Feb 13, 2013

This Year's Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts

Few weekends ago, Emily and I went and saw the Oscar-nominated animated shorts for 2013 in a theater in town.  It was pretty cool, as I have never done that before (usually I just see who won without ever getting to watch the actual shorts).  Even cooler is the fact that most of them have been released in full online.  So here they are, in no particular order:

Paperman (Walt Disney Animation Studio)

There has been A LOT of buzz in the animation community about this short, which combines 2D, 3D, vector graphics, and more into a sweet little short.  While it breaks a lot of new technical ground (see the video I've pasted after the actual short for that), the story itself is a little bland.  I do, however love the character designs.  And the lighting!  Oh, the beautiful lighting!  And, as with all Disney animation, the artistry is basically flawless.


Head Over Heels (National Film and Television School, UK)

This is a sweet stop-motion film about a couple that no longer really sees eye-to-eye.  The sets are incredible, and the animation is good.  The characters' designs are a little creepy, in my opinion.


Fresh Guacamole (PES)

This was made by PES, a guy by himself in his kitchen.  It's really well done and got, by far, the most audience applause.  Clearly, more of an artistic piece than a character piece.  I didn't know anything about this short going into it, but I was really pleasantly surprised by it.


The Longest Daycare (Simpsons people)

I can't find this one in its entirety anywhere.  It got the most laughs (and is very funny), but doesn't really break any new ground or anything.  It felt more like an old-school cartoon from the 1930s or 1940s (in a modern style).  Here's a trailer for it:


Adam and Dog (Minkyu Lee)

I've been following this film for a while because I heard about it through other blogs.  It's an independent project by a CalArts grad, made with his friends from school who are now working for Disney, Pixar, and the other big studios.  Stylistically, it is right up my alley, and its execution is really wonderful.  The story idea--why are man and dog so inseparable?--is brilliant.  While there are a few times the shots aren't totally clear as to what's going on, overall, this film is my favorite and my hope for the win.  The background are gorgeous, too, and most of the compositions of shots are peaceful and dramatic at the same time.  It's like watching a wonderful combination of Disney design with a Miyazaki flair.

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