In Praise of ‘Wade’: The Brutal Animated Climate Change Horror Short

Climate change, tigers, and the apocalypse, oh my!
Wade Short Film

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a short film about climate change, tigers, and the end of the world.

Wade” takes place long in a post-apocalypse we are almost certainly hurtling towards: a climate crisis that has caused the waters to rise and drastically alter the landscape of human settlements.

The Hooghly river cuts from the sea straight through the city of Kolkata, the capital of the West Bengal state. In “Wade,” the river has risen and transformed the city into a wetland; swirling with urban detritus and inviting all manner of animals to reclaim the city as their own. Mudkips slink across the bloated concrete. Dragonflies soar and dip along their newfound marshland. And roving gangs of hungry tigers stalk the soggy streets looking to pick off what remains of the human population.

Much like polar bears, tigers are exceptionally strong swimmers. Armed with webbed paws that allow them to traverse 20-mile-long rivers with ease. In the world of “Wade,” we follow a group of human survivors through the flooded wasteland. Sure enough, the group are ambushed by a gang of tigers, and carnage ensues … with an unexpected sprinkling of magical realism.

Brimming with kinetic animation, atmospheric storytelling, and top-notch sound design, “Wade” garnered a slew of awards when it hit the festival circuit in 2020. These include the Satoshi Kon Award at Fantasia and the audience award at the Brooklyn International Film Festival.

Be warned that “Wade” is NSFW and features violent and disturbing imagery. Proceed with caution.

Watch “Wade” | Indian Animated Short Film”:

Who made this?

Wade is the creation of the Kolkata-based animation collective called Ghost Animation. The short is written and directed by Kalp Sanghvi and Upamanyu Bhattacharyya. You can follow Ghost Animation on Instagram here. You can subscribe to Ghost Animation on YouTube here.

More videos like this

    • For more of Ghost Animation‘s work, check out Kinara, an award-winning short created in partnership with the Wildlife Trust of India. The film follows a family of tigers navigating the consequences of human encroachment on the edge of a wildlife reserve.
    • If you’re on a roll with the short-form content, here’s the always inspiring WorthiKids with the delightful, space-set Captain Yajima.
    • Here’s Revenge Story, a grisly animated short about a ballerina who seeks revenge on the chiropractor she blames for ruining her career. Don’t let the minimalism fool you, body horror abounds!
    • And finally, here’s Eli, a short from animator Nate Milton that blends high strangeness, magical thinking, and manic delusion.
    Meg Shields: Meg has been writing professionally about all things film-related since 2016. She is a Senior Contributor at Film School Rejects as well as a Curator for One Perfect Shot. She has attended international film festivals such as TIFF, Hot Docs, and the Nitrate Picture Show as a member of the press. In her day job as an archivist and records manager, she regularly works with physical media and is committed to ensuring ongoing physical media accessibility in the digital age. You can find more of Meg's work at Cinema Scope, Dead Central, and Nonfics. She has also appeared on a number of film-related podcasts, including All the President's Minutes, Zodiac: Chronicle, Cannes I Kick It?, and Junk Filter. Her work has been shared on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, Business Insider, and CherryPicks. Meg has a B.A. from the University of King's College and a Master of Information degree from the University of Toronto.