Let’s Go to the Movies – Oscar Animated Shorts


In anticipation of the Oscars this Sunday, I’ve been trying to see some of the films up for the industry’s biggest prize.  I love going to the movies, but I’ve been very remiss over the past year. So much so that many of the movies I was extremely excited about to see opening weekend didn’t even get watched until they were released on DVD (Frankenweenie).  For others, it took me several months (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) and/or a discount theater (Wreck-It Ralph) to catch them.  I’m hoping I will be better this year – after all this is a big summer for the genre movies I really enjoy. (Typically, summer is for the fun movies and winter is for the award caliber movies – but I’ll save the argument/rant/debate for that and the constant snub of genre movies for another time).

The Oscars are on Sunday, and I want to be one of the many people sharing their opinions on nominated films.  I’m going to start with the Shorts, both Live Action and Animated (sadly, I never saw the short documentaries).  For only $10, I got to see all the 2013 nominated Live Action and Animated shorts (plus a few other honorable animated shorts). It was a bargain. And their was some great film-making exhibited.

If I were a voting Academy member, I’d vote for Paperman. Have you seen any of the animated shorts? What are your thoughts?


Paperman ImageI had watched Paperman at least five times prior to seeing the Oscar Shorts presentation. Even so, it does not fail to illicit emotion from me (Yes, I cry. Every time!).  The unique look and feel of the film (combining the hand-drawn animation in a CG environment) and the story are just so beautiful.  I love the one spark of color from the woman’s lipstick. I love the soundtrack. I love the paper airplanes. Watch it and see for yourself! This is my favorite and the one I hope wins the Oscar.

Head Over Heels

image from Head Over HeelsThis is a Claymation short that is the one of the five most likely to be in competition with Paperman for the top prize.  It’s a very cute little tale about a couple that has some issues with gravity.  It’s clever and cute and the perfect length to convey all that it needs to convey.  In some ways, it is a great example of the importance of communicating and how love requires work and gestures – grand and small.

You can watch this short at Filmo Filia here.

The Longest Daycare

image from The SImpsons: The Longest DaycareThis a short which was shown before Ice Age (Continental Drift?) in theaters.  It’s a Simpson’s related short, but it is focused on Maggie (Marge appears briefly at beginning and end).  I enjoy this short and I don’t regularly watch The Simpsons. It was sweet and funny and it made me gasp at one point.  My only compliant – how can Maggie be categorized as average intelligence? Though plot wise, it clearly would not have work for her to be with the prodigy children…

You can watch it for yourself via Hulu at io9 here.

Fresh Guacamole

Image from Fresh Guacamole, nominated animated shortThis was the shortest of the shorts at just around 2 minutes long.  The idea of adding real sounds to images that are familiar, but not accurate in context, to create something was intriguing. It didn’t seem as seamless to me and just felt strange. But it was very clever.  I understand the substitutions in most cases, but did anyone else know what exactly the light bulb was supposed to be? Cilantro? I think this is a long shot to win the statue.

Adam and Dog

Adam and Dog imageThis was the longest of the shorts, coming in around 20 minutes. The animation was reminiscent of Studio Ghibli at some points, if a little inconsistent in some aspects (shadows in particular). But the film was too long. I think the main ideas and story could have been conveyed in half the time.  Maybe I would have enjoyed the film more if it was shorter, but I’m not confident. Why? This is the story of Adam, the first man, and how he meets dog, man’s best friend. Their relationship is what you’d expect and it made me smile. The problem is when Eve arrives and Adam ignores and forsakes Dog for her. As a woman, I’m a little tired of seeing Eve as the cause of all Adam’s troubles.  Spoiler Alert! Granted, the dog rejoins Adam and leaves paradise with him and Eve at the end. But by then, I was just over it all.

Filmo Filia also presents this short here.

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