Oscar Nominated Shorts Films—Animation

When I went to see the Live Action Short Films that had been nominated for an Oscar the day after the Academy Awards I was fully prepared for that to be my last little bit of Oscar associated films I saw in the movie theatre.

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

Therefore, you can imagine my delight when I found out the theatre where I saw the live action shorts would be showing the animated shorts that were nominated for another week.

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I wasn’t about to miss out on the opportunity to extend the Oscar magic just a tiny bit longer, so on Sunday afternoon I went out in a massive rainstorm to see the 2014 Oscar nominees for best animated short film.

The films were shown in the following order:

Me and My Moulton…This was a joint production of Canada and Norway. It is the story of three sisters in Norway whose parents aren’t normal. Over the course of a summer as they are waiting to get their first bicycle they begin to realize that families that are “normal” aren’t always happy. It was a very cute and I liked how it showed that weird people can actually be the most functional. This would be a good film for parents to show their kids if the kids complain that they aren’t like other parents.

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The Bigger Picture…This was from the United Kingdom. This one was rather dark. It is the story of two brothers (one responsible and one not) and how they deal with their aging mother. The film was rather sad but that’s what I liked about it. I certainly don’t believe animated films have to be happy.

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Feast…This is from the United States and it’s the film that won. It is the very cute story of an abandoned puppy and the man who adopts him. It’s very cute to see the puppy grow into a dog and how excited he gets when he has human food. The film does a great job of showing the deep emotional connection between pet and owner.

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A Single Life…This is from the Netherlands. This film was truly short at two minutes. It shows a woman’s entire life as a record plays. She realizes that as record plays she’s aging she plays around with the needle. In a way the ending was sad but in a way it was totally true to life.

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The Dam Keeper…This is from the United States. This is another very dark film. It is the story of a little pig that is in charge of maintaining a damn in a small town and how he’s bullied at school. It is actually very heartbreaking to see this sweet little pig get bullied.

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I would rank the five films in order from my favorite to least favorite

1-Feast…How do you go wrong with the story of a man and his pet?

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2-The Dam Keeper

3-A Single Life

4-Me and My Moulton

5-The Bigger Picture

There was also the bonus of being shown three additional films that were categorized and “highly regarded”. I’m not that familiar with the nominations process for animated shorts but I’m guessing these films were on the short list of eligible films but did not make the final five. They were:

Bus Stories…This was from Canada. It told the story of a woman who became a bus driver. It was okay. I can see how it didn’t make the cut. It did bring back some bad memories for me of riding the school but when I was a kid.

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Duet…This was form the United States. I actually liked this story a lot. It was very similar to the Feast in that it told the story of a boy and his dog, I think that probably hurt it when it came time to pick the final five. This one is more lyrical than Feast, but really well done. It was probably my favorite of the high regarded non-nominated films.

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Footprints…This was also from the United States. This is another dark one. It is the story of a man who follows a set of footprints and the crazy things he encounters along the way. I think this was probably my least favorite of all the films that were shown.

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I was really amused that there was a dad sitting behind me with his young son (who was 8 at the oldest). I think that people forget that animated films don’t always equal kid friendly. Right before the last short started the kid complained the he was bored. No surprise there, these films may be animated but they are for adults not kids. Thank goodness too because as much as I liked Feast ,and am glad it won, I couldn’t handle eight shorts full of Disney sappiness.

So my Oscar viewing for the 2014 really has come to an end now. I am sad because with the exception of “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “Serena” there really isn’t anything that I want to see coming out in theatres anytime soon…Thank goodness “Game of Thrones” is coming back.

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