Oscarathon: Best Animated Short

What's coming up these next few weeks on Kinematoscope? Non-stop Oscar coverage, and maybe some overdue "best of the decade" lists that have been so trendy elsewhere. Right now, however, is the first entry in a 33 part series on the Oscars (one per category and ten for Best Picture).


I wonder if people used to get excited about the animated shorts because they actually ran in theaters- only Pixar is keeping this trend alive, and they've won it more often than not for the last two decades. Walt Disney used multiple wins for shorts to up his career Oscar total to a record 22 statuettes.

The short in front of Up, "Partly Cloudy", somehow lost out this year, which one hopes would mean that the quality of the nominees is off the charts. But let's see for ourselves:

1. French Roast
-Watch it on YouTube

A silent short with a simple premise- uptight Frenchman goes to cafe, forgets his wallet. Minutes of embarrassed hi jinks to cover it up follow.

The animation here is alright, chiefly the way the view blends the reflection of the cafe in the window with the street outside, but the exaggerated features of the characters don't really jibe with the quiet pace of the one-gag plot for me.

2. Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty
-Watch it on YouTube

Next, a memorable half-CGI, half-traditional alternate take on a classic fairy tale. The titular granny terrifies her small grand-daughter with a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty sympathetic to the evil witch.

If this were all in the vibrantly colored hand-drawn style that depicts the story within the story, I would've liked it a lot more- the framing device is just boring CGI with barely-human, bug-eyed characters. And the voice actress playing Granny O'Grimm chews a lot of scenery in under six minutes.

3. The Lady And The Reaper
-Watch it on YouTube

A funny third CGI entry, wherein an old widow welcomes the sight of a hapless grim reaper, only to be foiled time and again by a big-chinned Lothario of a doctor.

It's another trifle, but memorable for it oddly pro-euthanasia stance and for being produced by Antonio Banderas (who we all know is an animation fan).

4. Logorama
Watch it on movieweb

An entire world built from corporate logos is the setting for a sixteen minute film in which Michelin Man cops chase an evil Ronald McDonald on a crime spree. The wonderful visual idea gets bogged down by an uninteresting and unnecessarily crude plot- oh, the logos curse and harass one another? What a striking commentary. How 'edgy.'

It all ends in a heavy-handed natural disaster metaphor, as the proceedings are interrupted by a flood of oil seeping from cracks in the earth. Get it?

5. A Matter Of Loaf And Death
-Watch the trailer on YouTube

Three words: Wallace. And. Gromit. Considering that the series is three for four on Oscar night, and that creator Nick Park lost that one to himself for "Creature Comforts," this is one of the safest bets of the night.

I haven't seen it, not living in the UK and all, but I'd also bet it's just as awesome as Wallace and Gromit always are.

0 Response to "Oscarathon: Best Animated Short"

Powered by Blogger