Oscar Nominated Short Films (Animated)--watch (most of) them and discuss!

Here is the official website.
The films are:

French Roast.
A diner without money, a homeless guy, a waiter, a policeman, and a nun.

The Lady And The Reaper.
Death fights an arrogant doctor for the life of an old woman who wants to be reunited with her departed husband.

Granny o’Grimms’s Sleeping Beauty.
A bitter elderly Irish lady tells the bedtime story of Sleeping Beauty to a terrified youngster.

Wallace and Gromit - A Matter Of Life And Loaf.
Wallace and Gromit are bakers worried about a killer on the loose who targets bakers, while Gromit deals with Wallace’s new love.

Logorama.
A gritty drama in which the characters and background elements are portrayed by familiar advertising trademarks.

I regretfully decline to provide a link to this last one, mostly because there are few available, due apparently to the creators’ wishes. If you look, you can find a few, but they are of relatively low resolution and since much of the fun of this piece is in the detail, it’s a bummer.

I suspect that this apparent moratorium is because using as they do a huge number of trademarks (including pretty much all of the most iconic trademarks of the modern era), they might have to carefully control the circumstances under which the film might be exhibited.

Anyway, having seen all of these in the theater, I will refrain from adding my own opinion for the time being, until the thread gets legs (or, more probably, sinks like a stone).

I saw all 5 in the theater a couple of nights ago, and here’s my ranking:

Animated

  1. Logorama
  2. Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty
  3. A Matter of Loaf and Death
  4. The Lady and the Reaper
  5. French Roast

As much as I love Wallace & Gromit, it plays out pretty formulaicly by now. The treasure is in the details, and I liked AMoL&D better than A Close Shave, though nothing will probably ever match the brilliance of The Wrong Trousers.

I was ready to declare Granny the winner based on the humor and alternating animation styles alone, but that was before Logorama, which I’ll completely admit to being a true YMMV piece. But on the big screen, and the more it continued, I realized what a wholly original, bizarre, and subversive film it was and I ended up laughing more during this one than any of the 5 (though it did get a slow start). Truly remarkable.

Usually every year has one that is actually pretty awful, and while French Roast is the worst of the bunch, it’s still got a few neat surprises and isn’t bad.

But the only time Nick Park has lost an Oscar (he has 4) is when he lost to himself, so AMoL&D will take it at the end of the day.

OK. All of these look great. I was a little disappointed that all of them (with the exception of some parts of Granny O’Grimm) were 3D computer animation. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I was surprised that not one featured a predominantly hand drawn approach. Yes, I know: kids, lawn, etc.

French Roast was perfectly good, but I felt it was the weakest entry. And once the plot became clear, the ending was obvious.

Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty was my favorite, but I can see that it might not win, because its charm is mainly in the voice acting (though the split style animation, as ArchiveGuy notes, is pretty cool).

What can I say about A Matter Of Life And Loaf? It’s beautiful to look at, it’s finely characterized, it’s witty, it’s well plotted. It will probably win.

I really wanted The Lady And The Reaper to end better. It had a clever concept, great characterization, good comic timing, and an amazing look. But the ending fell very flat.

Logorama I did not like that much. It was beautifully executed, but the subversiveness felt very self-conscious (evil Ronald McDonald! Horny Bob’s Big Boy!) and although it seemed to be making a statement, I couldn’t say what it was, unless it was Corporations Are Bad. And again, the ending fell flat.

So it looks to me that Wallace and Gromit win the day again. But dang, I laughed harder at Granny O’Grimm than I have in a long time!

:confused: Wallace & Gromit is almost exclusively stop-motion; computer-enhanced imagery is kept to a minimum.

Fair enough. i had been under the impression that after the fire, they moved to exclusively computer animation, but clearly I was wrong. Ignorance fought! Now if only someone else would join us, we’d have a thread!

You’re probably thinking of this, which was Aardman’s first foray into feature film CG animation (though with still a very obvious and distinctive studio look). But this was a Peter Lord film, not a Nick Park one. I suspect the latter is always going to stick with his old-school style and medium. W&G wouldn’t be the same any other way.