A short film is any motion picture that is short enough in running time not to be considered a feature film. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a short film as "an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits".In the United States, short films were generally termed short subjects from the 1920s into the 1970s when confined to two 35 mm reels or less, and featurettes for a film of three or four reels. "Short" was an abbreviation for either term.
The increasingly rare industry term "short subject" carries more of an assumption that the film is shown as part of a presentation along with a feature film. Short films are often screened at local, national, or international film festivals and made by independent filmmakers with either a low budget or no budget at all. They are usually funded by film grants, nonprofit organizations, sponsor, or personal funds. Short films are generally used for industry experience and as a platform to showcase talent to secure funding for future projects from private investors, a production company, or film studios. They can also be released with feature films, and can also be included as bonus features on some home video releases.
All films in the beginning of cinema were very short, sometimes running only a minute or less. It was not until the 1910s when films started to get longer than about ten minutes. The first set of films were presented in 1894 and it was through Thomas Edison's device called a kinetoscope. It was made for individual viewing only. Comedy short films were produced in large numbers compared to lengthy features such as D. W. Griffith's 1915 The Birth of a Nation .[ citation needed ] By the 1920s, a ticket purchased a varied program including a feature and several supporting works from categories such as second feature, short comedy, 5–10 minute cartoon, travelogue, and newsreel.
Short comedies were especially common, and typically came in a serial or series (such as the Our Gang movies, or the many outings of Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp character).
Animated cartoons came principally as short subjects. Virtually all major film production companies had units assigned to develop and produce shorts, and many companies, especially in the silent and very early sound era, produced mostly or only short subjects.
In the 1930s, the distribution system changed in many countries, owing to the Great Depression. Instead of the cinema owner assembling a program of their own choice, the studios sold a package centered on a main and supporting feature, a cartoon and little else. With the rise of the double feature, two-reel shorts went into decline as a commercial category. Hal Roach, for example, moved Laurel and Hardy full-time into feature films after 1935, and halved his popular Our Gang films to one reel. By the 1940s, he had moved out of short films altogether (though Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer continued the Our Gang shorts until 1944).
Later shorts include George O'Hanlon's Joe McDoakes movies, and the animated work of studios such as Walt Disney Productions and Warner Bros. Cartoons. By the mid-1950s, with the rise of television, the commercial live-action short was virtually dead, The Three Stooges work being the last major series of 2-reelers, ending in 1959. Short films had become a medium for student, independent and specialty work.
Cartoon shorts had a longer life, due in part to the implementation of lower-cost limited animation techniques and the rise of television animation, which allowed shorts to have both theatrical runs and a syndication afterlife. Warner Bros., one of the most prolific of the golden era, underwent several reorganizations in the 1960s before exiting the short film business in 1969 (by which point the shorts had been in televised reruns for years). MGM continued Tom and Jerry (first with a series of poorly-received Eastern European shorts by Gene Deitch, then a better-received run by Warner Bros. alumnus Chuck Jones) until 1967, and Woody Woodpecker lasted to 1972; the creative team behind MGM's 1940s and 1950s cartoons formed Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1957, mainly focusing on television. The Pink Panther was the last regular theatrical cartoon short series, having begun in 1964 (and thus having spent its entire existence in the limited animation era) and ended in 1980. By the 1960s, the market for animated shorts had largely shifted to television, with existing theatrical shorts being syndicated to television.
A few animated shorts continue within the mainstream commercial distribution. For instance, Pixar has screened a short along with each of its feature films during its initial theatrical run since 1995 (producing shorts permanently since 2001).Since Disney acquired Pixar in 2006, Disney has also produced animated shorts since 2007 with the Goofy short How to Hook Up Your Home Theater and produced a series of live-action ones featuring The Muppets for viewing on YouTube as viral videos to promote the 2011 movie of the same name.
DreamWorks Animation often produces a short sequel to include in the special edition video releases of major features, and are typical of a sufficient length to be broadcast as a TV special, a few films from the studio have added theatrical shorts as well.[ citation needed ] Warner Bros. often includes old shorts from its considerable library, connected only thematically, on the DVD releases of classic WB movies. From 2010-2012, Warner Bros. also released new Looney Tunes shorts before family films.[ citation needed ]
Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures organize an annual release of Academy Award-nominated short films in theatres across the US, UK, Canada and Mexico throughout February and March.
Shorts are occasionally broadcast as filler when a feature film or other work doesn't fit the standard broadcast schedule. ShortsTV was the first television channel dedicated to short films.[ citation needed ]
However, short films generally rely on film festival exhibition to reach an audience. Such movies can also be distributed via the Internet. Certain websites which encourage the submission of user-created short films, such as YouTube and Vimeo, have attracted large communities of artists and viewers.[ citation needed ] Sites like Omeleto, FILMSshort, Short of the Week, Think Shorts, Short Central and some apps showcase curated shorts.
Short films are a typical first stage for new filmmakers, but professional actors and crews often still choose to create short films as an alternative form of expression.[ citation needed ] Amateur filmmaking has grown in popularity as equipment has become more accessible.
The lower production costs of short films often mean that short films can cover alternative subject matter as compared to higher budget feature films. Similarly, unconventional filmmaking techniques such as Pixilation or narratives that are told without dialogue, are more often seen in short films than features.
Tropfest claims to be the world's largest short film festival. Tropfest now takes place in Australia (its birthplace), Arabia, the US and elsewhere. Originating in 1993, Tropfest is often credited as being at least partially responsible for the recent popularity of short films internationally.[ citation needed ] Also Couch Fest Films, part of Shnit Worldwide Filmfestival, claimed to be the world´s largest single-day short film festival.
Among the oldest film festivals dedicated to short films are Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, France (since 1979), Tampere Film Festival, Finland (since 1969) and International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany (since 1954). All of them are still considered the most important short film festival in the world to date.
Short Film Conference (SFC) has been in existence since 1970 as a non-profit organization to unite the global short film community. Its network consists of hundreds of members representing over 40 countries from all over the globe. SFC’s activities range from organizing industry events and the annual conference to monitoring and researching the short film industry, informing its professionals & lobbying for the rights of short films and their creators. The Short Film Conference’s Code of Ethics offers guidelines for short film festivals to consider.
Very short films, often referred to as "short shorts", are sometimes considered in a category of their own.[ citation needed ] The International Festival of Very Shorts, based in Paris, only shows movies less than three minutes long. Filminute, the international one-minute film festival, has presented and promoted a collection of one-minute films across multiple media since September 2006.
Looney Tunes is an American animated comedy short film series produced by Warner Bros. starting from 1930 to 1969, concurrently with its partner series Merrie Melodies, during the golden age of American animation. Then some new cartoons were produced from the late 1980s to the mid 2010s as well as other made productions beginning in 1972. The two series introduced a large cast of characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig. The term Looney Tunes has since been expanded to also refer to the characters themselves.
This is a listing of the shorts, feature films, television programs, and television specials in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon series, extending from 1929 through the present day. Altogether, 1,002 animated shorts alone were released under the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies banners from the 1930s through the 1960s. From the beginning to the present day, 1,041 theatrical shorts have been created.
Carl William Stalling was an American composer, voice actor and arranger for music in animated films. He is most closely associated with the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts produced by Warner Bros., where he averaged one complete score each week, for 22 years.
The golden age of American animation was a period in the history of U.S. animation that began with the popularization of sound cartoons in 1928 and gradually ended in the late 1960s, where theatrical animated shorts began losing popularity to the newer medium of television animation, produced on cheaper budgets and in a more limited animation style by companies such as Hanna-Barbera, UPA, Jay Ward Productions, and DePatie-Freleng.
Animation in the United States in the television era was a period in the history of American animation that slowly set in with the decline of theatrical animated shorts and the popularization of television animation during the late 1950s to 1960s, peaked in the 1970s, and ended in the mid-late 1980s. This era is characterized by low budgets, limited animation, an emphasis on television over the theater, and the general perception of cartoons being primarily for children. Due to the perceived cheap production values, poor animation, and mixed critical and commercial reception, this era is sometimes referred to as the dark ageof American animation by critics.
Modern animation in the United States from the late 1980s to the late 1990s is referred to as the renaissance age of American animation. During this period, many large American entertainment companies reformed and reinvigorated their animation departments, following a dark age during the 1960s to mid 1980s. During this time the United States had a profound effect on animation worldwide.
Merrie Melodies is an American animated series of comedy short films produced by Warner Bros. starting in 1931, during the golden age of American animation, and ending in 1969. Then some new cartoons were produced from the late 1970s to the late 1990s, as well as other made productions beginning in 1972. As with its brother series, Looney Tunes, it featured cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Elmer Fudd. Between 1934 and 1943, the Merrie Melodies series were distinguished from the black-and-white, Buddy or Porky Pig–starring Looney Tunes shorts by an emphasis on one-shot stories in color featuring Warner Bros.–owned musical selections. After Bugs Bunny became the breakout recurring star of Merrie Melodies, and Looney Tunes went to color in the early 1940s, the two series gradually lost their distinctions and shorts were assigned to each series more randomly.
The Censored Eleven is a group of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons originally produced and released by Warner Bros. that were withheld from syndication in the United States by United Artists (UA) beginning in 1968. UA owned the distribution rights to the Associated Artists Productions library at that time, and decided to pull these 11 cartoons from broadcast because the use of ethnic stereotypes in the cartoons, specifically African stereotypes, was deemed too offensive for contemporary audiences. The ban has been continued by UA and the successive owners of the pre-August 1948 Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies. These shorts have not been officially broadcast on television since 1968, and have only been exhibited once theatrically by Warner Bros. in 2010 since their withdrawal. They have turned up, however, on low-cost VHS and DVD collections.
While the history of animation began much earlier, this article is concerned with the development of the medium after the emergence of celluloid film in 1888, as produced for theatrical screenings, television and (non-interactive) home entertainment.
DePatie–Freleng Enterprises was an American animation production company that was active from 1963 to 1981. Based in Burbank, DFE produced animation for film and television.
The Fleischer Superman cartoons are a series of seventeen animated short films released in Technicolor by Paramount Pictures and based upon the comic book character Superman, making them his first animated appearance.
Famous Studios was the first animation division of the film studio Paramount Pictures from 1942 to 1967. Famous was founded as a successor company to Fleischer Studios, after Paramount seized control of the aforementioned studio after the departure of its founders, Max and Dave Fleischer, in 1942. The studio's productions included three series started by the Fleischers—Popeye the Sailor, Superman, and Screen Songs—as well as Little Audrey, Little Lulu, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Honey Halfwitch, Herman and Katnip, Baby Huey, and the anthology Noveltoons series.
Tom and Jerry is an American animated media franchise and series of comedy short films created in 1940 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Best known for its 161 theatrical short films by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the series centers on the rivalry between the titular characters of a cat named Tom and a mouse named Jerry. Many shorts also feature several recurring characters.
The Van Beuren Corporation was a New York City-based animation studio that produced theatrical cartoons as well as live-action short-subjects from the 1920s to 1936.
Warner Bros. Animation Inc. is an American animation studio which is part of the Warner Bros. Television Studios division of Warner Bros., a flagship of Warner Bros. Discovery. As the successor to Warner Bros. Cartoons, which was active from 1933 to 1969, the studio is closely associated with the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies characters, among others. Warner Bros. re-established its animation division in 1980 to produce Looney Tunes–related works, and Turner Broadcasting System merged with Time Warner in 1996. In March 2001, Hanna-Barbera Cartoons and its IP were absorbed into the studio.
An animation studio is a company producing animated media. The broadest such companies conceive of products to produce, own the physical equipment for production, employ operators for that equipment, and hold a major stake in the sales or rentals of the media produced. They also own rights over merchandising and creative rights for characters created/held by the company, much like authors holding copyrights. In some early cases, they also held patent rights over methods of animation used in certain studios that were used for boosting productivity. Overall, they are business concerns and can function as such in legal terms.
These lists of animated feature films compiles animated feature films from around the world and is organized alphabetically under the year of release. Theatrical releases as well as made-for-TV (TV) and direct-to-video (V) movies of all types of animation are included. Currently the list doesn't recognize one release form from another. In order to qualify for this list, films must be "over 40 minutes long and have animation in at least 75% of their running time, or have at least 40 minutes of animation in total." This list chooses to use the AFI, AMPAS and BFI definitions of a feature film. For animated films under 40 minutes, see List of animated short films. For marionette films like Team America: World Police, or films featuring non-animated puppets, see Puppet films. Also, primarily live-action films with heavy use of special effects are also included.
This is a listing of all theatrical animated shorts released by Warner Bros. under the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies banners between 1970 and the present. It also lists shorts originally planned for theatrical release and other shorts that were not feature films, television series, or television specials.
Due to the success of Space Jam in 1996, Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes were revamped as a series with the release of multiple new expansions of the canon including movies, theatrical shorts, and television series.
The following are lists of animated films.