Review: The Oscar-Nominated Animated Short Films

I have just watched all the animated short films that have been nominated for the Academy Award in that category. I will review each one from the one I liked the least to the one I liked, the most, which is the one I think should win.

Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty | Nicky Phelan

This short is about an old woman with Marge Simpson-like hair that goes up to her grand daughter to tell her the story of Sleeping Beauty. However, she is so bitter about her old age that she twists the tale and reveals her true feeling about young women and how elderly folks are always treated. The concept is nice, but the execution is not. I’m not going to criticize the animation since it looks good for a movie with a limited budget, but the way the story is told, and the personality given to the old woman did not please me at all. Not a bad short, but it should not have been nominated.

French Roast | Frabrice Joubert

This tells a simple story about a snobbish man who is drinking coffee at a café. It involves him losing his wallet and therefore not being able to pay, a homeless man who he looks down to, and a fragile-looking nun. I won’t go farther than that otherwise I will spoil it, but it is a fun short with a simple story and the kind of ending that one would expect from a short like that.

The Lady and the Reaper (La dama y la muerte) | Javier Recio Garcia

Produced by Antonio Banderas, the short tells the story of a battle between The Reaper and a hot shot doctor for the life of an old lady. It started out with the promise of a dramatic short like the Oscar-winning Bunny. However, it then turns into a slapstick comedy short. I was entertained, but it did go on for too long even though the run time was only about 6 minutes.

A Matter of Loaf and Death | Nick Park

This short continues the legacy of Wallace & Grommit. This time, our heroes find themselves in the eye of a serial killer that is targeting bakers. Also, Wallace falls in love with a woman who Grommit does not particularly like.

The animation is, as expected, beautiful. It definitely has the best production values among the five nominees, which is why it will likely be the winner.

Logorama | François Alaux, Herve de Crecy, Luvodic Houplain

This is easily the best of the five shorts. In this one we go to a world where every single living creatures is a famous logo. Cops are the Michelin men, the Pillsbury Dough Boy works in a dinner, the MGM Logo is a zoo, etc. The main plot involves the cops chasing Ronald McDonalds who stole something valuable.

That is just the surface of it all. It is really about how our world is run by corporations. The end is rather beautiful because it shows that in the end, it isn’t really the fast food chains, or clothing brands that rule the world, but rather the oil companies.

Logorama is the edgiest and most creative of the bunch, and I hope it takes the prize. I will also be mentioned in my eventual retake on the best movies of 2009


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