Among all the other inequalities in cinema, one of the oldest is the general preference for feature-length films over shorts. Very few short films are considered essential masterpieces, and even fewer animated short films have that title. It's even more difficult if you consider that a whole generation of us grew up watching hours upon hours of cartoons on television (with commercials), without the knowledge or experience to discern that some of them might have been actual works of genius or art. How many times, for example, did I watch Chuck Jones's What's Opera Doc? (1957) without really contemplating or even noticing the detail and the imagination that went into it. I didn't know at the time that I would eventually go on to call it the Citizen Kane of cartoons.
Now the blog Shooting Down Pictures has compiled an essential list of 100 Important Directors of Animated Short Films, which -- at the very least -- gives us a starting point. The introduction specifies that the list is simply 100 important directors, and not THE 100 most important directors. The very first comment on the list was: where's Mike Judge? And the listmakers replied by saying that these filmmakers are primarily theatrical and not television-based. (That explains the lack of Rocky & Bullwinkle, too.) The list of directors was originally created when the folks behind the great movie-list website They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? decided to make a list of the 250 greatest short films, which never materialized.