BYU Animated Shorts: Where to Watch Them Online

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I’ve been writing for 18 years about BYU students winning awards for fun and funny animated shorts, but I haven’t been able to share the actual videos with readers.

Now the wait is over.

BYU’s first winner was 2003’s “Lemmings,” which is a delightful little movie. In early 2004, the school gave me a DVD with the five-minute video so I could watch it again. More than 20 film festivals invited BYU to screen it at their events, but alas, Deseret News readers had no way to see the university’s first film to win a College Television Award, colloquially known as Emmy student name.

I recently wrote about the latest group of BYU student animators to win an award. This time I got a link from the College Television Awards so I could rewatch “Stowaway,” a fabulously cute and funny short film about an innocent baby Kraken terrorizing a pirate ship.

I also asked Kelly Loosli for permission to stream “Stowaway” on Deseret.com. The BYU Animation program co-creator wasn’t immediately sure that was possible, as film festivals want exclusivity when screening movies.

But then Loosli spoke with his team and emailed me a Vimeo link with all of the program’s animated videos, and even some of the student-created games. So thank you all Kelly!

The BYU Vimeo account has only 434 subscribers. It’s a shame, because these movies, as the awards show, are a hoot.

At 19, “Lemmings” is definitely showing its age. The video remains pixelated and rudimentary compared to “Stowaway”, which boasts 19 years of technical advancements.

But show “Lemmings” to your children and grandchildren. They will laugh. And adults will appreciate Steven R. Covey’s reference. You can also use it to teach a lesson or two about crowd mentality.

In fact, seeing it again reminded me of Elder Clark G. Gilbert’s presentation with President Dallin H. Oaks Tuesday at an Ensign College church meeting. Brother Gilbert, Commissioner of the Church Education System and General Authority Seventy, showed an old Candid Camera elevator experiment on social influence to illustrate his points about some of the negative uses and effects of social media and thinking in action.

Pro tip: Watch the water in “Lemmings” and “Stowaway.” Each film includes a lot of animated water. In 2003, the students were really proud to replicate the wet stuff as well as they were. It’s pretty much the hardest thing to do in animation, and “Lemmings” proved the students had some talent.

The team of students who produced the latest video, “Stowaway”, weren’t shy about showing off their water rendering skills. The pirate ship confidently sails the high seas and water deftly flows from a bucket as the baby Kraken emerges.

How to watch: Click here to find all videos. The first four are video games. Go down and watch “Stowaway” and you’ll want to watch more. Further down, click the blue “Load more” link repeatedly until you reach the very bottom to find “Lemmings”.

Enjoy!

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Behind the scenes

A girl in Senegal tired from long days harvesting salt with her mother in the pink Retba Lake notices the music in the artwork for “Salt,” an animated short film made by students of the BYU Animation program.

In a BYU Animation student short titled

In a BYU Animation student short titled “Death and Delilah,” a grim reaper is assigned a stubborn target.

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