The Present

The Present

“The Present” is a graduation short by Jacob Frey and Markus Kranzler from the Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg in Ludwigsburg, Germany. This heart-tugging short film about a young boy and a very special puppy, has won dozens of international awards and earned the young animators jobs with Pixar and Disney. This film is based on a great little comic strip by the very talented Fabio Coala.

The synopsis:

This popular short tells the story of a young boy who prefers playing video games inside instead of discovering what is waiting in front of the door. One day his mom decides to get a little surprise for his son, which makes it hard for him to concentrate on his video game.

  • Directed & animated:Jacob Frey
  • Lighting & rendering: Markus Kranzler
  • Character modeling: Anja Wacker
  • Facial rigging: Pascal Floerks
  • Compositing: Falko Paeper
  • Sounddesign: Marco Manzo
  • Music: Tobias Bürger


The video opens with the frame of the little boy playing video game and he gets annoyed when his mom gets on his way. She leaves a present in front of him and he finds a pup with three legs. The boy’s joy, however, quickly turns to disgust and he continues with his video game. The dog clearly distracts the boy as he stumbles, while he chases a ball around the room.
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The visuals are very appealing and the designs on the characters are stylized in a manner that fits the cartoony tone of the short film. Also, the animation on the dog is both impressive and endearing. The animator has taken great care in capturing the movements of a three-legged puppy. It shows the unique style and talent of the animator with regard to the technical aspects and the storyline.

The boy is portrayed in a way that he finds comfort in distractions than having real experiences. The dog on the other hand shows that even if you are disabled you can still have fun and make the most of your time on this earth. The ending is heart warming, when the boy decides to follow the puppy to unravel the joys of the real world outside.


The film portrays strong emotions like the boy being mad at his mom, disliking the dog and finally warming up him. In a short-film format, the director has tried to find the perfect balance in the emotions. Watch it to experience it!

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