Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Teacher's Guide To The 9 Best Halloween Animation Shorts For Children

While looking for a short Halloween film for a movie station during our Elementary Halloween Harvest Fest this Friday, I found a lot of good short films for the occasion. The criteria given to me were:
1) It has to be under 10 minutes
2) It has to be age appropriate. Our audience is second to fifth graders.
So here is a list of my favorite animated shorts that I found, in no particular order. Some are age appropriate, and some just out of reach. I'll let you decide which is the best... Besides Alma. Alma is the best.

The 9 Best Halloween Animated Shorts

9) "Scary Smash"
I've never heard of WBAK (Written by a Kid) before yesterday, but apparently they're influential enough to grab Joss Whedon and Dave Foley for their pilot episode. I love the concept. I watched some of the other episodes, but none of the ones I watched used the same combination of animation and live actors like this one uses. The style works very well and they should have stuck with it. That is why out of all of the episodes this first one is my favorite.
It's a 4 minute story made up by a 5 year old. It's appropriate for all elementary students.

8) "Alma"
The best in this list because it's amazingly creepy, but appropriate for any age. That's amazing! How does that happen? What's even more amazing is that it seems the older you are, the creepier this short is.

Alma from Rodrigo Blaas on Vimeo.

7) "The Passenger"
This is another fantastic short, and it probably features the scariest goldfish in cinema history. This would be my selection for this year, if I can convince myself that the goldfish isn't too scary for 2nd and 3rd graders.

6) "The Lady and the Reaper"
This one is pretty good. Perhaps it's not a super great choice for lower elementary. The lady in question kills herself at the end. And that's after the Reaper killed her about 739 times already. Somehow the suicide is slightly more unsettling.

The lady and the reaper from Hormoz Zamanpour Siahkal on Vimeo.

5) "Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty"
"Alma" may be the best, but this one is my favorite. It's hilarious. And unfortunately probably over the heads of elementary students.

Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty from Darragh O'Connell on Vimeo.

4 )"This Way Up"
I like this one a lot, especially the Rube Goldberg machine that caused the boulder to fall on the hearse. I could have done without the trippy dream sequence. It's a tough call on appropriateness because the dead body the two men are transporting is your grandma.

3) "Something Left, Something Taken"
Probably a bit too wordy for a younger audience, this is a fun animation. The filmmaker has a strange obsession with the concept "something left, something taken," as it is mentioned over and over- even after the film has ended.

Something Left, Something Taken- Full Version from Tiny Inventions on Vimeo.

2) "Before Sunrise"
I like the idea of shadows and flames at the heart of a story. I don't like that heart of this story is love. Bleah. Still, the animation is too pretty to not include.

1) "The Maker"
This one is magical. It's magical because I didn't think much of it until the last few seconds. Then it blew me away. It's an amazing idea, and not at all like the love story you think it is... which makes it a ton more interesting than "Before Sunrise."

The 4 Best Almost-But-Not-Quite Halloween Animated Shorts 
These Aren't Strictly Halloween, But These Darn Good Animations Have Aliens, or Alien Allusions, or a passive obsession that almost kills the protagonist.

(after the jump)
4) "Invasions"

3) "Lifted"

2) "Pigeon: Impossible"

1) "The Last Knit"

The Last Knit (Animation) from jugglerksk on Vimeo.


  1. The videos has its own creativity that every one would love to see them. These are the best halloween animated videos ever. Thanks for sharing it on your blog. 2d animation video - VideoJeeves

  2. Thanks for the recommendations. I've also enjoyed "Trick or Treat Donald Duck" and "The Final Straw" as well.


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