I’ve tried to predict Oscar winners for the past 5 or so years. Animated, live-action, and documentary shorts are always three categories I have zero idea about because I don’t usually get to see them. Well, this year I saw the animated shorts, and I’m going to break them into ones I liked and didn’t like below.
There were five Oscar nominated shorts and four that were basically “good tries” I think they referred to them as “highly recommended” or something like that.
Dimanche/Sunday -A little boy goes through a regular Sunday having to deal with going to church, visiting his grandparents, and an encounter with a bear. I loved how simple and humorous it was. The animation style was different, and by different I mean like a less polished Dilbert, but I dug it. Check out the trailer by clicking on the title.
A Morning Stroll - I was quick to dismiss this because of its simplistic story and how the same thing happens in three slightly different ways, but it’s actually really great. A chicken walks by a guy, knocks on a door, and walks in. That’s it, but it happens in three different time periods and animation styles. It’s excellent. It also won the BAFTA, which is like the British Oscars.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore - I was a big fan of this one. It’s essentially about the magic of reading. Along the way it reminded me a lot of The Wizard of Oz and was very touching in its message. It had a unique style blending computer animation over real world backgrounds in some instances.
La Luna - A little boy helps his father and grandfather with their family business for the first time. It was awesome. I think the less you know about it going in the better it is, so I’m not going to say much, but it’s really great.
Wild Life - In 1909 a British man leaves home for the Canadian “wilds”. The letters he sends home sound a lot more pleasant than his actual situation. You could learn a lot about comets during this short too. I REALLY liked the animation style in this. It was like a painting come to life. Just beautiful to look at. The story was sort of boring though.
Skylight - A short joke about the hole in the ozone layer. It was essentially one joke with the punch line happening a bunch of times, but it was funny, and the animation style was cool. You can check out most of its five minutes below. This is not nominated for an Oscar.
Nullarbor - A piece about the longest treeless road in Australia. I liked it. It wasn’t really spectacular, but it was wasn’t bad either. It made me think of the cars that flew by on the highway in Rango. If you think about this as a companion piece to Rango you’d probably like it more. This is not nominated for an Oscar.
Not a Fan:
Amazonia - A small lizard can’t get lucky with finding something to eat so he teams up with a frog and they look for food together. It was just a bit too childish for my taste. It had some funny moments, but it seemed like a short made for very small children. When the credits rolled for this someone in the theater saw a story credit and said “Story?!” This is not nominated for an Oscar.
The Hybrid Union - A robot that runs on solar power teams up with a robot that runs on water to outpace a robot that runs on something that’s not water or the sun. I didn’t really get it. It looked ok, and the sound was done well, but what happened here? This is not nominated for an Oscar.