Thursday, February 6, 2014
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts
I decided to watch both programs as it was snowy and cold outside and I had no desire to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers lip-synching for the half-time show. For the Animated Shorts (which were introduced by a talking giraffe and ostrich), I would cast my vote for the Disney-Pixar piece Get a Horse. This is a delightful digital variation on the studio's early works with a black-and-white Mickey and Minnie Mouse being menaced by Peg-Leg Pete. As they careen along a country road, things get meta when the screen gets a hole punched in it and the characters leap into the movie theater, a la The Purple Rose of Cairo, and become full color. Disney did win last year with Paper Man, but I think the mammoth studio will take the award again.
The runner -up for me was Mr. Hublot, a French piece of whimsy where the titular hermit leaves his automated apartment in a mechanical Paris to rescue a robot dog. Feral was also beautiful as was the Japanese Possessions, the tale of a wandering handyman with the face of a samurai beset by ghostly objects in a haunted hut. Room on the Broom was the longest of the entries and perfectly charming. This British half-hour was made by the same team as the previously nominated The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child. Not nominated, but receiving Highly Commended status were A la Francaise, a funny French madness with chickens inhabiting the court of Versailles; The Blue Umbrella, a sickenly sweet love story between two bumbershoots; and The Missing Scarf, a philosophical dissertation narrated by George Takei with a squirrel searching for his missing muffler and dispensing wisdom to woodland creatures.