To date, Marooned (pictured at top) has only played to select festival audiences. That’s set to change this week: Dreamworks’s latest short will screen at AMC theaters across the U.S. as part of a retrospective of the studio’s most well known features, which runs August 23–29.

Marooned is the third film to come out of Dreamworks Animation’s new-ish shorts program. It tells the story of C-0R13, a rusty old robot who’s been abandoned on a remote lunar outpost, and yearns to go back to Earth. He enlists the help of a sidekick, only to find that there isn’t sufficient battery power left to send them both home. The 7-minute-35-second film was directed by Andrew Erekson, a story artist on Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, Home, and How to Train Your Dragon 3, as well as head of story on the forthcoming The Boss Baby 2.

“There were two ideas that inspired Marooned,” Erekson told Indiewire. “The first was, I liked the idea of a character being stranded on a desert island, but not in a traditional island setting. I was trying to think of a different take on that and I came up with the moon. The second thought I found intriguing was the idea of a character sacrificing their ultimate desire so someone else could benefit. That notion was something I felt most of us could relate to.”

The producer is Jeff Hermann, who developed the Dreamworks Shorts program. It launched last year with Bird Karma, William Salazar’s hand-drawn tale of a long-legged bird in pursuit of a fish, and Bilby, which was made in a more typically Dreamworks-esque 3d style by Liron Topaz, Pierre Perifel, and JP Sans. The three shorts released so far were selected from dozens of pitches from employees; more are in the pipeline.

The studio has outlined a variety of goals for the program, including to advance the artists’ storytelling and creative skills, develop new technologies, create unique collaborations, explore new stories and characters for feature development, and identify emerging talent within the company.

Marooned premiered at Annecy in June, and subsequently played at SIGGRAPH. It will screen before every feature playing as part of Dreamworks Animation Week: The Croods, Trolls, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, and Madagascar. For a full list of participating venues, head to AMC’s website. The studio’s latest feature, Abominable, open on September 27.

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