Best Animated Short Film
I was so glad to see the shorts again this year. It makes the ceremony so much more interesting when I know everything I can about all the nominees. Interesting fact about all the animated selections this year- there’s not a single word of dialogue amongst them.
La Maison En Petites Cubes (House of Small Cubes)
An old man lives alone in a house built to survive the ever-rising flood that engulfs his village. He continues to build rooms on top of rooms to escape the water. When he drops his beloved pipe into one of the lower rooms filled with water, he rents scuba gear to retrieve it. As he descends through each floor of his house he recalls all the fond memories experienced in those rooms, right down to the foundation of the house that he and his wife built with their own hands. This film is sweet and the animation is like a colorful painting, but the film seemingly goes nowhere.
Ubornaya istoriya - lyubovnaya istoriya (Lavatory-Lovestory)
An attendant in a men’s lavatory longs for an intimate relationship. When flowers start to appear in her tip jar, she gets frustrated in trying to figure out who put them there. The animation looks like a basic drawing come to life and is very unique. The story is sweet and has a nice little resolution, but I didn’t find it to be all that original.
Two octopi are in love for a brief moment before one is snatched up and taken away by a restaurant cook to be slaughtered. The remaining octopus escapes from his tank to save his true love as they race through the streets of a small Greek village. This film is all of two minutes and if I hadn’t seen for myself that there was no lamp and bouncing ball at the beginning, I wouldn’t have believed that it wasn’t a Pixar film. The computer animation is beautiful and the story is adorable and original.
The rabbit of a famous magician takes revenge on his owner when he doesn’t get fed. This is Pixar’s short for the year and if you’ve seen WALL-E, you’ve likely seen this as well. It’s hilarious and quick-witted comedy makes for a great entry in this category.
This Way Up
Two undertakers are forced to carry a coffin through the country to make it to the church when their hearse breaks down. This short started out unique and funny, but took a weird turn toward the end that really took the film in a different, unpleasant direction.
Presto. Pixar usually has this category in the bag, but last year they took the year off. This year they came back stronger than ever.
What Should Win:
Presto. Although I’d be just as happy seeing Oktapodi taking it home as well, but it’s super short length will likely diminish its chances.