Review: Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films

During my senior year of college, my design professor paid for our entire class to go watch the Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films at the Ritz Landmark theatre. I remember feeling so adult, even though I was going to watch cartoons with my classmates, because the theatre had such a classy atmosphere. I realize now that I wasn’t just going to watch cartoons; I was going to analyze and appreciate someone else’s artwork and hard work. I was hooked and I’ve made it my effort to try and see them every year. This is what I thought of the nominees.

Feral – (USA), in which a wild boy, found in the woods and brought back to civilization, tries to adapt to a strange new environment

feral

One thing is for sure, the art style in this film was simple and beautiful. The animators were able to give so much life to the landscapes and character’s without providing much detail in the illustrations. Although I didn’t really appreciate some of the abstract scenes in this short, there were definitely some emotional moments. In a very short amount of time, you get watch a young boy try to adapt to the intimidating situations he’s thrusted into.

 

Get a Horse! – (USA), a contemporary homage to the first shorts featuring Mickey Mouse, with all-new, black-and-white, hand-drawn animation

getahorse

2D animation in this day and age is impressive. It takes a lot of time and effort to hand draw animation stills with everything being so digital and I really loved that Disney instituted this classic technique in their short. The cartoon was classic slap-stick and just adorable. I really recommend you going to see them so I wont say too much but Disney did a fun job crossing the 2D animation and the new 3D style when Mickey and his friends venture outside of the screen.

Mr. Hublot – (Luxembourg/France), about a withdrawn, idiosyncratic character made partially of mechanical parts whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of the dog Robot Pet

mrhublot

I wasn’t overly impressed with the animation style in this film but the steam-punk/mechanical theme was cool and made the story interesting. It definitely tugs on the heart strings watching this lonely OCD character willingly change his life and habits for a dog he rescued from the streets. A dog that apparently won’t stop growing!

Possessions – (Japan), in which an 18th Century man, lost on a stormy night deep in the mountains, enters a small shrine that suddenly turns into a room in a different world

posessions

Again, with this animation, I wasn’t impressed with the art style. It was mostly due to the flat landscape drawings when the character was 3D. The storyline on the other hand was one of my favorites. When I first heard the title “Possessions” I came to the conclusion it was about physical items we own but early in the storyline they led the audience to believe it was about tools that become possessed and play tricks on people. It turns out that it was about both! Possessions was an interesting animation about taking your day to day items for granted and not remembering the seemingly small things like the time you poor old mop helped you get the floors cleans before Christmas dinner. The character handled the illusions with grace and respect by repairing some of the old forgotten items. This one I definitely recommend!

ย Room on the Broom – (UK), based on the children’s picture book by Julia Donaldson, about a kind witch who invites a surprising collection of animals to join her on her broom, much to the frustration of her cat

roomonthebroom

Can I just say this was by far my FAVORITE short of the night. Basically, of all of the shorts I have ever seen this is my number 1. And it wasn’t just because Simon Pegg narrated the story. And it wasn’t because I’m obviously obsessed with the UK. It had everything to do with my love for cute and whimsical things. Especially my affinity for Children’s Books. Everything about it is charming! From the sweet characters to the claymation, it’s definitely my choice for an Oscar win! Just…go see it!

I usually don’t write reviews but the selection this year was amazing and I guarantee you’ll enjoy yourself if you find your way to a theatre (or internet!) to see these. It’s definitely worth the time and there were other short films in the selection that didn’t make the Oscar cut but were highly commended. So much so that they included them in on the viewing which filled out the time for a great experience.

Grab a ticket and go!

8 thoughts on “Review: Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films

  1. I feel like I might have read Room on the Broom when I was little because it looks so familiar, but I’m not entirely sure. Or maybe it’s because it’s the same author who wrote the Gruffalo. Haha.

    I’ve never watched any short animated films but the storylines of these sound interesting ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I love animated films. Like you said, you enjoy the art and effort the artist and author put into it. Thanks for sharing the list. Will check them out if I can find out around the internet somewhere.

  3. I love animated shorts. I usually love the art style and the story. That’s why I’ve always enjoyed Pixar or even indie animation. I might have to check these ones out. Thanks!

  4. I need to watch the nominated animated shorts. I love things like that ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m be a big fan of simple and dark styles like Feral! It’s also nice to see a homage to the old, classic animations. The others sound really interesting, especially Posessions, and Room on the Broom looks adorable I need to check these out!

  5. I love watching shorts — especially ones like Room on the Broom. I love all the shorts at the beginning of Pixar movies, and things like that. It would be so fun to go to a festival like that and watch nominated shorts like that — how fun!

  6. Oh wow! I never knew this event existed! I’m unsure if they show it over in England though, will need to check!

    I’ve loved animations since a kid and still love them today. Most people think it’s for children but I disagreed. They’re for all ages and for everyone to enjoy ^^

    The “Room on the Broom” story sounds funny and fantastic!

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