Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Oscar Nominated Animation Shorts 2011

This program always adds a few that just missed being nominated.   The Thespian really felt that one of the two shown should have replaced my ranked number 5 of the nominees.

"Highly Commended" The Cow That Wanted to be a Hamburger - USA - traditional hand-drawn 2D    A calf sees a billboard for Happy Hamburger and desires to become one.   Then he gets his wish and discovers to his horror what his dream really means.   

It's funnier than it sounds.    It was a cute story, but the 2D animation style was very primitive.

"Highly Commended" URS - Germany - computer animation.   A man, URS, desires to take his elderly mother over a perilous mountain range to give her a better life.  

Beautiful animation.   Very stylized characters and the contrast between the golden mountains and the grey/blue impoverished farm is stunning.    Sad story - ending a bit predictable.   Should have been nominated over the number 5.

5.  Let's Pollute - USA - traditional hand-drawn 2D.    In the style of the patriotic campaigns of the 1940's and 1950's this is a satire of man destroying the environment.    

Cute for about 1 minute, shame it lasts 6.

4.  Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage (the travel journal) - France - French with subtitles - a mishmash of styles including hand-drawn, stop motion, computer animation, rotoscoping and some live action.   

It's exactly what the title says - a journey through a man's visit to Madagascar and a focus on his invitation to a funeral ritual and party.   

Great animation showing off great technique.   That's about it.

3.  The Gruffalo - UK - computer animation - was shown on ABC Family during the 25 Days of Christmas this past December.   A squirrel tells her children a cautionary tale of a mouse who tricks three predators into not eating him and then discovers a new problem when the imaginary creature he created in his mind appears.   Based on the book.

A very gentle fable with some well known British voices.    A bit slow in its paces, but a nice film.

2.  The Lost Thing - Australia - computer animation.   A man reflects on the day he found a lost thing and how he helped it find a new home.

A surrealist piece, very Dali in style on the lost things.    Appears to be a commentary on how mankind conforms to a set way of life, missing the hidden beauty in the world.     Liked it a lot...but

1.  Day & Night - USA - hand-drawn and computer animation originally released in 3D.   Disney/Pixar collaboration cleverly using day and night imagery to tell the tale of two rivals, jealous of what the other has and how they become friends.

Disney/Pixar hasn't won this category since For The Birds.   It's a great little film.   Liked it better in 3D, which it is not being shown in with these shorts or on the Toy Story 3 DVD/Blu-Ray.    Just won the Anime award.    Should win.

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