These gorgeous short films are giving Pixar a run for the money

“Overwatch” is a huge multiplayer first-person shooter coming out on May 24. It’s made by Blizzard, the same company behind gaming behemoths like “Diablo” and “World of Warcraft.” 

Leading up to the release of “Overwatch,” Blizzard created a mess of short films that shed light on the game’s unique characters and the vibrant world in which the game takes place. Blizzard is known for its high-quality cinematic trailers, but these short movies evoke the kind of quality we’ve come to expect from film companies like Pixar. Just look at this:

Tracer overwatch animated short aliveBlizzard/YouTubeThis is a character named Tracer in ‘Alive,’ one of four ‘Overwatch’ animated shorts.

Not bad, right? That’s just scratching the surface!


The first of the four shorts is titled “Recall,” which details Winston’s touching childhood.

Winston in Overwatch Recall animated shortBlizzard/YouTubeA young Winston in ‘Recall.’

Winston is one of the game’s most iconic characters: He’s a thoughtful gorilla wearing reading glasses, after all.

Winston in Overwatch short RecallBlizzard/YouTubeWinston in ‘Recall,’ deciding whether or not to call his friends for help.

“Recall” also features some soldiers skeptically eyeing a banana peel. Smells like a trap if you ask us:


Watch “Recall” below:


“Alive” is the second short Blizzard released, and it’s narrated by the sniper Widowmaker as she attempts to assassinate a target.


But it’s not long before another “Overwatch” character, Tracer, starts to pursue Widowmaker to prevent her from taking the shot. Various characters in “Overwatch” are connected, from a story perspective, to other in-game characters.


Watch “Alive” below:


In “Dragons,” we learn about the tragic backstory between brothers Hanzo and Genji.

Hanzo in Overwatch short DragonsBlizzard/YouTubeHanzo in ‘Dragons,’ one of four beautifully animated ‘Overwatch’ short films.

“Dragons” features stunning Japanese-style illustrations like this:


And this incredibly beautiful setting, which is based on the “Hanamura” map in the actual game:

Genji in Overwatch animated short DragonsBlizzard/YouTubePerched on the roof is Gengji, Hanzo’s brother.

Watch “Dragons” below:


The most recently released short, “Hero,” focuses on the mysterious Soldier: 76.


Soldier: 76 is one of the most traditional characters in “Overwatch” — he’s a standard first-person shooter character, just like his name says.

In his short, he struggles between choosing to save an innocent young girl, or to go after the “Los Muertos” gang that threatened her in the first place.


“Los Muertos” have these striking tattoos, but they’re no match for Soldier:76.


Watch “Hero” below:


The short films released so far shed light on seven of the 21 playable characters in “Overwatch,” so expect more like these to be released soon.

Zarya overwatchBlizzard EntertainmentI’m personally hoping for one that focuses on Zarya, shown above.

Because the “Overwatch” servers are going online simultaneously, some will be able to play May 23, ahead of its advertised May 24 release date. Check Blizzard’s site for information about when “Overwatch” is available in your area, but it should be available everywhere as of right now.

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