Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Academy Award-Nominated Animated Short Films 2012

Opera Plaza & the Lumiere are showing programs of Academy Award-Nominated Animated Short Films, plus 4 "highly commended" films to fill out the bill. Most of the films emphasize mood & visual appeal over story.


Dimanche/Sunday (Patrick Doyon; Canada, 2011, 9 Minutes)

A quiet village Sunday, told from the point of view of a bored little boy. The graphic style is simple & flat, & there are touches of surrealism.
A Morning Stroll (Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe; UK, 2011, 7 minutes)

I saw this in the Annecy show just last month. The same anecdote told in 3 different styles, each more outlandish & grotesque than the last.
Wild Life (Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby; Canada, 2011, 14 minutes)

Minimally animated painted images tell the story of an idle young Englishman's seemingly pointless move to remote Canada.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg; USA, 2011, 15 minutes)

A cyclone transports a Buster Keaton-like character to a fanciful world of living books. It's a sentimental & nostalgic tribute to children's books, with a musical score based on "Pop Goes the Weasel." Seems like the likely Oscar winner.
La Luna (Enrico Casarosa; USA, 2011, 7 minutes)

A Pixar short, glowingly lit, about a trio of Italian stereotypes who have a whimsical job to perform on the moon.
Highly Commended

Skylight (David Baas; Canada, 2009, 5 minutes)

In the Bambi-Meets-Godzilla category, an irreverent parody of old nature films. Googly-eyed penguins meet an ignoble fate, unless we all do something about it. Wonderfully silly & got the most laughs from the audience.
Hybrid Union (Serguei Kouchnerov; USA, Ukraine, 2010, 4 minutes)

Rattletrap CGI robots & a mattress-shaped raincloud race across what looks like the Black Rock Desert. I didn't understand this one at all.
Nullarbor (Alister Lockhart; Australia, 2011, 10 minutes)

A bad case of road rage develops between 2 nasty-looking drivers along a featureless stretch of southern Australia. This one amused me the most, & I enjoyed its shaggy dog story without getting distracted by the CGI.
Amazonia (Sam Chen; USA, 2010, 5 minutes)

Candy-colored CGI frogs & insects cavort to the scherzando of Beethoven's 8th Symphony, looking like a lost segment of Fantasia 2000.

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