Could we portray an animal without mythological or shakespearean subtexts? Remarks on three animal short film portrays from Romuald Karmakar, Ken Wardrop and Chen Sheinberg Animals in film suffer from a semantic overload. The fact that even great documentary filmmakers like Sir David Attenborough cannot avoid to stage the fight between fiddler crabs at the beach as an ancient tragedy, shows in how far animals in films are overdetermined by mythology, literature, and philosophy. Nevertheless, the symbolic association machines in these films can break down just because the animal is also there – as animal. This reduction of associations towards the actual animal shall be discussed in regard to three short film portraits.