A short film is any motion picture not long enough in running time 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 35mm 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.
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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 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, Warner Bros. Cartoons. By the mid-1950s, with the rise of television, the commercial live-action short was virtually dead, The Three Stooges 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 animated shorts from its considerable library, connected only thematically, on the DVD releases of classic WB movies. In 2010 and 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, 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 ]
Short short films 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.
Cartoon Network Studios is an American animation studio owned by the Global Kids, Young Adults & Classics division of Warner Bros. Entertainment, a subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia. Located in Burbank, California, the studio primarily produces and develops animated programs and shorts for Cartoon Network. In the 2010s, their programs began to expand into their sister companies Adult Swim and HBO Max. The company has only produced one theatrically released film, The Powerpuff Girls Movie, which was distributed by what is now its sister company, Warner Bros. Pictures.
Looney Tunes is an American animated comedy series produced by Warner Bros. from 1930 to 1969 during the golden age of American animation alongside its sister series Merrie Melodies. It is known for introducing Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Sylvester, Tweety, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, Tasmanian Devil, Granny, and many other characters. 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.
Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc., also simply known as Hanna-Barbera and variously over the years as H-B Enterprises, H-B Production Co., and Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc., was an American animation studio and production company founded in 1957 by Tom and Jerry creators and former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animation directors William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, in partnership with film director George Sidney.
Frederick Bean "Tex" Avery was an American animator and director, known for producing and directing animated cartoons during the golden age of American animation. His most significant work was for the Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, where he was crucial in the creation and evolution of famous animated characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Droopy, Screwy Squirrel, George and Junior, and Chilly Willy.
United Productions of America, better known as UPA, was an American animation studio active from the 1940s through the 1970s. Beginning with industrial and World War II training films, UPA eventually produced theatrical shorts for Columbia Pictures such as the Mr. Magoo series. In 1956, UPA produced a television series for CBS, The Boing-Boing Show, hosted by Gerald McBoing Boing. In the 1960s, UPA produced syndicated Mr. Magoo and Dick Tracy television series and other series and specials, including Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol. UPA also produced two animated features, 1001 Arabian Nights and Gay Purr-ee, and distributed Japanese films from Toho Studios in the 1970s and 1980s. Gerald McBoing-Boing (2005–2007) was a more recent television series based on UPA's memorable character and licensed and co-produced by Cookie Jar Entertainment and Classic Media, for Cartoon Network. A French-American reboot television series of Mr. Magoo, another one of UPA's memorable characters has been announced by Xilam as their first collaboration with DreamWorks Animation, and is set to premiere on France 3 in France and Universal Kids.
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 throughout 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.
The television era of American animation, also known as the dark age of American animation, was a period in the history of U.S. animation that slowly set in with the decline of theatrical animated shorts and the popularization of television animation during the late 1950s to 1960s, and was in full swing by the 1970s to 1980s.
Modern animation of the United States from the late 1980s to 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 general decline during the 1960s to 1980s. The United States has had a profound effect on animation worldwide. Since the 2000s traditional animation would lose interest against digital and Flash animation, naming this current period as the "millennium age of American animation".
Merrie Melodies is an American animated series of comedy short films produced by Warner Bros. from 1931 to 1969, during the golden age of American animation. As with its sister 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 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.
Tom and Jerry is an American animated 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.
Warner Bros. Animation is an American animation studio owned by the Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics division of Warner Bros. Entertainment. The studio is closely associated with the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies characters, among others. The studio is the successor to Warner Bros. Cartoons, the studio which produced Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon shorts from 1933 to 1963, and from 1967 to 1969. Warner reestablished its animation division in 1980 to produce Looney Tunes–related works.
Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc. was the in-house division of Warner Bros. during the Golden Age of American animation. One of the most successful animation studios in American media history, it was primarily responsible for the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoon short subjects. The characters featured in these cartoons, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester, and Tweety, are among the most famous and recognizable characters in the world. Many of the creative staff members at the studio, including directors and animators such as Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Robert McKimson, Tex Avery, Robert Clampett, Arthur Davis, and Frank Tashlin, are considered major figures in the art and history of traditional animation.
Adult animation, adult cartoon or mature animation, is any type of animated motion work that is catered specifically to adult interests, and is mainly targeted and marketed towards adults and older adolescents, as opposed to children or all-ages audiences. Works in this medium could be considered adult for any number of reasons, which include the incorporation of explicit or suggestive content, graphic violence, profane language, thematic elements and/or dark humour. Works in this genre may explore philosophical, political, or social issues. Some productions are noted for their complex and/or experimental storytelling and animation techniques.
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.
This is a listing of all the animated shorts released by Warner Bros. under the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies banners between 1970 and today, plus a listing of feature films, television programs, television specials, and various other animated shorts and productions distributed and/or produced by WB.
Reel FX Creative Studios is an American computer animation studio based in Dallas, Texas, Hollywood, California and Montreal. The studio develops and produces award-winning animated films, short form and theme park content. Its first original animated feature film, Free Birds, was released in 2013 and grossed over $110 million worldwide, despite receiving negative reviews. Its second film, The Book of Life was released in 2014 to widely positive reviews and received several nominations, including Best Animated Feature Nominations from the Golden Globe's, Critics’ Choice Awards, Producers Guild Awards and Annie Awards. Rumble will be the 3rd original film from Reel FX, in conjunction with Paramount Animation, and is slated to be released on May 14, 2021.
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.
Looney Tunes Cartoons is an American animated streaming television series developed by Peter Browngardt and produced by Warner Bros. Animation, based on the characters from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. The series made its worldwide debut at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 10, 2019, and premiered on HBO Max on May 27, 2020.
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