The Cartoons
Animated shorts by filmmaker/songwriter Dave Puls

Fresh Toones   (2:30 min)

This is the opening theme for the whole compilation and sets the mood and philosophy for all the other pieces.

Girl of the Finger Lakes   (30 min)


The joyful life story of a depression era girl from Western New York. A unique part of Americana that reminds us all of the great bounty in this land of ours. A wonderful collection of photos and film that give us a good sense of what life on a Depression-era farm could be like - no electricity, no indoor plumbing, a wood stove for heating the house, and going off to a one-room schoolhouse every day - but it isn't a grim picture because the warmth and happiness of the family is very apparent. What ties the film together so well are the segments of interviews with Kitty Puls, the "girl" of the title. She is a bright, witty woman whose anecdotes are entertaining and often very touching. There is never a sense of the "talking head" type of interview that can make some documentaries dry and not engaging. The skilled editing and brisk pace as well as excellent choice of music makes this visit with the "Girl of the Finger Lakes" a trip the viewer is glad to take.

"Girl of the Finger Lakes" screened at the 2013 Great Lakes International Film Festival and received a Certificate of Merit from the 2012 Rochester International Film Festival.

Part 1 & 2 of "The Girl of the Finger Lakes" are available on YouTube.

Oh, Malala   (3:22 min)


A short music video to an original song by Dave Puls. The song is dedicated to Malala Yousafzai, the brave young girl who risked her life to speak up for the educational rights of girls in Pakistan. The song was created as a thank you to Malala and a reminder to all of us of the importance of standing up against injustice.

"Oh, Malala" received an Honorable Mention Award from the My Hero Film Festival.

My Hero posting of Oh,Malala

Thanks to the Whistleblowers   (3:30 min)

Synopsis: This short video was made to show a special appreciation for the efforts and risks assumed by those individuals best known as whistleblowers. We owe much to these people for revealing problems previously hidden to all of us. We must protect them and show our support for what they have risked so much for.

Venues to date:
Independents' Film Festival showcase on The Education Channel
The My Hero Short Film Festival
  Laguna Beach, CA, December 5-7, 2008
Movies on a Shoestring: Rochester Int'l Film Festival April 24, 2009

When Georgie
Goes Marching Home
  (3:30 min)

This animated short takes us on a surreal tour of the Bush administration and its many misadventures. Like a ride through a fun house, we are taken into the bizarro world of GW. A surprise ending makes this sometimes uneasy jaunt worth the ride.

Purpose Statement:
My indignation toward George W. Bush and his administration led me to put all the pieces together and examine the source. Writing a song and animating their indiscretions allowed me to both express my frustration and lessen its debilitating effects. Hopefully, by releasing some of this angst in our laughter, we can find the energy to work towards repairing the reputation of the United States.

Winner of a
2007 Bronze Telly Award
Venues to date:
Pole-a-palooza Rochester, NY
Tulsa Uncensored Film Festival September 30th, 2006
Berkeley Video and Film Festival October 2006
  BEST OF THE FEST - Animation
Red Bank Film Festival October 13-15, 2006
Ohio Independent Film Festival November 8, 2006
Anchorage Film Festival December 1-10, 2006
DC Independent Film Festival March 1-11, 2007
Boston Underground Film Festival March 22-25, 2007
Kansas City Jubilee April 12-16, 2007
Rochester International Film Festival May 3-5, 2007
Social Uprising, Resistance and Grassroots Encouragement
   (S.U.R.G.E.) Film Festival May 18 - 21, 2007
San Antonio Underground Film Festival June 22-24, 2007
Independents' Film Festival showcase on The Education Channel
   (BrightHouse 18 and Verizon 32) in Hillsborough County, Florida
  September, 2007
Tacoma Film Festival October 4-11, 2007
Urban Mediamakers Film Festival Atlanta, Georgia, October 13, 2007

Hate Preachers   (4:00 min)

Hate preachers, for too long, have been fostering hate crimes. This animated short takes a look at the destructive rhetoric and encourages all of us to speak out to offset their fabrications. Reasonable people must stand up and show that we are not intimidated by their bullying or we will find ourselves living in a world of their making.

Venues to date:
Tiburon Film Festival March 9-17, 2006, also selected for mid-season show
Metro Shorts - Detroit Film Competition/Festival March 19, 2006
Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee April 7-13, 2006
Rochester International Film Fest May 2006, HONORABLE MENTION
ManiaTV presents "Too Short For Hollywood" May 15, 2006
Boston International Film Festival June 7-15, 2006
The Indie Gathering Cleveland, August 4-6, 2006, THIRD PLACE WINNER FOR ANIMATED FILM
Independents' Film Fest Tampa, Florida, September 15, 2006
The Great Lakes Independent Film Festival Erie, Pennsylvania, September 20-24, 2006
Berkeley Video and Film Festival October 2006, HONORABLE MENTION
• The Emerging Filmmakers Series at The Little Theatre May 2007
Fresno Reel Pride Sept 17-21, 2008
Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Oct 2-12, 2008

Watch the cartoon online at

Parallel Worlds   (6:30 min)

The abuse of the Iraqi prisioners by American soldiers moved this filmmaker to reexamine his own memories of working at a New York State Mental Hospital in the early 1970's. For all the scandalous imagery involved the filmmaker ends by assuring the viewer that such abuses can be diminished by two important measures, now practiced in the New York State Psychiatric Centers.

Purpose Statement:
As citizens of United States we have got to take a hard look at ourselves and sometimes the pictures may not be all that pretty, but they must be looked at and we must try to find solutions. From my experiences of working in a state mental hospital and seeing the improvements that can be made, I believe that if we truly want to, we can prevent future abuses.

Venues to date:
Detroit Docs Film Festival November 2004
The Humanist Perspective February, 2005
Artivist Film Festival Los Angeles, April 2005
• The Emerging Filmmakers Series at The Little Theatre April 25 2005
Rochester Intn'l Film Fest May 6 2005
Eureka! International Film Festival New York City, October 2005
Vermont International Film Fest Burlington, VT, October 2005
The Education Channel Tampa, Florida
Ethics of Entertainment Film Festival Tempe, Arizona October 2005
Berkeley Video and Film Festival October 2005, Award for Excellence
High Falls Film Festival November 2006

Sharks in the Water   (4:00 min)

A disconcerting look at the corporate corruption and political collaboration that plague the United States.

Venues to date:
Boston Underground Film Festival May 2004
San Antonio Underground Film Festival June 2004
Maine International Film Festival July 2004
Boston Political Film Festival July 2004
DC Shorts September 2004
Berkeley Video and Film Festival September 2004, BEST OF THE FEST
The Education Channel Tampa, Florida
Ohio Independent Film Festival Cleveland, November 2004
Red Bank International Film Festival New Jersey October 2004, awarded BEST ANIMATION
Toronto Online Film Festival Fall 2004
• Emerging Filmmakers at The Little Theatre October 2004
Rochester International Film Fest May 2006

Watch the cartoon online at

True Believer   (4:00 min)

In this animated short, the alarm is sounded to beware of the "True Believer." It blends humor with its stark observations of fanatics past and present.

Venues to date:
• The Montage Grill, Rochester, NY April 2003
Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee April 2003
Movies on a Shoestring Rochester, NY, May 2003
Philadelphia's First Glance Film Fest June 2003
L.A. International Short Film Festival September 2003
Vermont International Film Festival October 2003
International Festival of Cinema and Technology December 2003
Imagina, Monte Carlo February 2004
Brooklyn International Film Festival June 2004
The Education Channel Tampa, Florida
The Repugnican Convention New York City, September 2004
Anchorage Film Festival December 2004
The Humanist Perspective February, 2005
• Emerging Filmmakers at The Little Theatre November 28, 2005

The Secret Life of Little Ricky   (6:20 min)

Dave Puls and James P. Harte put together this short video spoof as a gag for Animatus president Fredrick Armstrong's 50th birthday. It's a satirical look at world events in the year "Ricky" was born, hosted by "Walter Kronkite." "Little Ricky" played at the 2002 Movies on a Shoestring at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY. It was also voted to be included in the "Best of the Fest," an honor given to several pieces that will be archived for future screenings.

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Ridin' This Train   (4:00 min)

The creator's experiences of growing up and living in the USA are re-examined on this surrealistic train trip across the country and through history.

Venues to date:
• Freaky Film Festival, Urbana, Illinois
Dervio International Animation Festival, Italy
Vancouver Island Independent Film, Video and New Media Festival

Click here for the trailer! Sal Monella's Deli   (2:30 min)

This cartoon parody of lose-weight-quick infomercials was inspired by a real life experience of its creator, Dave Puls. "Sal's" won an award at the Rochester International Film and Video Festival and was voted for inclusion in the festival's Best of the Fest collection.

Venues to date:
Rochester International Film and Video Festival, BEST OF THE FEST
San Antonio Film Festival
• Central Florida Film Festival
• New York International Independent Film & Video Festival
• The Screening Room, WXXI-TV PBS Rochester
Faux Film Festival Portland, Oregon, March 29 - April 1, 2007

Click Here for a short trailer of Sal Monella's Deli.

Things   (2:30 min)

The accumulation of too many "things" results in the demise of Semore Wantmore in this cut-out animation, originally shot on 16mm film.

Venues to date:
• The Animation Celebration, South Bristol Cultural Center, July 1998
• "Movies Under The Stars," Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, August 1998
• The Highland Bowl in Rochester, August 1998
• The Screening Room, WXXI-TV PBS Rochester

Self-Employed   (3:30 min)

One person's struggle to break away from the tortures of working for someone else and succeeding on their own. This short was shown on The Screening Room, WXXI-TV PBS Rochester.

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