Best Animated Short

2013 Oscar Animated Shorts

Short films are an easily misunderstood art form. At the Oscars, celebrity introductions of the short film nominees and winners often justify the importance of the category by citing shorts as a platform for future feature-length filmmaking. But the elements that make up a great short are hardly the same as those that make for a great feature. Here at FSR, we’ve made something of a habit of looking at short films on their own merits, as relatively brief works of storytelling with their own unique possibilities. The short film category at the Oscars is typically a rushed-through affair so that the broadcast can proceed to more ratings-friendly moments. But the Academy Award-nominated short films make for some of the strongest categories of the event; all the nominees are, most often, very good. It’s also a level playing field. In the shorts categories, studio properties can compete with self-funded passion projects and film school theses. Since they’re out in a handful of theaters today, here’s my take on the Academy Award nominees for Best Animated Short Film.

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The Best Damn Oscar Blog

This year’s shortlist for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film is an esoteric bunch, as always. The spread is international, including work from Japan, France, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom, alongside domestic productions. A number of the directors are relative newcomers, some of them selected for their graduation films. On the other end of the spectrum, a few of these animators have worked on Oscar-nominated films in the past and are veterans of the industry. There’s the usual mix of hand-drawn, CG and stop motion styles, and at least one film that tries blending two of these forms together. If not fully representative of everything going on in the world of animation, the Academy definitely highlights some of the more exciting projects.

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? With the celebration of classic movies currently going down at the Oscars, it was the perfect year for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore to share its love of silent films, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a familiar cartoon tune. No wonder it was nominated for Best Animated Short. What former Pixar employee William Joyce and co-director Brandon Oldenburg have done here is nothing short of amazing. They’ve used the newest technologies to create a wondrous, incredible, transportational fantasy story that reaches back to the roots of motion picture history. It’s a movie that’s imagination is only trumped by its beauty. What will it cost? Only 14 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.

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