stop-motion film that uses Plasticine figures, has a great lighting, humour and great music. After all, this is a night at the opera. The ending is funny, childish if you want, unexpected I have to say. The previous scenes make you think of another ending for sure. That is a great manipulation of the viewer. The joke is on us. There is nothing else beyond the joke. It is the lack of a point or a proper story what I found most disappointing. Probably, this was one of those creative exercises that animators do to test new mediums and cinematic languages, but it didn't work for me.
Excellent short film
Edmond is a freaky short film, with a freaky character and freaky situations. Yet, despite the freakishness, it has a heart, and conveys an unique story in a very creative and artistic way. The film has a mix of stop-motion, 2D and 3D animation and uses very soft cute felt puppets, so it is very soft on the eye, literally.
Gantz's previous short Zeliger was really different regarding narrative, animation techniques and story. Yet, something is clear to me, the director has an interest in the state of the soul, in the feelings that life brings to us, how we experience them, and what we do with them.
The story of Edmond starts from the end and goes backwards, in a progressive chronological regression in which Edmond goes where all began, stopping at different traumatic episodes of his life. Edmond's problem is that he wants to connect, but every time he does so, he hurts somebody and gets shier and more alienated. Edmond seems to be a bit autistic, unaware of societal codes of conduct and healthy emotional states of connection, which are a source of frustration and inner pain. The movie makes us put ourselves in Edmond's shoes, and it really hurts.
The film has gory-ish episodes, erotic episodes, sad episodes and barely any happy one.
Edmond is a great short film, with a great narrative, an interesting story and a very good digging into the psychology of the main character.
Most of the words spoken are songs, but the story is so well told that no word is necessary.