Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts
The Oriental Theater screens all five of the animated short films in contention this year, as well as the live-action shorts.
Most people seldom see the short films under consideration for Academy Awards. Film students will seek them out right away. They eventually make their way to the Internet and/or play at a film festival near you. The short film programs at the Milwaukee Film Festival are some of the most popular programs.
The Landmark Theatre chain is making it easier for the general public by dedicating one of the Oriental Theater’s screens to the animated and the live action shorts nominated. They open on February 8th and run, I suppose, as long as people keep going to see them.
I was lucky enough to watch them early and some of them are very interesting, especially if you are a lover of animation. “Adam and Dog,” a Eden-set story about the first man’s first dog, is both surprising and beautiful, unlike anything I have seen. It does take a little too long – and that’s hard to say about a short – to tell a fairly simple and charming story, though.
“Fresh Guacamole” is a short stop-motion animation bit. Very unusual, clever and funny.
“Head Over Heels” has a great concept – a couple who have grown apart live apart, on the floor and ceiling – and is gently moving. It looks good but, again, I feel the story could have been communicated in less time with more impact.
“Paperman” is Disney-made, with the typically big-eyed hero and equally big eyed female. The female does the downcast eyes, big-lashes-blinking thing women in Disney cartoons have been doing to signal men since Minnie Mouse. It is a very nice “meet cute,” as they say in the film business. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy pursues girl, and, with the help of paper, gets girl. Short and sweet.
The Animated Shorts Program plays along with the Live Action Shorts Program at the Oriental Theater beginning February 8th. Tickets are $10, $8 for students and $7.50 at senior/child/bargain prices. Check the Oriental’s website for more details.