Thanks to the magic of the internets, I was able to locate and watch all of the animated shorts up for an Academy Award come Sunday, and there’s some great stuff here. I’m honestly not sure how to pick which one I like best. You’ve got everything from another great entry in the Wallace and Gromit series to the jaw-dropping virtuoso trademark-ripping-off of Logorama, and other more conventional but still excellent shorts in between.
I’ve embedded them all after the jump, so take a look and let us know what you think.
(Unfortunately, I was not as successful at locating the live-action shorts; most of them only have trailers available online, if that.)
Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty
From the moment the child shrinks back in the bed at the suggestion of a goodnight story from Granny O’Grimm, you know this ain’t gonna be no ordinary bedtime story. The script could’ve gone further, into more interesting places, but I really loved the juxtaposition of two highly disparate animation styles.
Perhaps the most conventional of the five shorts on display here, but really well executed, nonetheless. This one is French, as you’d imagine from the title, but there’s no dialogue really. It does have a very Sylvain Chomet look about it, though – sort of a cross between The Triplets of Belleville and Ratatouille in aesthetic.
The Lady and the Reaper
The story of the Grim Reaper and a “heroic” doctor fighting over the life (or death) of an aging woman doesn’t seem like a normal cartoon subject, but this film is both hilarious and at times beautiful. In terms of just pure joy at watching the animation, this was close to the top of my list.
Kurt posted Logorama a few weeks ago, but it’s worth a second look for sure. Easily the most audacious, unconventional film in the line-up, in terms of both subject matter and animation style. And potential lawsuits. The amount of detail and imagination that went into this is just astounding.
A Matter of Loaf and Death
The latest of the much-loved Aardman Studios’ Wallace and Gromit shorts, and the longest of the films in this category, clocking in at just under 30 minutes. There’s not really much new here if you’ve seen the other Wallace and Gromit shorts, but Aardman is very good at what they do, and this one is plenty entertaining all the way through.