This year's selection comprises an eclectic bunch.
Every year, The Academy makes a selection of short films from three separate disciplines: animation, documentary and live action. And while the latter categories are usually filled with hard-hitting, affecting stories, the animation section provides levity.
Mr Hublot is a charming story, beautifully framed in a semi-mechanical world
Firstly, we have ‘Mr. Hublot’ – a semi-mechanical man living in a semi-mechanical world. He’s fully endowed with ODC, though, is a recluse and lives a life of order, but when a robot pet comes into his life, things change; no longer is he comfortably nestled in his comfort zone. This is computer animated short from France/Luxemburg, directed by Laurent Witz & Alexandre Espigares. It’s void of dialogue but says plenty with it’s beautiful aesthetic.
Feral is reminiscent of the famous indie game, Limbo
‘Feral’ tells the story of a young boy integrating him himself with society after living alone in the forest. As you can imagine, the techniques required for survival aren’t the same within the confines of civilization, and our young propagandist finds his assimilation to be a difficult task. Feral has been making the rounds in the festival circuit and is the only Oscar-nominated short that can be purchased on Vimeo on demand. So there you go.
Get a Horse! sees Disney weigh in with their formidable name
Disney’s ‘Get A Horse!’ is easily the most recognizable of the nominated films. It first ran alongside Frozen, which has collected its fair share at the box office since Thanksgiving, when it was unleashed. A blast from the past with some nods to the future, ‘Get A Horse!’ includes some early black ‘n’ white shots sprinkled with contemporary 3D animation, which is a joy to behold. A great insight into what animations of yesteryear looked like, with that perennial stamp of Disney quality.
Possessions paints a beautiful picture for its viewers
‘Possessions’ comes from Japan, and tells the tale of a man who finds a home amidst an ancient relic – an old, rundown shrine. While sleeping, the man comes across Tsukumogami - 100-year-old household objects inhabited by spirits, disdainful of their individual neglect. Our man decides to make things right, setting out to repair any damage done. This is a tale of materialism with the constant charm imbued by Japanese animation.
Finally, Room on The Broom is a fun-filled frolic
Simon Pegg and Gillian Anderson provide the vocal talents for 'Room On The Broom' – a tale following a witch and her wary cat as they venture through – often above – a forest. Our witch is an animal lover, and can’t pass a critter in need of attention, so accumulates a number of different species on her trip. There’s also a dragon chasing her, too – he wants ‘witch and chips’ for dinner, and is willing to catch and kill. Miss Witch will be happy she helped all those animals, because something, someone or some things need to step in and help her escape the hungry antagonist.
There you have the nominated films for the Oscars, Best Animated Short category. It’s a fun bunch of films, and isn’t nearly as heavy as the Best Picture favorite, 12 Years a Slave. So for some light-hearted, Oscar-nominated fun, check them out. You’ll be done before The Wolf of Wall Street is even half way through.