Genre (1996 film)

Genre is a 1996 Live-action/animated short film by animator Don Hertzfeldt, his second student film, preceded by Ah, L'Amour (1995).

The nameless Rabbit from the Film.
Directed byDon Hertzfeldt
Produced byDon Hertzfeldt
Written byDon Hertzfeldt
Music byDave LaDelfa
CinematographyCary Walker
Edited byKevyn Eiselt
Release date
Running time

The 16mm short combines traditional animation, pixilation, and stop-motion animation to present a cartoon rabbit careening through a variety of rapidly changing film genres as his animator struggles to come up with a good idea.

The short is Hertzfeldt's least favorite of his work,[1] but it nevertheless was an animation festival hit that went on to receive 17 awards.

In 1997, it was shown on an episode of MTV's Cartoon Sushi.


In 2005, the original 16mm negative was digitally restored and remastered for the first time, for release on the extensive "Bitter Films Volume 1" DVD compilation of Hertzfeldt's 1995-2005 films. Special features included for Genre are Hertzfeldt's original production sketches, notes, and deleted ideas from the film; as well as a very rare 1993 video short called "Escape is Still Impossible": a precursor to Genre that Don created while still in high school. The DVD is available exclusively at the Bitter Films website,


The plot centers around a hand drawn rabbit, being told what to do by the animator. (similar to Duck Amuck.) The rabbit's activities depend on what genre appears on the screen. (Example, for "horror movie", the rabbit is stabbed repeatedly by a second rabbit.) Occasionally, the animators hand will appear on the screen (Example, at the start, the rabbit is trying to run away from the movie, only to be pulled back by the animator's hand.)

Production credits

  • Written, Produced, Animated, and Directed by Don Hertzfeldt[2]
  • Camera by Cary Walker
  • Editing and Sound by Kevyn Eiselt
  • Music by Dave LaDelfa
  • Stop Motion Assistance by Brian Hamblin
  • Copyright 1996 Bitter Films


The film was very well received. It was praised by critics such as Felix Hude of the Melbourne International Film Festival and won 17 awards.


  • Best Short Film - UCSB Corwin-Metropolitan Theaters Award[2]
  • First Place, Animation - UFVA Student Film Festival
  • The Lumiere Award - New Orleans Film Festival
  • First Place, Animated Short Subject New York Empire State Exhibitions
  • Most Promising Filmmaker - Sinking Creek Film Festival
  • Silver Plaque, Animation - Chicago International Film Festival
  • Second Place, Animation - Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
  • Best Santa Barbara Filmmaker - Santa Barbara International Film Festival
  • Gold Medal, Best Animation - Carolina Film Festival
  • Audience Choice Award, Best Animated Short - Filmfest New Haven
  • Jury Award for Humor - Ann Arbor Film Festival
  • Jury Award - Surprise International Film Festival, Taiwan
  • Second Place, Student Animation - World Animation Celebration
  • Bronze Plaque - Columbus International Film Festival
  • Finalist Award - Worldfest Houston
  • Honorable Mention - Humboldt State Film Festival
  • Honorable Mention - Atlanta Film Festival


  1. Don Hertzfeldt. bitter films volume one: 1995-2005 (booklet liner notes) (DVD). Archived from the original on 2007-04-09.
  2. "genre". Retrieved 2012-08-17.
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