• Country: Denmark
  • Initial release: February 15, 2017 (United States)
  • Film Director: Steffen Bang Lindholm
  • Running Time: 6 Minutes
  • IMDB Grade: 6.5

In 2017, the world was introduced to “Less Than Human,” a remarkable 3D animated short film that delves into the aftermath of a zombie outbreak. Created as a test thesis for graduation by a talented team of students at Denmark’s renowned The Animation Workshop/VIA University College, this film defies expectations and showcases a level of human dignity and heart that rivals even major studios like Pixar and Disney. In this article, we will explore the captivating story, the creative process, and the impact of “Less Than Human” on the world of animation.

The Story

“Less Than Human” takes place in a post-zombie resettlement camp, where humans and ex-zombies coexist. The film follows a freelance reporter named Steve, who ventures into the camp to interview two ex-zombies, Andy and Don, in an attempt to determine whether these former zombies are ready to reintegrate into normal society. While the film’s genre may suggest a typical zombie narrative, “Less Than Human” surprises audiences with its deep exploration of friendship, prejudice, tolerance, and the very essence of humanity itself.

The Creative Team

Led by director and animator Steffen Bang Lindholm, the team behind “Less Than Human” consisted of Julie Rebecca Billeskov Astrup, Morten Vestbjerg Bøgelund Lassen, and Anna Eckhoff Ohrt Nissen. This group of talented students brought their unique skills and perspectives to the project, resulting in a visually stunning and emotionally resonant film.

The Production Process

The journey of creating “Less Than Human” began in the spring of 2015. Over the course of 10 months, the team meticulously crafted each scene, paying attention to every detail to ensure the highest quality animation. The film was a collaborative effort, with animators, computer graphic artists, and other team members working together to bring the story to life.

A Unique Perspective

What sets “Less Than Human” apart from other zombie films is its underlying message about the power of media and the importance of unbiased reporting. The film cleverly tackles the concept of fake news and manipulative journalism, highlighting the need for truthful and impartial storytelling. Through the character of Steve, the reporter, the film challenges viewers to question their own biases and preconceptions.

Technical Achievements

“Less Than Human” showcases the technical prowess of the team at The Animation Workshop/VIA University College. The film utilized a Maya/Blender workflow, combining the strengths of both software programs. Blender was used for digital layout and model blocking, while Maya handled the complex animation tasks. The team faced challenges such as flipped normals and constraints, but their dedication and problem-solving abilities ensured a seamless final product.

Emotional Depth and Realism

Despite being an animated film, “Less Than Human” manages to capture the depth of human emotions and the complexities of relationships. The character animation, particularly the facial expressions and body language, adds a level of realism and nuance to the story. Audiences are drawn in by the relatable struggles and heartfelt moments experienced by Andy and Don, the two ex-zombies.

Impact and Recognition

Since its release, “Less Than Human” has garnered widespread acclaim and recognition. The film received the Best Young Production award at the animago AWARD ceremony and has been celebrated for its poignant storytelling and exceptional animation. Its success serves as a testament to the talent and potential of the students at The Animation Workshop/VIA University College.

A Conversation Starter

“Less Than Human” has sparked important conversations about prejudice, tolerance, and the power of empathy. The film challenges viewers to look beyond appearances and stereotypes, urging them to see the humanity in others. Its thought-provoking themes and relatable characters make it a valuable tool for promoting discussions on social issues.

1 Film Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • “Less Than Human” is a testament to the creativity, skill, and passion of the students at The Animation Workshop/VIA University College. This heartfelt animated short film has captivated audiences with its powerful storytelling, stunning visuals, and thought-provoking message. By pushing the boundaries of the zombie genre and exploring themes of prejudice and empathy, “Less Than Human” has left an indelible mark on the world of animation. It serves as a reminder that, even in the most unexpected places, we can find profound stories that touch our hearts and challenge our perspectives on what it means to be human.