A couple weeks ago I attended the opening of Nuart Theatre’s 2015 Oscar Animated Shorts screening, and I was left inspired by these nominated creations because although they only lasted under 20 minutes, each one left such a big impression on me that let’s just say I was feelin’ SOME TYPA WAY.
1. The Bigger Picture (Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees) – 7 minutes/UK/English: “You want to put her in a home; you tell her; tell her now!” hisses one brother to the other. But Mother won’t go, and their own lives unravel as she clings on. Innovative life-size animated characters tell the stark and darkly humorous tale of caring for an elderly parent.”
2. The Dam Keeper (Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi) – 18 minutes/USA/Non-dialogue: The Dam Keeper, tells the tale of a young pig encumbered with an important job, and the meeting of a new classmate who changes everything. Set in a desolate future, one small town’s survival is solely due to a large windmill dam that acts as a fan to keep out poisonous clouds. Despite bullying from classmates and an indifferent public, the dam’s operator, Pig, works tirelessly to keep the sails spinning in order to protect the town. When a new student, Fox, joins Pig’s class, everything begins to change.
3. Feast (Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed) – 6 minutes/USA/Non-dialogue: Feast, a new short from first-time director Patrick Osborne (Head of Animation,Paperman) and Walt Disney
Animation Studios, is the story of one man’s love life as seen through the eyes of his best friend and dog, Winston, and revealed bite by bite through the meals they share.
4. Me and My Moulton (Torill Kove) – 14 minutes/Canada/English: One summer in mid-’60s Norway, a seven-year-old girl asks her parents if she and her sisters can have a bicycle. Me and My
Moulton provides a glimpse of its young protagonist’s thoughts as she struggles with her sense that her family is a little out of sync with what she perceives as “normal.”
5. A Single Life (Joris Oprins)– 2 minutes/The Netherlands/Non-dialogue: When playing a mysterious vinyl single, Pia is suddenly able to travel through her life.
So who do I think will take home the gold trophy?
It’s hard to say, because all of them were so great, but for me the one that really tugged on my heart strings the most had to have been Feast; the parallel stories of pet and pet owner really got to me, as I have recently become a dog mommy myself. Also, the animation was on point and all of the food really made me hungry (in a cute way).
The IFC Center in New York is screening the Animated Shorts Program through February, along with Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles. I have also heard of them being shown at AMC Theatres nationwide.
GET ON IT!