Canadian short films were well represented at Sprockets this year, with an array of really interesting animated and live action choices for kids of all ages.

In Alpha Beta Complex, Jonathan Ng asks an age old question in what is probably my favourite of the bunch: can classic typefaces truly live side by side with urban grafitti? Ok, maybe it’s not an age old question, but this truly inventive animation finds a group of old fashioned letters living peacefully underneath an apartment full of brightly coloured graffiti. When the two angry font groups clash in the apartment lobby, will the result be chaos or co-existence?

The Auction is  Gloria U. Y. Kim’s story is about eight year old Meehee, a daughter of Korean immigrants who dreams of fitting in with her new classmates with a Cindy doll. Unfortunately, her parents can’t afford it, so Meehee tries to save up to buy it for herself. However, when a beautiful pink dress resembling one that her mother wore back in Korea goes up for auction, Meehee has a change of heart and tries to buy her mom the dress instead.

Zoe Leigh Hopkins’ documentary, Button Blanket follows the creation of a button blanket ““ an item not meant for sleeping under, but rather, a woolen cape worn during ceremonies. The blanket (full of colourful mother of pearl blankets and striking imagery), is made by the West Coast’s Heiltsuk people. The short doc tells the story without words, through music and dance.

How The People Got Fire is Daniel Janke’s vividly rendered animation about Tish, a shy girl who goes to visit her Grandmother, a village elder, after school. In the oral tradition of their people, Grandma Kay tells Tish about how the ravel first acquired hire. The present day story is told through bright, colourful and expressive animation, while the raven’s tale dreamily spreads across the screen in black & white charcoal.

Pierre-Luc  Granjon’s Molly in Springtime is a truly stunning stop-motion / puppet animation about Balthasarville’s annual carnival to celebrate the start of spring. This year’s flower queen, Molly, selects her friend Leon to be her king for the festival, and everything seems poised for a great event until evil Bonifacio poisons the townspeople in the hopes of overthrowing the king. An enthralling journey through a magical land, this thoroughly absorbing animation is rich in detail and full of exciting twists and turns.

Ormie ““ Rob Silvestri’s animation follows an adorable pig who’s trying to get a jar of chocolate chip cookies off the top of a fridge. Ormie the pig tries everything ““ from climbing up the side of the fridge to creating platforms and ramps of all sorts, all to no avail. Lively music and a hilarious ending make this three minute short a laugh-out-loud experience for kids of any age.