Short, surprising and always entertaining!
Watch a collection of one-minute animated shorts from our Hothouse animation apprenticeship program, past and present.
Are we there yet? When the kids act up in the back seat, a family road trip gets knocked hilariously off course.
In a frenzied attempt to break the isolation, a man drums his head against the wall, unleashing a battery of brightly hued hallucinations.
The distinctive three-note chime of the Toronto subway kicks off a zippy tale of bike theft and survival in an unfamiliar new town.
The Korean legend of Ungnyeo, a bear reborn as a woman, becomes a percussive and mesmerizing riff on the themes of transformation and quarantine.
When Delia announces a breakup on group chat, she’s bombarded with inappropriate and comic remarks from her Salvadoran family.
A woman awakes to mysterious sounds—and confronts an astonishing surreal world summoned forth by her innermost fears.
The National Film Board of Canada’s Hothouse program for emerging animators has helped kick-start the careers of a new generation of acclaimed Canadian animators. For its 12th edition, the NFB has teamed up with imagineNATIVE and associate producers Amanda Strong and Amanda Roy to help address underrepresentation of Indigenous creators in film animation. Three emerging filmmakers from across Turtle Island — Kassia Ward, Meky Ottawa and Chris Grant — participated in the 22-week paid apprenticeship, an intensive program that combines training with the opportunity to create their own auteur-driven project.
A pair of unlikely travellers encounter a young man on the highway who seems to have forgotten that he can be seen. Collector explores the concept of semi-private spaces and how we act when we forget that we might be being watched.
XO Rad Magical is a personal lyrical poem about the daily struggle of living with schizophrenia. This psychedelic and hypnotic film shows that there is beauty in the brains of those who are at war with themselves.
A neon glimpse into a personal world within an urban landscape. From FOMO to JOMO, The Fake Calendar is an artist’s expression of how people come up with interesting and creative ways to avoid social functions in favour of their own private space.
Incorporating found sound of an English language lesson, this very short animation depicts a visual descent into madness triggered by the effort to keep it all together—even when it seems damn near impossible.
Please stand clear of the doors... This very short surreal hybrid of stop-motion and 2D animation is a story about a dream about a train, inspired by found sound of a Toronto subway car.
In this very short animation, an apparition reveals itself through celluloid and transmits vestiges of a forgotten provenance. Have the onlookers interpreted its signs correctly or was the message misunderstood? Inspired by found sound of two people’s discovery of a mysterious event in the sky.
Inspired by found sound of baby noises, this very short animation takes a good hard look at the bizarre behaviour of people working out in a gym.
Printed manually on a vintage tabletop press using hand-carved linoleum blocks, this very short animation is about a new parent who learns about free expression and the power of letting go. Inspired by the filmmaker’s new baby boy and found sound.
Hand-drawn charcoal drawings movingly depict the loneliness and bewilderment of a child seeking safety in a war zone, in this timely very short animation that uses found sound to explore the powerlessness of the refugee experience.
A 1-minute cart ride through the mental shopping mall of attention deficit disorder.
Fed up with her roommate’s incessant shopping and hoarding, a girl takes matters into her own hands in this comical take on vlogging and the art of co-habitation.
A mink walks into a fur store. Fantastic Mr. Fox meets The Shining in this stop-motion cautionary tale of what happens when we don’t think enough about what we buy.
Voicemails get lost and found in space in this thoughtful commentary on the fractured act of communication and the spaces between people trying to express themselves.
Oil-covered fish meet skateboards and the War on Terror in this razor-sharp satire of media, government, and the tycoons who take advantage of the system.
In this surrealist stop-motion animation, two disembodied wigs give in to their desires and grow themselves into something a little more whole.
Children guide the audience through a vision of shifting digital polygons in this CGI take of the beloved NFB classic Helicopter Canada.
Children wait their turn for a once-in-a-lifetime roller coaster ride. A loving and poignant meditation on childhood and the passage of time.
Hothouse 9 successfully transformed our six emerging animators. Within 12 mere weeks they turned into flowering blossoms, producing one-minute animation shorts in full horticultural compliance with this edition's double parameter: abstract storytelling. Abstraction was omnipresent throughout the process: at critical reviews, music and foley recordings, and even when filmmakers attempted to articulate their story, artistic intent and technique. At the end of the experience, these six peculiar blooms revealed themselves as abstract representations of, of all things, daisies.
An adventure through the cosmic unveiling of the beautiful and strange macro/micro structures that unite us with the Universe.
Tormented forms struggle to break free of their bonds in this abstract animated short.
Smartphones cannot feel, smell or taste, yet they are not without their own senses. Using raw data from the low-level sensors of a cell phone, this film offers a unique point of view on the world as it might appear to our increasingly aware mobile devices.
Itch is an abstract expression of what it feels like to experience an eczema flare-up.
Grace Fall is about the struggles and joys of trying to perform impossibly well in a circus whose troupe members aren’t really visible, but can certainly be perceived regardless.
A woman looks out across a lake, where each drop of water contains a memory of a pioneer in women’s sports, preserved forever.
A sleeping computer dreams of humans forms, transforming their digital data into abstract and playful shapes. Movements, emotions, and musical lines are added layer upon layer until the complexity overloads the system and the dream ends. Reverie.exe combines Microsoft Kinect motion capture and music-driven visuals in an exploration of the connection shared between humans and machines.
A revolution is kicked off when one little cloud has enough of the sun’s tyranny.
A man wakes in a sea of sand dunes. He clutches a metal suitcase as if it holds something of great value. In the distance looms a distorted and inhuman city from which the man has apparently fled. An experiment in science-fiction/mystery, Flee wonders how many possible histories and possible futures can be implied in a single minute.
In this short animation, a polar bear must try his luck finding a job in the big city when the last of his Arctic ice environment disappears. It’s hard fitting into the human world, however, so this bear finds a more creative solution to his predicament.
Emerging filmmaker Jesse Gouchey's animated short pokes fun at selectively-bred mammoth sheep, whose out-of-proportion form makes them vulnerable to tipping over, and a very fat Farmer who tries to save them, with dire consequences.
A small boy is left alone to play in a large and empty house. A dark cloud starts to seep in from behind the mail slot at the front door. As it fills the space, a monster forms. The boy runs away, but the creature is always near. The chase will not end until the boy discovers the source of his fears. The film uses a combination of 2D hand-drawn animation, 3D backgrounds and particle effects.
A slow, agonizing, juicy exploration of the oldest form of affection.
The body is a magnificent system. But its harmony can be interrupted, sometimes by subversive agents within. Sick uses stop motion to bring to life a knitted body in a fanciful journey through the pulsating organs and dark recesses of the human body.
This animated short employs hand-drawn animation layered over stop-motion sequences of moving ink on drumskins to create a striking, mournful portrait of the Alberta tar sands.
Watch as one cloud’s imagination soars from the familiar to the unknown on a captivating journey from dusk until dawn. Animated using partial audio waveform data, A Cloud’s Dream is a stereoscopic particle simulation that explores various cloud formations.
In this animated short, a delusional young man spots the girl of his dreams in his favourite café and weaves a self-indulgent fantasy story of their imagined life together. Missed Connection examines our universal desire to connect in a world of beautiful strangers.
In an infinitely vast space, a woman, a man and a fish illustrate a flow of questions about perception. Pixillation and stop-motion animation enhance audience doubts about reality in Marie Valade's whimsical and playful test of how we see and perceive when watching 3-D films.
Transformation, technology, higher powers, breath. These ideas and elements roil around inside Toronto artist and filmmaker Zane Kozak's CG-animated short, taking us on a somewhat troubling but eerily mystical journey from the human form to... something entirely different.
As a young woman finds herself lost in daydreams while clumsily performing the tradition of making pierogies, she invokes the presence of her grandmother, who guides her through the messy ritual. The film is a fusion of hand-drawn animation, folk art and stereoscopic drawings made in space, by Calgary illustrator and filmmaker Kiarra Albina.
Two prisoners are trapped in a void. Trying separately to escape, they discover each other and have to overcome their fear in order to connect and find a way out. Or do they really discover themselves? Filmmaker Greg Labute renders an austere nightmare world using the SANDDE's stereoscopic animation drawing tool and a dark, slightly perverse imagination.
Filmmaker Fred Casia, inspired by the iconic '50s-vintage View-Master stereo viewer and '60s-era TV nature shows, takes us on a weird and wacky 3-D safari through the jungle that is the human digestive system. With 2-D digital animation set into a diorama-esque stereoscopic space, Casia creates a small, bizarre gem.
A myopic woman walks, then boogies, through a wintry urban landscape, her world view altered suddenly by a beat from within herself, transporting her to a rich and lush place full of green foliage. Animated in stereoscopic stop-motion, Winnipeg filmmaker Megan Turnbull's film creates a magical, miniature world entirely of out paper sculpture and pure invention.
Director Carrie Haber delves deep into the anxiety, thrill and uncertainty of six aspiring animation artists as they are plunged into the twelve-week trial-by-fire that is the NFB's Hothouse for animation filmmakers.
In this animated short from the Hothouse 5 series, two creatures wonder, What is a hole? They have different points of view. Their debate leads to an idea, an idea that changes the world. This is a story of practical magic.
In this animated short from the Hothouse 5 series, a lonely old lady sits in an empty room knitting. As her thoughts wander, her dreams take the shape of fanciful knitted creatures and objects that cocoon her in a pattern of wonder and comfort.
This animated short poses some interesting questions: what if buildings pulsed, trees tapped out beats, or shadows could whistle a tune? Through the creative interpretation and animation of the city's natural rhythms, Orange orchestrates a contagious urban dance.
In this animated short, an oafish ghoul and his soft exposed brain are met with ruin when the brain is unexpectedly killed. Though paralyzed, the ghoul attains a fresh brain and is fed with new life.
In this animated short, a playful group is dancing when they become aware they're being watched by a huge, menacing head. When the head interrupts their good time, they take action in an unexpected way, forcing the giant head to undergo an altered state of mind.
In this animated short, a layered narrative exploring memory and family history is constructed using a collage of family photos, photocopies and personal audio recordings. The film explores the fragility of personal memory, and photos as physical tokens of that memory.
Inside Hothouse 4 takes an informal look into the personalities and frenzy behind the fourth iteration of the NFB Animation Hothouse. A hand-held-mini-doc, reflective of the youthful iconoclasm of the eight emerging filmmakers (6 Canadians and 2 Brazilians). The Hothouse filmmakers and their NFB collaborators offer candid and oftentimes pithy comments on the nature of auteur animation filmmaking, the place and role of the NFB in that world, and the excitement and fear of making a first professional film. This year's Inside Hothouse mini-doc includes the process of generating podcasts for the Hothouse 4 web site.
This stop-motion animation is about a spider who professes its love for a squirrel. An interspecies courtship unfolds between the two doe-eyed neighbours. This short film is a testament to the fact that there is truly someone for everyone and that love is species blind.
This short animation film is about two little men floating into the deep blue sky, tied to balloons. But then each decides the sky belongs to him.
This short animation film is a close look at the microscopic world that surrounds us. Within each basic human interaction there is something strange festering under the surface, and we just need a good magnifying glass and a strong stomach to see it.
This short animation film is a multi–layered story of an accumulation of encounters between black clouds.
In this short animated film, a little banjo-picking monster is trying to find her way at a signpost by the railway tracks. She sets out and finds what she is looking for in a rather surprising way.
This short animated film looks at the relationship between social spaces and taboos surrounding mental illness and other forms of marginalization. The film is intended as a mood piece, a chance encounter between a lone figure and an indifferent crowd.
This minimalist piece of animation explores the origin of life.
In this short animation film Dale Hayward brings to life his watercolour on paper.
A look into the creative process and frenzy behind the third edition of the NFB Animation Hothouse. This zippy, mini-documentary reflects the youthful iconoclasm of the six emerging filmmakers and Jason Lee, the documentary director.
This film was produced as part of our Hothouse emerging filmmaker’s program
In this animated short a figure floats in landscapes and spaces without a ground plane. There is only water. The reflected skies are endless and mirrored interiors are doubled in height. This film explores experiences within environments that are recognizable but surreal.
In this short animated film a robot rambles about frenetically, receiving countless electronic messages through his antenna every second. Despite his fatigue and stress, he never slows down. The only thing that might bring his frantic journey to an end is a traffic accident.
In this whimsical animated short, filmmaker Rachel Peters asks: "what if the laws of physics suddenly ceased to apply?" Peters explores this question through the tale of a man and his two goldfish as they prepare for the end of the world. Technique: drawn animation, digitally coloured and composited.
In this short animation a little creature watches the transformation of a feather and follows a whale to where icebergs melt, leaving birds with nowhere to land. The materials used include old gloves, costume jewellery and Plasticine. Technique: puppet and object animation with drawn animation.
In this short animation Damien Hess attempts to connect with the tragedy of the First World War, a conflict that helped define Canada. In this film he uses imagery of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial monument in northern France to summon up names, faces and shadows that are fading from our memory.
In this short animation film a prairie landscape undergoes a metamorphosis from rural idyll to over-urbanized dystopia. Director Anne Koizumi laments the changing face of her hometown of Calgary in this critique of the bacteria-like spread of suburbia and exurbia.
An informal look into the personalities and frenzy behind the second edition of the NFB Animation Hothouse. The six Hothouse filmmakers and their NFB collaborators comment on the nature of auteur animation, the place and role of the NFB in that world and the excitement and fear of making a first professional film.
This film was produced as part of our Hothouse emerging filmmaker’s program
This short animated tale of Victorian-era folly ends in tragedy. Kevin Langdale's graphic style brims with the majesty of human ambition and the indomitable and sometimes destructive power of the natural world.
This short animation film is an “epic” adventure and a magical environmental fairy tale. Amy Lockhart uses cutouts, drawings and collage (captured and manipulated as digital multi-plane animation) to conjure up her whimsical world.
Seeking shelter from a thunderstorm, a man sits in a pub watching the ice in his glass melt away. Howie Shia marries his graphic illustration style with subtle animation and a haunting soundtrack to conjure up anxiety and foreboding. He used pen and ink on tracing paper and later composited and coloured digitally.
In this short animation Thea Pratt explores the exhilarating moment of a poetic dive. The movement of the puppet diver is influenced by Norman McLaren, Leni Riefenstahl and Busby Berkeley. Dancing light, frothing oceans, rolling rivers and calm lakes describe in photographic images the diver’s own stream of consciousness.
In this short animation film Marielle Guyot uses her computer skills with great artistic sensibility to bring the sea to life, death, and hopefully, life again.
In this short animation film Megann Reid evokes the solitude and warmth of a bath. Drawn with water colour pencil crayons on frosted acetate, the animation was done under a digital camera.
This is a combination of stop-motion puppet and drawn animation. We observe a forlorn woman on a Halifax dock, whose loneliness is lifted by the passing of a fishing trawler. A metaphor on the connectiveness of water and water's capacity as a medium of freedom.
Inside the Hothouse takes an informal look at this NFB experiment, Animation Hothouse, at its halfway point. In a handheld, gritty style, Inside the Hothouse gives the viewer a glimpse into the project and the participants' perspectives.
This short animation film is a “water poem,” set in a Japanese ofuro hot bath. It explores water as a medium and repository for collective stories and was created in a hybrid new media form using animation, video and split screens.
This short animation film is a pithy critique of society's commercialization of water, abetted by an utter disregard for the future. The film is a mixed media whirlwind of hyperactive animated collage.
This short animation is bleak and apparently grim, but it is an assertive statement on self-determination and the fundamental need for both dark and light. This is the first professional film by Jo Meuris.
This short film is a marvellous example of extreme animation. Jacob Bauming shows us a whirling dervish of sensory overload, with a tenuous connection to snazzy “aquatics,” using them as a trigger for his wild and manic imagination.
This experimental animation film examines society's deification of architecture and urbanization in the modern world and the impact on our relationship to nature. This is Sutherland’s first professional film and was made with the NFB Hothouse program for emerging filmmakers.