Sunday, February 15, 2015

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Animated Short

The nominees:
The Bigger Picture (B+)
I found this to be an extremely creative and visually striking short, one that catalogues life, attachment, and death into stark images that morph from one thing into another with fluidity. It’s not optimistic but it is hard to forget.
The Dam Keeper (B+)
It’s not often you find a film with a pig as its hero, and those that do have one – “Babe” and “Charlotte’s Web,” for instance – tend to be very well-received. That’s the case for this gorgeous short about a pig who is teased by all his animal classmates but meets one particularly foxy new friend. It’s somewhat dark but easily loveable.
Feast (B+)
This is the short many people will realize that they’ve seen since it played before “Big Hero 6.” A simple story of a dog who gets fed fewer unhealthy treats when his owner meets a lady friend is effortlessly amusing and enthralling. It’s the least creative in terms of animation, but that shouldn’t be a problem given how likeable it is.
Me and My Moulton (B)
This chronicle of three sisters and their desire to get a bicycle is completely reminiscent of “The Danish Poet,” which won this prize in 2006, and that’s mainly becomes it comes from the same Norwegian-Canadian filmmaker, Torill Kove. This one isn’t quite as whimsical, but Oscar voters clearly like Kove.
A Single Life (B+)
This short is just two minutes, but it’s easily the most enjoyable of this category, with a woman who jumps through different points in her life with a quick touch of her record player. It’s over almost before it begins, and that’s what makes it so delightfully effective.

Previous winners: Mr. Hublot, Paperman, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, The Lost Thing, Logorama, Le Maison en Petits Cubes, Peter and the Wolf
Who should win: These are actually are pretty great, unlike last year. My pick is “The Bigger Picture,” with “A Single Life” as a close second.
Who will win: It’s hard to know, but I think The Dam Keeper is the frontrunner.

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