After the Rain

By Valerian Desterne | Animation
A loyal dog helps his master turn sheep's wool into clouds.

A shepherd lives alone in a secluded valley, accompanied only by his flock of sheep and his loyal dog. The shepherd has a remarkable ability: he shears the sheep and creates clouds with the wool, which rain upon the valley, keeping it verdant and fruitful with plants and nature.

But when the shepherd passes away, the valley begins to become barren, and the sheep are in desperate need of shearing. The dog must find a way to continue the shepherd's work -- or risk the decimation of his home.

Created by students from the French animation school MoPA -- Valerian Desterne, Juan Olarte Zuniga, Carlos Osmar Salazar Tornero, Lucile Palomino, Juan Pablo de la Rosa Zalamea, Celine Collin and Rebecca Black -- this wise, gentle animated short uses its serene, whimsical visuals, storytelling clarity and an impeccable score to weave a beautiful parable about nature, balance, loyalty and legacy.

It charms the eyes and ears with its soft, rounded shapes and beautifully clear colors, rendering both characters and settings with sensitivity, grace and keen attention to detail and gesture to communicate emotion.

Whether it's in how the shepherd pets the dog or how the canine wags its tails, the love between the pair is well-worn and palpable, as is the dog's grief and bewilderment when the shepherd passes on. Yet there's also soft, good-spirited humor to be found, as when the sheep puff up with their exuberantly overgrown wool.

And like the best of animation, which uses its ability to imagine anything to create magic beyond realism, there's also a lovely sense of surprise and delight in its flights of fancy, as when viewers watch wool become life-giving clouds, with a whimsical lightness and buoyancy.

But it also doesn't shy away from the problems and dilemmas found even in this little corner of paradise, and when it becomes clear that the dog must find a way to continue his master's work.

"After the Rain" really excels with its storytelling, and though its running time is less than nine minutes, it possesses the profundity, wit and wisdom of much larger narratives. Like many great stories of children's literature, it taps into the archetypal and symbolic, using universal emotions and dilemmas in service of moral and emotional clarity.

Using charm, humor and a sense of pastoral innocence, "After the Rain" gently teaches a lesson about the interconnection of nature, as well as the way we honor a loved one's legacy and meaningful commitments. It places living beings with agency and the ability to act as a crucial part of the larger ecosystem, and in a way, implies that we are all shepherds looking after nature, picking up and continuing the work and responsibilities of the good spirits before us.

You Might Also Like:


By Oliver Goodrum | Drama
A man who bullied a disabled girl tries to escape his past. Then an angry mob finds him.


By Candice Carella | Drama
A single mother leaves her young daughter with a rock musician uncle.


By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.


By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...


By Hadley Hillel | Drama
A man's suicide attempt rips a hole in the ceiling. Then he befriends the boy upstairs.

Dig Your Own Grave

By Kirk Larsen | Comedy
A man is forced to dig his own grave in the desert. But the ground is hard.

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

Welcome to Iron Knob

By Dave Wade | Comedy
A young boy accidentally shoots a stranger and the town tries to cover it up.


By Erika Davis-Marsh | Romance
A young dancer falls for a deaf guy, then tries to find her place in the world.

Toni With an I

By Marco Alessi | Drama
An awkward girl doesn't fit in at school. Then the Internet comes to save her.

The Things You Think I'm Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.

Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.