• Country: Ireland
  • Initial release: January 1, 2014
  • Film Director: Alan Holly
  • Running Time: 9 Minutes
  • IMDB Grade: 7.2

The world of animation has brought us countless masterpieces that captivate and move us, and one such gem is the animated short film “Coda.” Directed by Alan Holly and his talented team, this nine-minute film takes us on a surreal journey through the moments following death, leaving a lasting impact on viewers. In this article, we will delve into the captivating story, the stunning artistry, and the profound message behind “Coda.”

The Story of “Coda”

“Coda” tells the story of a lost soul wandering through a city in a drunken haze. In a park, Death finds him and begins a poignant conversation that explores the end of life and the acceptance of one’s fate. The film beautifully portrays the soul’s attempt to bargain with Death before ultimately embracing the inevitable. This exploration of mortality and the human experience is both tragic and beautiful, offering a unique perspective on life’s final moments.

The Artistry of “Coda”

One cannot discuss “Coda” without marveling at its artistic brilliance. The film is hand-animated, a labor of love that took a dedicated team of animation artists two years to create. The aesthetic combines flat shapes and refined color palettes, reminiscent of the work of Matthias Hoegg, with the organic movement found in the films of legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki. The result is a visually stunning experience that transports viewers into a world of surrealism and emotion.

The Voice Cast and Soundtrack

To bring the characters to life, “Coda” features a talented voice cast that includes Brian Gleeson (known for his roles in “Standby” and “Love/Hate”) and Orla Fitzgerald (from “The Wind that Shakes the Barley”). Their performances add depth and emotion to the characters, further enhancing the impact of the film.

Accompanying the stunning visuals is a haunting piano score that perfectly complements the ethereal atmosphere of “Coda.” The soundtrack, composed by Shane Holly, evokes a sense of melancholy and introspection, further immersing viewers in the emotional journey of the film.

Critical Acclaim and Festival Success

Since its release, “Coda” has garnered critical acclaim and achieved tremendous success on the festival circuit. The film was shortlisted for the 2015 Academy Awards and received a nomination for an Annie Award. It went on to win an impressive 18 awards at film festivals around the world, including the prestigious Best Animated Short Film at South by Southwest. This recognition speaks to the undeniable impact and quality of the film.

The Themes Explored in “Coda”

At its core, “Coda” delves into profound themes that resonate with audiences. It explores the acceptance of mortality and the natural progression of life, reminding us of the fleeting nature of our existence. The film also touches on the power of memory and the importance of cherishing the moments we have. Through its poetic storytelling, “Coda” encourages reflection on the human condition and the meaning we find in our own lives.

Watching “Coda” and Supporting Open Culture

If you’re intrigued by the concept of “Coda” and would like to watch the film, you’re in luck. Open Culture, a platform dedicated to providing free cultural and educational materials, has included “Coda” in its collection of free animations. You can find the film on their website, where it can be enjoyed alongside a vast selection of other engaging content.

Open Culture’s mission relies on support from its audience, and if you believe in their cause, you can contribute by making a donation. By doing so, you’ll help them continue providing high-quality cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.


“Coda” is more than just a short animated film; it is a profound exploration of life, death, and the human experience. Through its stunning artistry, captivating storytelling, and thought-provoking themes, it leaves a lasting impression on viewers. Alan Holly and his team have crafted a masterpiece that invites us to ponder the meaning of our existence and appreciate the fleeting moments we have. So, sit back, immerse yourself in the mesmerizing world of “Coda,” and let its beauty and message resonate within you.

1 Film Review

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  • There is a practically ideal quiet tranquility to this short film that it fabricates very well in the principal half, then follows through on in the final part. The story is pretty much as straightforward as it sounds; a man sits with Death before the end comes, but the way and tone of conveyance has this enlivened film effect as it does. The tone is extremely smart and quieting, so while there is dealing and anxiety toward death (and Passing) it is finished so that it catches the sensation of valuing life and encountering its magnificence. This unfurls specifically in the last part, where the pictures and thoughts are actually quite contacting with their effortlessness – not their straightforwardness as far as what occurs, yet more the base sensations of the man and how effectively they are associated with. We know about this base trepidation and need concerning the frequently recounted story of troopers shouting out for their moms as they lie on the combat zone, and this short interfaces with that, however does so deprived of the close to home side of the apprehension, or the franticness at any rate.