Firefall cinematic trailer - best seen in full screen.
I'm continually impressed by where animation is going these days. The above is the cinematic trailer for the Firefall multiplayer SF combat game; the particular scenario involves space marines protecting a mineral extraction device from the local wildlife it attracts. It's naff on many levels: hardware-obsessed, stereotypical gender exaggeration, unfeasible armour, dispensable ethnic character ... And yet the animation is so polished in terms of lighting, depth, chiaroscuro, attention to detail, and overall atmosphere, that I find it compelling to watch.
And then there's this second one, Sintel. Its origin is interesting: it's one of a number of collaborative animation projects produced by the Blender Foundation, the non-profit group responsible for the development of the open source 3D animation package Blender. The central character Sintel (Dutch for "ember") is a feisty teenage girl in a generic fantasy world, and she finds a dragon. Though it's entirely opposite in spirit to the Firefall one, it too is compelling, and for more than just the technical quality. It's possibly not safe for work, but not for the usual reasons: it is ... very moving.
Sintel - best seen in full screen.