“The Snowman and the Snowdog” Directed by Hilary Audus, 2012.
A sequel to the wildly popular The Snowman from 1982, this short film provides the same gentle tale of friendship, love, flights of fancy and memory. In her blog, These Widow’s Shoes, Sally writes of playing both films for her young daughter, Saskia: “I’d completely forgotten…that it’s as much about death as it is about flying through the air…In the Snowman and Snowdog sequel, death appears right at the beginning of the story too, when the boy’s dog dies and he and his Mum are seen burying him in the garden…What I like, I guess, is that these films deal with death in a way that is matter of fact, and sensitive.” added 4/10/15
“The Misguided Monk” Directed by Tom Long, 2009.
What is the value of another life? Can we see others while focusing on ourselves? When we are loved, do we turn away? What is the value of play? This student film says so much: “When an old hermit monk has his day interrupted by an uninvited guest, he is unwillingly taken on a journey to discover the true meaning of companionship.”
“Coda” Directed by Alan Holly, 2013.
“Nichijou” (episode 22) Directed by Tatsuya Ishihara, 2011.
How to crawl into bed without waking the cat. “Nichijou (日常 Nichijō?, lit. Everyday) is an ongoing Japanese comedy manga series written and illustrated by Keiichi Arawi…Set in a suburban Japanese town, Nichijou is populated by an ensemble set of characters, featuring moments from their everyday lives which alternate between the mundane and the strange, without much focus on a narrative.” – Wikipedia. added 8/17/15
“Heart of a Dog” Words and reading by Laurie Anderson. 2015.
Laurie Anderson’s film, Heart of a Dog, is a full-length meditation on her love of her dog, death, nature, and life – all the things we address through our work. The trailer is worth including here: “Then finally I saw it, the connection between love and death. And that the purpose of death, is the release, of love” – Laurie Anderson. Read an interview with Laurie in Vogue. added 10/30/15
“Denali” Directed, written and edited by Ben Knight. 2015.
A beautiful short film, narrated from a dog’s point of view. Denali shares his thoughts and feelings about his man, Ben. Read an interview with Men’s Journal. added 11/22/15
“Duck, Death and the Tulip” Directed by Matthias Bruhn, 2010. (abridged)
Based on the best selling book by the same name, written and illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch, it was nominated for the 2010 Cartoon d’or, and won the 2010 Animated Film Award at the SCHLINGEL International Film Festival. It opened the 2010 Lucas Filmfestival for children’s films, and aired on the German television show Die Sendung mit der Maus.” (Wikipedia, retrieved 5/7/16)
Erlbruch’s book has also been adapted to other films, notably another more somber animation directed by Jorge Sandoval & Ella Yoon:
“The Life of Death” Animated and written by Marsha Onderstijn, 2012.
Marsha Onderstign graduated from the AKV St. Joost in 2012 with this extraordinary 2D animation about how Death fell in love with Life; it has since been shown at various film and animation festivals. [Spoiler Alert!] While the notion of death as a friend is not new, especially when one suffers without the possibility of recovery, this short animation shows us that death is in want of friendship, too. Elegant in its simplicity, it opens up several questions about death, nature, anthropomorphism, and the desire to connect.
“What should we think about death?” Animated by Hyebin Lee, 2014.
Written & produced by the British Humanist Association and narrated by Stephen Fry, this animation presents a humanist (i.e., nonreligious) perspective on notions of death and an afterlife. The idea that the atoms of our bodies will nurture other life – “trees, birds, flowers and butterflies” – is appealing. Yet contemporary burial practices disconnect the body from Nature via plastic or metal caskets, vaults, and the use of toxic embalming fluids. This is not only true for most human cemeteries, but also for most pet cemeteries. Our Society raises awareness about this disconnection, while promoting research and activities to foster a green burial sensibility – since conservation burial grounds are nature preserves.
updated May 7, 2016