2014 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animation Review
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As another Oscar night approaches, it’s once again time to start filling in your ballots. Who will win the Oscar for Best Actor? Matthew McConaughey? Or maybe Chiwetel Ejiofor? Will Jennifer Lawrence win her second Oscar in two years, or will Julia Roberts take home this year’s prize?

After catching up on nominees like Gravity and The Wolf of Wall Street, though, don’t forget to check out this year’s Oscar-nominated short films, which are now making their way to theaters around the country.

  
 
As is always the case, the five nominees for Best Animated Short Film are imaginative and artistic—and remarkably diverse.

Disney’s contribution to the race this year is Get a Horse!, which showed in theaters before another Oscar nominee, Frozen. This nostalgic short is full of surprises. Though it starts out as a classic-feeling, old-style, black and white Mickey Mouse cartoon (complete with classic vocal recordings by Walt himself), it eventually turns into something completely unexpected.

Another playful choice is the longest—and easily the most whimsical—film in the collection, Room on the Broom. Narrated by Simon Pegg, this poetic little children’s tale tells the story of a friendly witch who welcomes a menagerie of lonely creatures onto her broom—much to the dismay of her loyal cat. It features the voices of Gillian Anderson, Timothy Spall, and Sally Hawkins, among others.

A darker and more surreal nominee is Japan’s Possessions, the story of a traveler who gets lost in a storm and finds himself in a shed full of old, discarded items that have taken on a life of their own. Strange but beautiful, it’s filled with strikingly stylized animation in different layers and different styles.

In the French Mr. Hublot, a quiet loner who’s stuck in his daily routine is troubled by a stray robot dog that’s living out on the street. But when he takes the pup in, it completely changes his life. This sweet and charming tale is animated in a realistic steampunk style. It’s clever and cute and sometimes funny, too.

And, finally, Feral is the art film of the bunch. Animated in a sketchy, dreamlike style, using mostly shades of black and white, it tells the story of a boy who’s found in the woods and brought back to the city, only to face different kinds of threats. It’s a beautifully surreal film—probably not one that your kids will enjoy but definitely a striking piece of art.

So which one will take home the big prize on Oscar night? Well, you’ll just have to see all five and decide for yourself.

Cartoonish and creative, from silly to serious, this year’s Oscar-nominated animated shorts once again represent a broad spectrum of artistic and storytelling styles. This collection is some of the best that animation has to offer—so if you love the art of animation as much as I do, you won’t want to miss this award-worthy collection as it makes its way to theaters this Oscar season.

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