Watch Coda, a Prize-Winning, Thought-Provoking Animation About a Lost Soul’s Encounter with Death

Alan Hol­ly’s short ani­mat­ed film, Coda, was short­list­ed for the 2015 Acad­e­my Awards and nom­i­nat­ed for an Annie Award, on its way to win­ning 18 awards at film fes­ti­vals across the world (includ­ing Best Ani­mat­ed Short Film at South by South­west). As you prob­a­bly know, a coda is typ­i­cal­ly the pas­sage that brings a song/musical piece to a close. In the case of Hol­ly’s film, it refers to the end of life, a soul’s attempt to bar­gain with Death before even­tu­al­ly accept­ing his fate.

Accord­ing to Film­base, the nine-minute, hand-ani­mat­ed film is “the cul­mi­na­tion of two years of painstak­ing work by a small team of ded­i­cat­ed ani­ma­tion artists” in Ire­land. And it’s voiced “by Bri­an Glee­son (Stand­by, The Stag, Love/Hate) and Orla Fitzger­ald (The Wind that Shakes the Bar­ley).”

Aes­thet­i­cal­ly, writes Short of the Week, the “film com­bines many ele­ments in a unique way—the flat shapes and refined col­or palettes (seen also in work by Matthias Hoegg) with the painter­ly, organ­ic move­ment of greats like Miyaza­ki. In fact, one could almost view the film as a mod­ern day Miyaza­ki film with it’s piano score, sur­re­al ele­ments, and pow­er­ful char­ac­ters.”

Coda will be added to our list of Free Ani­ma­tions, a sub­set of our col­lec­tion, 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More. You can watch it above.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Death: A Free Phi­los­o­phy Course from Yale

Rik May­all Voic­es the Ani­ma­tion “Don’t Fear Death” Just Months Before His Untime­ly Pass­ing

John Cleese’s Eulo­gy for Gra­ham Chap­man: ‘Good Rid­dance, the Free-Load­ing Bas­tard, I Hope He Fries’

Watch Ani­mat­ed Intro­duc­tions to 25 Philoso­phers by The School of Life: From Pla­to to Kant and Fou­cault


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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.