I don’t know what it is about Irish animation schools that seems to bring out deep, soul-searching animation projects, but there are more mortality-questioning shorts coming from there than almost any other area. Coda is a perfect example of how satisfying these deeper animated shorts can be if done well; it is an extremely well crafted exploration of mortality and longing.
The winner of Best Animated Short at SXSW, Coda follows the soul of a young man who is unexpectedly killed outside a nightclub. He races to escape Death and, failing that, pleads for more time.
I loved the striking use of color and the flat style of the characters, especially Death and the disembodied soul, which really enhanced the abstract, meditative feeling of the short. The decision to make Death’s voice female was, to me, another brilliant stroke, changing the story from that of a man being hunted down by a sinister figure to a story that reaffirms that everyone will be cared for at the end.