Whether you’re single, loved up, or couldn’t care less – don’t let that stop you procrastinating your day away with these animated short films! We have hand picked 5 very different films – old and new, 2D and 3D, romantic and naughty – to celebrate Valentines Day.
Directed by Dario van Vree (Studio Pupil) – 2016
“While browsing the bookstore 19-year-old Gwen is unexpectedly drawn to a volume of kinky erotica, earning her disapproving glares from the other customers. Will Gwen follow her deepest desires or will she let her embarrassment restrain her?”
Inspired the immense success of the ‘50 Shades’ series, Tabook is a film about overcoming shame. In this story the public pressure forces Gwen (the main character) to make a decision and take ownership of an aspect of herself that others disapprove of. Studio Pupil director, Dario van Vree, wanted to show sexual kinks as an exciting and harmless phenomenon, and chose to use a friendly and familiar, almost Disney-esque, drawing style and color palette to present these sexual preferences as a healthy and natural thing to explore.
Loves Me, Loves Me Not
Directed by Jeff Newitt (Aardman Animations) – 1993
“A young man is in love with an image in a picture frame. To find out if the love he feels is returned he picks a flower and starts picking the petals off it.”
This early Aardman film was actually released 25 years ago today, on 14th February 1993. Directed and written by Jeff Newitt, who continued his career at Aardman (and elsewhere) as a writer, director and animator on productions including The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Chicken Run, and the 2016 Sainsburys Christmas commercial The Greatest Gift.
In a Heartbeat
Directed by Beth David and Esteban Bravo – 2017
“A boy has a crush on another boy that he is too shy to confess, but his heart is not so reticent.”
In summer of 2017, this four-minute film took the internet by storm, racking up a cool 12 million views in under a week (now 34+ million). Started as a graduation film at Ringling College of Art and Design, US, directors Esteban Bravo and Beth David completed the film after a successful Kickstarter campaign saw them raise over $14,000 (their initial goal was $3,000). The success of the film has also spawned an incredible amount of fan art!
Directed by Anna Ginsburg – 2016
“Talking genitals discuss masturbation, sexuality and vaginas in this intimate documentary. A range of people share their insecurities and desires and each voice is visualised by a different animator”
Produced for Channel 4’s Random Acts, Private Parts was inspired by Anna Ginsburg‘s concern about the lack of acknowledgement of female pleasure in society. The film sees interviewees talk honestly about sex, female orgasms and the enigmatic clitoris, with animation produced by Will Anderson, Mark Prendergast, Peter Millard, George Wheeler, Loup Blaster, Moth Collective; as well as Anna herself.
A Quoi Ça Sert L’Amour (What’s Love For?)
Directed by Louis Clichy – 2006
“An animated music video version of Edith Piaf and Theo Sarapo’s duet of the song A Quoi Ça Sert L’Amour?”
After graduating from the French animation school Gobelins, Louis Clichy produced this music video for the song A Quoi Ça Sert L’Amour? (What is the point of love / What love for). We were lucky enough to see an animation talk by Louis in 2013 when he came to the University of Bedfordshire to discuss his career and films. He went on to direct the 2014 feature Asterix and Obelix: Mansion of the Gods.
Valentines Day aside, if animated short films with themes of love, relationships and sex are your thing, we thoroughly recommend checking out the ‘Intimate Animation‘ podcast series over at Skwigly Animation Magazine, which explore, discuss and interview the talents behind such animations.