Thursday favorites: Animated shorts

A friend just sent me a link to a short video. You know how this is. You appreciate that someone watched something and thought of you, thought how you might enjoy watching it too, and then took the time to compose a short message to you and include a link to the video. You’re the only one receiving this particular message and you trust this friend’s tastes in almost everything, so it isn’t like being included as the fourth or fifth person in a mass email of a forwarded joke or idiotic picture.

So you watch the video. After all, it’s only a couple minutes long, and your friend has taken the time to send you the link. You want to reply in appreciation, having watched it.


It’s a funny video, in a droll, understated sort of way, and you like the way the artist has done the animation. It’s droll and understated, just like the voiceover, and it’s expressive of something that resonates with you. You appreciate it even more that your friend has sent you this video, so you want to start to compose a reply to your friend right away. You don’t want that email hanging around unreplied to in your inbox, especially because your friend was thoughtful enough to have sent you a link to a good video.

Then you notice that the maker of this video has another video posted that he’s made. Why not watch one more? Maybe it won’t be as good, but if that’s the case at least you’ll know that you’ve seen the best work this guy has done


This one also turns out to be funny in the same droll, understated way, and you’re really starting to like the creative but simple way in which the guy draws and speaks. He’s solved a number of the problems of making animated shorts on the cheap in a very clever manner. You start to think some other friends might like to see this guy’s videos and maybe you need to tell them about him, or send them a link to one of the videos. Then you start thinking, well that’s sort of lame, sending a bunch of friends a link that someone else sent you. It isn’t nearly as cool and caring as sending a link of something you discovered on your own to just one friend, so you hold off on starting that mass email, or the reply to your friend, because you want to think about it a little while longer while you watch some more videos.


Well, that one was sort of sad and depressing but in a funny and honest way and this guy is starting to seem like he has problems relating to women but at least he’s creating something interesting that expresses his feelings.

After spending about 20 minutes watching these really short videos, you start to feel like you’re actually procrastinating starting to make dinner like you said you would. You should really stop watching these videos and make dinner. You can watch more of them later, so you decide to stop for now. Just then, though, you notice that one of the videos is actually about procrastination. Because it’s what you’re doing right now, coincidentally, you take it as a sign that you should watch this video, meant especially just for you, right now. It’s only a couple more minutes, and then you’ll knuckle down and make dinner.


Well, that one was good, too, even if the guy’s voice on it is a little more whiny than you care for. It has made you feel slightly better about your procrastinating because at least you haven’t wasted the whole day (yet) like the guy in the video but also worse because you never do anything creative or interesting with your procrastination like make a cool internet video about it.

Then you notice that there’s a whole collection of short videos that this guy has done. Now you’re really in trouble because you said you were going to make dinner and your wife is almost home from work and there are about 15 more videos to watch. She’s going to be hungry and come to think of it you’re hungry too. Maybe you could just get tacos from the truck parked down the block, which is what you’ll do precisely the moment that you finish watching the next video and composing a Greatwhatsit post about your new favorite videos you’ve just watched.

12 responses to “Thursday favorites: Animated shorts”

  1. tacos from the truck parked down the block


  2. Dave says:

    So sad that I’m at work and can’t watch these right now. But my new favorite video is this one, a Price is Right contestant who seems to be on Ecstacy. (Via apo at Unfogged.)

  3. Scotty says:

    I’ve only watched the first one so far, and it reminds me a lot of Mr. Barber.

  4. Dave says:

    zomg that first video is great.

  5. Scotty says:

    That’s the one that reminds me of you, Dave.

  6. Dave says:

    Yeah, it reminds me of me, too.

  7. Jeremy says:

    i was only gonna watch the first one, but then i watched the next one and the next one and… i’ve only graded two papers all day. sigh. tim, you jerk.

  8. swells says:

    Me too!! My midterms lie ungraded (all but two, like J) while I can’t get enough of this guy! Procrastination indeed!

  9. Scotty says:

    …and I’m supposed to be looking for a job. Ay caramba!

  10. You know what is particularly awesome? Video number 4, “Procrastination”, with its shadows of his drawing hand and pen, is particularly awesome. None of these really made me laugh or even chuckle though. I like the artwork, I like how the photography of the paper he draws on looks, but none of his observations are really incisive or innovative.

  11. And good luck with the job hunt, Scott.

  12. Tim Wager says:

    Sorry to have fed your time-wasting, LBC crew, but somehow spreading it around helps make me feel marginally better about having done the very same thing myself. That first one really made me think of Davey B., too, and that’s what led me to writing the post.

    Modesto, I don’t disagree with your saying that he doesn’t say anything particularly incisive or innovative, but that’s not really the point for me. I find real value in the humor and confessional pathos of his vocal and artistic delivery. Much of it is in the timing, both of the video edits and the voiceover.

    Watching these videos is sort of like listening to “This American Life” for me. Often enough I’ve already felt and thought many of the feelings and ideas expressed, and therefore the show is valuable to me. It makes me feel not so alone in the world.