The YouTube Files: Tiny Animal Videos
No matter what you need to get in your daily "awws," the Internet's got you covered. Kittens, corgis, otters holding hands—you can find all that and (way, way) more online.
For lovers of both food and animals, a new trend has emerged over the past year or so: videos of tiny animals eating tiny foods. In the past month alone, two major contenders have emerged as the biggest in the genre. BuzzFeed racked up more than 2 million views with some splendid HD video of baby tortoises trying mini pancakes, and, meanwhile, HelloDenizen pulled in half a million views with episode six of its "Tiny Hamster" series, this time featuring a tiki party.
But what does it take to make a video of tiny animals eating truly awesome? We've pulled in five of the genre's top competitors from the past year, featuring five different animals and ranked them for your viewing (and debating) pleasure.
⑤ "Micro Pig Babies Enjoying an Apple"
Personally, I'm impartial to micro pigs, though this little group is about as cute as they come. The low camera angle really makes you feel like you're hanging out on their level—a part of the gang! And though the audio is minimal (just the natural background noise), it heightens the sense of realism. Unfortunately, tiny animals are always cuter chowing down on tiny foods, and that apple is just too close to full size. Plus, the micro pigs' eating skills are seriously subpar. Guys, are you going to eat that apple or just push it around?! Final strike: The video is essentially an ad for a pet pig business. No one likes a shill, little pigs!
④ "Tiny Hamster's Tiny Tiki Party"
The YouTube channel HelloDenizen has basically made its name on the back of Tiny Hamster. He was first propelled to success back in April of 2014 with Tiny Hamster Eating Tiny Burritos—a 10-million-view gold mine that launched an entire series of videos and has even led to a forthcoming book. His Tiny Tiki Party is episode six and, call me a grouch, but things are getting a little stale. This installment features too much setup and a little outhouse epilogue that isn't quite tasteful. The former focus on eating has given way to lame cameos from Tiny Hedgehog—talk about watering down the franchise.
"Tiny Birthday for a Tiny Hedghog"
③ "Tiny Birthday for a Tiny Hedgehog"
Speaking of Tiny Hedgehog, he had his moment in the sun last summer when he got his own Tiny Birthday. HelloDenizen baked him a tiny cake, which appeared to take far more work than simply blending up some tiny smoothies for a tiki party. They even gave Tiny Hedgehog a wee little candle. It's that attention to detail that propels Hedgehog's outing over Hamster's latest efforts. Tiny Birthday is Empire Strikes Back; Tiny Tiki Party is Revenge of the Sith.
② "Tortoises Try Tiny Pancakes"
Two things that can't be overlooked when making a video of tiny animals eating tiny food are cinematography and sound design. In "Tortoises Try Tiny Pancakes," BuzzFeed truly immerses us in the plight of these small shelled creatures. The tight, high-definition videography captures the expression on their scrunchy little faces and delicateness of their miniscule movements. The score adds an emotional gravitas that can't be overlooked—as if the music itself was being played by a mini orchestra! If the video has any flaw, it's that why the hell are tortoises eating pancakes?
"Bunny Eating Raspberries"
① "Bunny Eating Raspberries!"
The punctuation in the title says it all. This video is a sight to behold! Sure, the camera isn't quite steady, and the sound is nothing more than your average dulcet room tones, but a true cute animal aficionado knows you should never overlook performance. All the costumes, sets and music in the world don't hold a candle to an animal who understands the craft of cuteness—the same way a true thespian can be equally as powerful on an empty stage. "It looks like she's wearing lipstick," the description proclaims, and, indeed, it really does. Nearly 15 million people can't be wrong—go ahead and see what the exclamation point is all about.
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