ANIMATED SHORTS

Along with watching the live action shorts, our screening included all of the Oscar-nominated animated short films.

MAGGIE SIMPSON IN “THE LONGEST DAYCARE” – 2012

The-Simpsons-The-Longest-Daycare_012350

ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATION:

  • Best Animated Short Film

Christopher

This was energetic and funny. Certainly not the best but it was nice to see some solid Simpson fun.

Elizabeth

I admittedly haven’t watched a ton of The Simpsons, and I was afraid that would work against me in watching Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare,” but luckily it really didn’t. Maggie Simpson finds herself in the Ayn Rand School for Tots, which includes doll versions of the chain-smoking monstrosity that the school is named for, and I found that to be endlessly funny. They don’t just use Ayn Rand’s name for the name of the daycare, but they use the theme throughout the short, as Maggie gets put into the “nothing special” category of children that are essentially left to their own devices while the “gifted” students are nurtured. It’s a pretty funny and interesting concept. One thing that the short benefits from but I think ultimately hurts it against the other nominees, is that it has to take no time establishing character or place, something the other shorts usually have to deal with.

ADAM AND DOG – 2011

Adam_and_Dog

ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATION:

  • Best Animated Short Film

WATCH IT HERE ON YOUTUBE

Christopher

My favorite of the animated shorts. It was beautiful and the story was interesting. This was recently put online so make sure you watch it before the Oscars.

Elizabeth

I have a rule about movies with dogs or cats or cute animals in general: despite hating spoilers, I must know if the animal dies in the movie. If it does, I won’t see it. I didn’t think about that before watching Adam and Dog, and I immediately got scared that I would really regret that. Luckily, I didn’t.

Adam and Dog is very beautiful. As most of it takes place in the pre-Eve Garden of Eden, it looks like a moving watercolor. But I think what I liked the most was its play on the Adam and Eve story. I always really love a story that successfully tells an old story with a new approach, and that’s exactly what Adam and Dog did. There’s no dialogue, but from the title and from the general action, you know that this is about the original Adam meeting and befriending a dog for the first time. Eve subtlety comes into the picture and distracts Adam enough for him to abandon the dog, something the dog doesn’t understand and is pretty sad about (which was suuuuper sad to watch).  Then the atmosphere changes; thunderstorms and wind come, and everything gets much darker, presumably because of what is happening off camera with Adam and Eve getting cast out of Eden. In the end, the dog spots Adam and Eve, no longer naked, holding each other as they walk out of Eden. The dog, looking between paradise and his human companions, quickly chooses the humans, who hug and kiss him. It’s a completely sweet story.

FRESH GUACAMOLE – 2012

Fresh_Guacamole 

ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATION:

  • Best Animated Short Film

WATCH IT HERE ON YOUTUBE

Christopher

Clever and short. My second favorite of the animated shorts.

Elizabeth

While I really love Fresh Guacamole, it kind of presents the number one problem I have in the whole Animated Short Film category: are these shorts being judged solely on animation? Or does story play a big role also? Fresh Guacamole essentially has no story; it’s a less than 2 minute short of stop motion showing guacamole being made by common objects. But the animation is really amazing. The animation is more impressive to me than Adam and Dog, but the animation there is so beautiful, and the story is great. So I don’t know how to judge what’s best here.

HEAD OVER HEELS – 2012

1-Head-Over-Heels

ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATION:

  • Best Animated Short Film

Christopher

I loved the animation in this. It was claymation and though the story was pretty bizarre and maybe a little hard to follow, I really enjoyed watching this.

Elizabeth

For me personally, Head Over Heels had several things going against it. For one, the type of claymation/stop motion they used has the look of the kind that would completely scare me as a child, and so I’m not really into any of that. Secondly, I didn’t get the story. Maybe it’s a story that’s only meant to be watched and not understood, but that alone bothers me. While I was still impressed by the level of detail Head Over Heels has, especially with small things like shoes and glasses, I just wasn’t that into it.

PAPERMAN – 2012

Paperman5

ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATION:

  • Best Animated Short Film

Christopher

This is pretty good but I think it’s far too cutesy for me. Nowhere near as good as Adam and Dog or Fresh Guacamole. It is a good example, though, of how paper planes can be interesting in a story, unlike Simply Irresistible.

Elizabeth

I really liked Paperman. There’s just something about the animation that I really enjoyed. While it looks very smooth in its movement, there’s still pencil-like edges around the figures, which sort of reminded me of what 101 Dalmatians might look like if it was made in an age of computers. The story is sweet, though while it may be too sweet for some (Chris), at least is was easy to follow. It was also made by Disney, so a little saccarine sweetness is to be expected, I think.

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