Love, Death + Robots: A Revolutionary Netflix Original

By: Jacob Anderson
OwlFeed Journalist

One of Netflix’s new original series, “Love, Death + Robots” is one of their most ambitious shows yet.

“Love, Death + Robots” is a collection of 18 Indie short films, each separate from one another and each created by a different team/studio of animators. From an almost real appearing CGI animation to straight-up cartoonish styling, the series serves as a spotlight for up and coming animators and creative teams.

Here is a brief description of each episode.

Episode 1: “Sonnie’s Edge”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

The first short film in the list, “Sonnie’s Edge” is a 15 minute piece set in a world where bio-mechanics are used in underground fights. These “Beastie Fights” feature the use of bio-engineered monsters psychically connected to their owners.

 

From a great soundtrack to good graphics and an amazing story, “Sonnie’s Edge” is considered one of the best episodes in the series by many.

In the underground world of “beastie” fights, Sonnie is unbeatable — as long as she keeps her edge.

Episode 2: “Three Robots”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

This episode is the same length as the first. It shows the journey of three androids touring a post-apocalyptic city, sharing some comical moments along the way. The end has a twist that leaves the episode off on a darker note.

 

The animation is very much like the style of episode 1, with realistic graphics and characters.

Long after the fall of humanity, three robots embark on a sightseeing tour of a post-apocalyptic city.

Episode 3: “The Witness”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

The animation style in “The Witness” is visually similar to the Borderlands series, where the graphics are akin to pictures in a comic book.

 

In this episode, a woman witnesses a murder in the building across from her hotel room. The murderer sees her, and is confused, as she looks identical to his victim. The episode then turns into the girl being chased by the killer, and ends with a stunning reveal.

After seeing a brutal murder, a woman flees from the killer through the streets of a surreal city.

Episode 4: “Suits”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

This short film is one of the longest in the show, coming in at 17 minutes.

 

Animated in a style somewhat similar to “The Witness”, the short features neighboring farmers using human-piloted mech robots to fend of a wave of alien attackers. The film captivates watchers with its unique story and character design.

A community of farmers use their homemade mechs to defend their families from an alien invasion.

Episode 5: “Sucker Of Souls”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

This episode features a 13 minute long take on the “Dracula” story.

 

It begins with a group of hired mercenaries who uncover Dracula’s tomb during an archeological expedition. In doing this they accidentally release Dracula, a demon-like monster hungry for blood.

The animation style is very cartoon-like, but certainly is not exempt from the horror aspect of the Dracula tall tales.

Unleashed by an archaeological dig, a bloodthirsty demon battles a team of mercenaries armed with… cats?

Episode 6: “When The Yogurt Took Over”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

“When The Yogurt Took Over” is the shortest film in “Love, Death + Robots”, and portrays a “What If?” scenario where scientists create sentient yogurt that soons rises to world power.

 

This short is animated like the works of Pixar, has an interesting setting and story, and stuns viewers in only 6 minutes.

After scientists accidentally breed super-intelligent yogurt, it soon hungers for world domination.

Episode 7: “Beyond The Aquila Rift”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

Coming in at 17 minutes, “Beyond The Aquila Rift” has one of the most startling twists in the entire collection.

 

Created by Ulysses Graphics, the team behind the graphics of titles such as “Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare”, the episode stars a space ship’s crew after their course back to Earth is compromised and thrown off, stranding them at a ship repair station, or so they’ve been told.

Full of plot twists accompanying a great story and pleasing atmospheres, “Beyond The Aquila Rift” takes the cake in terms of a good short film.

Awakening after traveling light years off course, a ship’s crew struggles to discover just how far they’ve come.

Episode 8: “Good Hunting”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

Inspired by Japanese folklore, this 17 minute episode takes place in early Industrialization-era Tokyo.

 

Liang, the son of a demon hunter, accompanies his father on one of his hunts, and meets a shapeshifter. The two forge a bond, and the story ends with Liang helping the shapeshifter reach her goal in life.

The animation is very cartoon-ish, and helps portray a steampunk world where magical beings decrease in the world due to modernization.

The son of a spirit hunter forges a bond with a shape-shifting huli jing.

Episode 9: “The Dump”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

“The Dump” tells the story of the owner of a dump whose land is threatened by a city inspector.

 

During the 11 minute long episode, the dump’s owner, Ugly Dave, tells the inspector his story about his pet, as well as its relation to the dump. The episode finishes with a conclusion viewers could see coming.

Though a bit too realistic, this short film has a good setting and character design.

Ugly Dave calls the garbage dump home, and he’s not about to let some city slicker take it away from him.

Episode 10: “Shape-Shifters”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

Taking place in modern day Afghanistan, the 16 minute short film gives watchers another “What If?” in the form of the U.S. military using werewolves in their troops.

 

In the film, two of these werewolves discover that the Taliban are also using werewolves, and are tasked with uncovering and killing them.

The animation is very realistic, and pulls viewers into the atmosphere it creates with sound, graphics, and character.

Deep in Afghanistan, two Marines with supernatural powers face a threat from one of their own kind.

Episode 11: “Helping Hand”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

At 10 minutes, “Helping Hand” creates a very real scenario.

 

An astronaut is tasked with the repair of a satellite orbiting Earth. During this mission, her air tanks are ruptured, sending her adrift. She eventually has to make a daring decision in order to make it back to the shuttle before her remaining oxygen runs dry.

Showing once again a realistic animation, “Helping Hand” leaves audiences wanting more.

Stranded in orbit, an astronaut must choose between life and limb before her oxygen runs out.

Episode 12: “Fish Night”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

Told in a cartoonish style, “Fish Night” gives watchers a very crazy experience.

 

At ten minutes as well,, the episode tells the story of two door-to-door salesmen stranded in the deserts of Arizona. They are awoken in the middle of the night by the ghosts of the ocean that was there before humanity.

The episode gives off a spiritual vibe, delving into some topics on the verge of supernatural.

After their car breaks down in the desert, two salesmen take a dreamlike voyage to the dawn of time.

Episode 13: “Lucky 13”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

Fittingly placed in spot 13 on the episode list, “Lucky 13” shows a sci-fi world with humanity at war.

 

In a realistic animation style, the 15 minute long short tells the tale of Lieutenant C. Colby, and her experiences with the military dropship Lucky 13, which had previously lost two entire sets of crews but came back intact.

After the drop-ship Lucky 13 lost two crews, no pilot would fly her… but rookies don’t get a choice.

Episode 14: “Zima Blue”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

In this 3d-like cartoon, famous artist Zima Blue invites a reporter to help him “tell [his] story”. He then tells her of his mysterious past, and explains his final piece of artwork, which simultaneously concludes his career and surprises his fans.

 

The story of this film is intense, providing a sense of mystery and fascination in only 10 minutes.

The renowned artist Zima recounts his mysterious past and rise to fame before unveiling his final work.

Episode 15: “Blind Spot”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

Animated in the same Borderlands-esc style as “The Witness”, “Blind Spot” features a team of thieves stealing from an armored train. The team includes Hawk, the leader, Sui, the maniac, Kali, the sense of reason, and Rookie, who is fittingly named.

 

The selling factor of this short film is that the team of bandits are all cyborgs, giving them advantages over the human train guards.

A gang of cyborg thieves stage a high-speed heist of a heavily armored convoy.

Episode 16: “Ice Age”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

Being the only live action episode in the series, the 11 minute short stars Topher Grace (Eric Forman, That 70’s Show) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Kate Lloyd, The Thing) as a young couple moving into a new house.

 

The couple discovers an entire civilization in their antique freezer, and they spend the following day watching the small world evolve.

From humor to an odd story, “Ice Age” is a great showcase for this style of film.

Episode 17: “Alternate Histories”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

Welcome to the world of Multiversity! This fictional company brings viewers six different outcomes to the world if Adolf Hitler died before World War 1. The film has some humor, as well as a sense of wonder by showing, as the title shows, Alternate Histories.

 

Want to see Hitler die in a variety of comically fantastic ways? Now you can. Welcome to Multiversity!

 

 

 

Episode 18: :The Secret War”

 

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Photo Credit: Jacob Anderson, Netflix

A return to the realistic animation style, “The Secret War” is set in WW2 era Soviet Russia, where a team of soldiers uncover a demented evil unleashed by a cult ritual. A battle against the nightmarish creatures ensues, bringing watchers an intense set of scenes as the Red Army fights off the demons.

 

Being 16 minutes, “The Secret War” has a style that is similar to a cutscene from a video game, but extended and added upon.

Elite units of the Red Army fight an unholy evil deep in the ancient forests of Siberia.

All in all, “Love, Death + Robots” is a prime example as to just how advanced film creation and animation has improved over the decades.

Netflix has come out with some amazing original series over the years, but “Love, Death + Robots” is one of the most innovative, breathtaking and ambitious ones yet. It also sets the stage for more exciting originals by blowing the audience’s expectations out of the water.