Before jumping into the big films of this Oscar season, we thought we’d take some time to review the lesser known nominated films, the smaller films, literally—the shorts.
Since they are short films, it only seems fitting to have short reviews. Although, a lot more could and has been written about these Oscar-worthy films.
First up—Animated Shorts:
“Adam and Dog” written and directed by Minkyu Lee
This short is a different spin on a well-known story, the first story, in fact. Using traditional, hand-drawn animation, “Adam and Dog,” tells the story of Adam and Eve from the perspective of the first dog. Dog lovers will appreciate the fact that man’s best friend came before woman. It’s your classic “boy meets dog, boy meets girl, boy ditches dog, dog forgives the ungrateful boy despite his short comings,” story. It’s a bit longer than it needs to be, but it’s sweet and puts a nice twist on a well-known story.
“Fresh Guacamole” written and directed by PES
At only two minutes, this is the shortest of the shorts. With its well done stop-motion photography and clever use of nontraditional guacamole ingredients, it’s definitely entertaining. Green guts are scooped out of avocados shaped like grenades and onion-like baseballs that are chopped into dice. It’s a clever and brief artistic statement.
“Head over Heels” directed by Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly
“Head Over Heels” turns the traditional love story on its head, literally. A mature married couple are floating through their lives on parallel, one on top of the other. One spouse’s ceiling is the other’s floor. The gap is bridged when they both decide to compromise. And though it’s not easy (walking on the ceiling is not an easy task), it seems like they’ll make it work. The stop-motion claymation, may not be what we’re use to from the big studio features, but it matches the story. It’s sweet, it’s short, and it’s a well told tale.
“The Longest Daycare” directed by David Silverman
What can I say about this one beside—it’s the Simpsons. Yes, The Simpsons. With a story by the geniuses behind the longest running animated televisions series and a score by Hans Zimmer (just because they can), this short is just fun. Maggie, is dumped at daycare and has to survive the horrors that await her in the “Nothing Special” kids’ group. Drama, hilarity and a chase follow, all with a surprise ending. It’s a thrilling five minutes.
“Paperman” directed by John Kahrs
Say what you will about Disney, but there’s no arguing with the fact that they know how to tell a good story. In the “Paperman,” a young man and young woman meet on a train platform in a black-and-white, mid-century Manhattan. Before they have a chance to speak, they’re whisked off by the universe and the New York City train system. The two are eventually reunited by fate, luck and a bit of magic. The combination of hand-drawn and computer-generated animation is seamless and gorgeous. The story along with the beautiful orchestrations by Christophe Beck, make you wish the story would go on for just a bit longer.
More on the Story: Watch Them All
…just for fun:
My personal favorite-