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Animation Wiki
Directed by Don Hertzfeldt
Written by Don Hertzfeldt
Country United States
IMDb profile

Rejected is a surreal animated cult film by animator Don Hertzfeldt that has received numerous awards from film festivals around the world. By combining absurd juxtapositions and nonsense logic, Hertzfeldt created a comedy about a series of supposedly commissioned advertisements that were rejected immediately upon review. The humor ranges from bizarre non sequitur moments to gratuitous blood and mutilation, all the while being contrasted with joyful music and the first movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony.

Rejected presents a story that is very self-reflexive, purportedly illustrating the mental breakdown of its own animator (a fictional version of Don Hertzfeldt). In a documentary style the narrative follows the downward progression that both the animator and his cartoons follow, each reflecting the other. At the end of the film, the entire animated world collapses in upon himself in a sequence that blends traditional animation, stop-motion, and experimental photography.

The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2000. [1]

Following a long film festival and midnight movie run, the short became a massive online viral hit, frequently turning up in bootleg form on websites like YouTube. Through all of this the short has achieved an unprecented cult following in the world of animated shorts; fans often make tribute films, homemade costumes, and even get tattoos made of their favorite characters. It is also frequently quoted or referred to in pop culture. While Hertzfeldt does not officially approve of the bootlegging and instead offers high quality DVDs of his work on his website, he has also stated many times that he's not interested in persecuting fans.


One of the many bizarre non sequitur moments in the film.