SUMMARY: An animator having a mental breakdown creates a series of increasingly bizarre advertisements.
WHY IT’S HERE: Don Hertzfeldt’s anarchic and riotously funny masterpiece ‘Rejected’ is a glimpse into the psyche of an animator who is having a breakdown. ‘Rejected’ consists of a series of advertisements the animator supposedly submitted to various companies who commissioned him. These adverts are increasingly surreal, disturbing and violent and never, ever anything to do with the product they are supposed to be pushing. It’s a great idea handled perfectly and ‘Rejected’ quickly became a huge cult success on the internet. Previous Hertzfeldt films had hinted at the inventiveness on show in ‘Rejected’ but it remains a massively important leap forward for the filmmaker, particularly the incredibly effective last sequence in which the cartoon world begins to collapse in on itself and the entire cast of characters panic and attempt to break out of the animation. It would have been wonderful to see this Oscar nominated short win the award but it is worth celebrating the fact that such a strange piece got nominated at all. It cemented Hertzfeldt’s reputation as one of the finest animators working today.