Short Films for the Holidays (Ages 12+)

Short Films for the Holidays (Ages 12+)

Looking for some quality animation to keep your older kids busy during those colder days? Delve into this collection of NFB favourites which explore the themes of relationships and growing up. It includes films from world-class animators like Theodore Ushev, Torill Kove, and Cordell Barker.

  • Blind Vaysha
    2016|8 min

    Nominated for the 2017 Academy Award® for Best Animated Short Film!

    This short film tells the story of Vaysha, a young girl born with one green eye and one brown eye. But colour isn’t the only thing that’s different about Vaysha’s gaze. While her left eye sees only the past; her right sees only the future. Like a terrible curse, Vaysha’s split vision prevents her from inhabiting the present. Blinded by what was and tormented by what will be, she remains trapped between two irreconcilable temporalities. “Blind Vaysha,” they called her.

    In this metaphoric tale of timeless wisdom and beauty based on the eponymous short story by Georgi Gospodinov, filmmaker Theodore Ushev reminds us of the importance of keeping our sights on the present moment.

    Click here to discover more titles from Get Animated! 2020.

  • If I Was God...
    2014|8 min

    In this short animated film, a Grade 7 boy’s mind starts to wander while dissecting a frog in Biology class. What would you do if you suddenly found yourself charged with God-like powers? Would you use them for good? For bad? Perhaps a little of both? The possibilities seem endless. Oh to have the power to toy with life and death, to create monsters who can punish those who torment him daily, or better yet, to create that one perfect day with Lily, the love of his 12-year-old life!

    Drawing inspiration from the filmmaker’s own memories and using a variety of animation techniques, from traditional animation to stop-motion puppets and more, this darkly whimsical short explores the difficult gateway between childhood and adolescence, when the approaching power of adulthood is often mistaken for omnipotence.

    If I Was God is the latest offering from two-time Oscar®-nominated animator (The Cat Came Back, Strange Invaders) and long-time NFB collaborator Cordell Barker.

  • Sunday
    2011|9 min

    This Oscar®-nominated animated short is a magical tale about life as seen through the eyes of a child. In keeping with their Sunday tradition, after mass a family flocks to grandma and grandpa’s house, where the chaotic discussion soon begins to resemble a raucous gathering of crows on power lines. The local factory has shut its doors and, naturally, the adults can’t stop fretting about their money woes. On this particular grey Sunday, a young boy drops a coin on some nearby train tracks out of sheer boredom. Picking the coin up after a train has run over it, he discovers to his astonishment that an amazing transformation has taken place.

  • My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts
    1999|10 min

    This Oscar®-nominated animated film comes from Oscar®-winning filmmaker Torill Kove (The Danish Poet). It's a tall tale about her grandmother's life in Oslo, Norway, during World War II. Sharp and whimsical, her story combines her grandmother's tales with historical events and fantasy, showing how a cherished anecdote can come to acquire a mythical status. King Harald of Norway said, "I love the irony of this short."

    Still feeling mischievously rebellious? Buy the book from Firefly Books for more historical sabotage!

  • The Ride
    1963|6 min

    From Gerald Potterton (director of the cult classic Heavy Metal), this short film depicts the daydream of a chauffeur awaiting his employer. On a hot summer day, he begins to imagine that it's winter—the residential street where he's parked transforms into snowy mountains, and a series of comic misadventures begin. As the car is replaced by a toboggan, it carries the tycoon away on a dizzying ride. The chase includes some unforgettable antics in the snow, including a piggyback ride on an incredulous skier.

  • John and Michael
    2004|10 min

    This animated short pays tribute to two men with Down syndrome who shared an intimate and profoundly loving relationship that deeply affected the filmmaker. Narrator Brian Davis brings the characters to life with great sensitivity.