Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films (NR) B
This is the third year that I be able to see the "Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films". While there are several good shorts (including a few that aren't even in the running for the Oscar), there isn't one this year that's outstanding.
"Dimanche/Sunday" - A hand-drawn short from Canada about a boy's average Sunday. It has good animation and a humorous story but just kind of sits there with no payoff or resolution. B
"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" - The longest title and longest short (15 min.) William Joyce ("Robots" and "Meet the Robinsons") co-directs this CGI short about a young man who is brought to a library where books literally fly off the shelves. Similar story and look as Pixar's "Up", with emotion and good messages. The animation style is a little soft and the movie wanders a little bit. B
"La Luna" - Pixar's nominated short is one of the best of the bunch. It's about a little boy who goes to work with his father and grandfather. They have an interesting job: cleaning the moon. This is a sweet and funny short with great animation. It's far better than Pixar's entry last year, the wildly disappointing "Day & Night". B+
"A Morning Stroll" - Unusual, but yet it makes perfect sense. This short combines hand-drawn and CGI animation in three very different and very vibrant styles. The story is about...well...a chicken! (and that's all I want to say). Well thought and entertaining. B
"Wild Life" - Canada's second nominated short is about a young man, in the early 1900s, who leaves England to live the "wild life" as a cowboy in Canada. The animation is all done with oil painting cels and it's great looking, but the story is a mess. There's a constant reference to comets that I just didn't get and the twist at the end doesn't really work. C
"Skylight" - The first half of this five-minute short is a funny rip-off of "March of the Penguins" and other nature documentaries and a social commentary on Global Warming. Then it becomes predictable and pretty ridiculous. A great start, but a disappointing finish. C+
"Hybrid Union" - A bland story about machines trying to race each other to get away from a storm. The animation is O.K., but the story and message are too obvious. I don't want to think this much while trying to enjoy a quick short. C
"Nullarbor" - A funny and more adult short from Austraila about two men who come-upon each other while driving their vehicles across a long stretch of land on the continent. The animation is good and at times, this short is laugh-out-loud funny. Predictable but enjoyable throughout. B+
"Amazonia" - Bright animation and a pretty clever story about a young frog and an older frog trying to catch food in the "Amazon". Nice, surprise ending that works. It's simple and could've had a little more bite too it, but a nice way to end the collection. B
Favorite (out of all nine): "Nullarbor"
Prediction for the Oscar Winner: "La Luna"
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