Thursday, February 11, 2010

I like short shorts...animated shorts.

I’ll admit it – I am an awards show junkie and the Oscars are the Holy Grail of awards show (pardon my mixed metaphor). But perhaps one of the most overlooked categories is the Animated Short. I too was once guilty of this oversight; however, a recent stint at a short film channel has opened my eyes to this glorious, but underappreciated art form.

The first nominee: French Roast is a cute little short about a frugal man who loses his wallet in a café and can’t pay his bill.

At first I thought that this was going to be one of those old-school Simpson’s episodes with a holier-than-thou moral message. However, I found the action quite amusing…until that pesky little moral came back to hit me over the head – I guess the French aren’t really known for their subtlety. While I like the animation style, this eight-minute film felt a little slow and was a tad too cutesy for my tastes. The animator Fabrice Joubert, is pretty seasoned, and has worked as the supervising animator on Flushed Away and Shark Tale.

2. Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty: a take on a classic tale.

I LOVE Sleeping Beauty and I LOVE mean old ladies, but I don’t really see this short winning an Oscar. I really dug the mixed animation style and Brown Bag Films has previously produced the Oscar nominated Give Up Yer Aul Sins, but the film lacks some punch and is pretty linear.

3. The Lady and The Reaper: A Mexican death-tale!

Hey check it out; Antonio Banderas co-produced this! And we all know how much the Academy LOVES Antonio Banderas. Remember when they got him to sing the eventual Oscar-winner for Best Song from The Motorcycle Diaries…you know, even though he had NOTHING to do with the film? Yeah, so I’m going to put this film up there as a serious contender…and a possible promotional tool for Obama’s Death Panels. But seriously, it’s a pretty cute tale, and it gets some serious props for the morbid ending!

4. Logorama: It’s The Dark Knight meets every commercial you’ve ever seen.

I’ll admit that it took me some time to fall in love with this film. While I’m not as enthusiastic as the reviewer in the above link, I do enjoy the idea and concept behind this short. But, I think I would love it a whole lot more if it was about seven minutes shorter.

5. Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death

Wallace and Gromit are to the animation categories what Judie Dench and Meryl Streep are to the acting categories. Nick Park has won four Oscars (all for Wallace and Gromit installments) and A Matter of Loaf and Death has already won the BAFTA. Now, I am very aware that the Oscars are a big political game (see, Denzel Washington winning for Training Day after being overlooked for so many other powerful performances), so I would normally think it very unlikely that Nick Park would pick up a fifth statue; however, this is the animated short category. I’d be very surprised to find out that members of the academy have actually watched all five of these shorts. This is why I’m calling Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death the frontrunner. Plus, you can’t deny its brilliance.


  1. love the blog! great first article! i cant watch the clips now, but will def check them out at home- especially the first one, it sounds awesome! xoxo -lj

  2. Welcome to the blogosphere Nicole, and thanks for the animation love. It's been a good year, Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs, Avatar (it's pretty much a fully animated film) and UP is nominated for Best Picture!!