One of the things I await with much anticipation around Oscar season is the Animated Shorts nominees. Being the big fan of the media I am, I just can’t wait to go to any screening of them I can find. There’s something about watching the result of many months (sometimes years) of effort from a collective of artists on a big screen: beautiful illustrations as works of art, every single detail on a meticulous CG 3D rendering, it all looks more alive and beautiful. If you want to catch any of the remaining screenings available, here’s a list of locations where you might be able to do so, just look by country/date. If not I made a compilation of them so you can check them out before Oscar night:
ADAM AND DOG
Through some stunning use of color, we observe how the bond between men and dog has always been a unique yet universal one. Produced and directed by Minkyu Lee, and completed through the help of a bunch of his friends, it’s a beautiful story told through naive yet assertive lines, fluid animation and a real sense of “knowing” its subject matter: the dog in the film feels completely real at all times, even through the most subtle facial expressions. If you have ever had a dog, don’t be surprised if it gets you emotional.
The Disney short of the bunch, it implements a revolutionary and complex effort to combine 2D animation applied to 3D renderings. The result: a beautiful and seamless fusion of techniques, that looks interesting while gorgeous, capturing even some 50’s nostalgia. The flawless score by Christopher Beck sets the perfect tone for a warm and entertaining story.
MAGGIE SIMPSON IN “THE LONGEST DAYCARE”
Even though the animation is somehow similar to what we are used to in the popular TV show, the plot is so funny and entertaining it stands on its own as a separate piece from The Simpsons.
Accomplished by PES, an incredibly talented artist mostly known from his TV commercials (Bacardi, Scrabble and many others), it goes to show you that everyday objects can become something else on the right hands. What might look simplistic to some, requires painstaking technique and patience, since stop-motion is one of the most intricate forms of animation in existence today.
HEAD OVER HEELS
Directed by Timothy Reckart, it tells the story of a husband and wife that have grown “apart” over the years. While the animation might look scruffy on its surface, the play between the two planes the story takes place on is impressive, and the depiction of simulated gravity is nothing short of stunning. Heartwarming, original and beautiful to look at, it was made by eleven students at the UK’S National Film and Television School over the course of 15 months.
Which of these shorts were your favorites? Which one do you think will take the Academy Award this year?