'The Present'

Feb 2, 2016 By Jake Brannon

Four years ago, a webcomic known as "Three-Legged Dog" surfaced online and stole the hearts of readers everywhere. It told the story of a young boy who receives a three-legged dog as a present from his mother. Instead of reacting with love and affection, the boy is upset by his new pet and decides to ignore it. We don't want to give away the ending, but we promise it'll leave you feeling warm inside.

Now, filmmakers in Germany have adapted this beloved comic into an animated short film that everyone needs to see. Short, animated films aren't something that we often think about. In fact, if the Academy Awards didn't dedicate an entire category to them, most of us might forget that they exist altogether. Did you know that animated shorts used to be shown in theaters before feature-length films? They were a great way to showcase new talent and warm up the audience before diving into a bigger story. Disney is keeping this tradition alive today with lovely little films like Paperman, which premiered before Wreck-It Ralph in 2012.

This film, appropriately titled The Present, was a thesis project from filmmaker Jacob Frey, who wrote, directed and animated the entire thing - talk about a "jack of all trades!" It's been screened at over 180 film festivals around the world and has raked in more than 50 awards. We highly recommend watching the short film before reading the comic that it was based on, but, no matter what order you decide to view them, you're sure to enjoy this powerful story of friendship and love.

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