The animated short is one of the most misunderstood genres in film. Many think of it an as audition tape for future feature-length efforts. This anthology of nine shorts from nine countries goes a long way toward dispelling that notion. Each would be headache-inducing if any longer than 10 minutes, but they work here, tying their eclectic but masterful exercises in the medium to pointed messages. David O'Reilly's "Please Say Something" seems as if it might have been created using an early-'90s MS-DOS platform, a medium that's perfectly in synch with the absurdist tale of an abusive relationship between a cat and a mouse. And Robert Bradbrook's "Home Road Movies" splices grainy video with Norman Rockwell–esque animation to induce a wave of nostalgia over a family growing apart. Not everything is a home run: though pretty to look at, both "Bâmiyân" and "The Tale of How" are void of substance. But seven out of nine is a winning percentage.