2013 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animation Review
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It’s that time again... With just a few weeks to go until the Academy hands out its awards, it’s time to start filling out your own Oscar ballots. You’ve probably seen most of the big contenders—movies like Argo and Lincoln. But, in order to make the most educated guesses, you’ll want to check out this year’s nominated shorts, too. Fortunately, this year’s nominees are currently showing in theaters around the country—and the animated shorts collection is filled with winners.

Disney’s entry into this year’s race is Paperman, which played before the theatrical release of Wreck-It Ralph. It’s the charming story of a young man’s desperate attempt to reconnect with the pretty girl he met on the way to work one morning. The crisp, mostly black-and-white animation makes the perfect backdrop for a lovably retro story.

  
 
Fresh Guacamole is a wildly imaginative little film that shows the making of fresh guacamole as you’ve never seen it before—using some surprising ingredients. From the realistic imagery to the clever little touches, this two-minute short is a creative delight.

Head Over Heels is the story of an elderly married couple who have somehow grown apart—to the point that he lives on the floor, while she lives on the ceiling. When he sets out to fix the imbalance in their relationship, he shakes things up in some unexpected ways. Sometimes funny, sometimes sweet, it’s a satisfying film with some interesting animated set design.

The longest film in the collection is the 15-minute Adam and Dog, a beautiful but bittersweet tale of the early days in Eden, when a playful pup met a lonely (and, yes, naked—in a sketchy kind of way) Adam. The artful animation takes the characters to a variety of gorgeous settings—from the lush, green jungle to golden meadows and starry, nighttime settings.

And, finally, some familiar faces make an appearance in Maggie Simpson’s short, The Longest Daycare. This fun-filled caper follows the youngest Simpson child on an adventure at The Ayn Rand School for Tots. After she survives the school’s security and intelligence screening, she finds herself racing through a sea of exersaucers to save a precious cocoon from a vicious rival. It’s no surprise that this Simpsons short is quirky and clever, with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments—and a little bit of heart, too.

With such a variety of stories, styles, and animation, the winning film is really anybody’s guess. Each one has its own merits—from the clever comedy of The Longest Daycare to the imagination of Fresh Guacamole to the undeniable charm of Paperman. No matter which one turns out to be your own personal favorite, though, animation fans are sure to be delighted by this year’s collection of Oscar-nominated animated treats.

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