When the 2007 Academy Award nominees were announced, most of us probably paid little attention to the animated short films, because most of us probably haven’t seen any of them.
Let’s face it; if you’re reading here, most likely the animation you’re seeing is the stuff your kids beg for, and very little of that is going to include the “artsy” animated shorts that draw Oscar bids. Then again, perhaps you consider yourself an animation buff, in which case any failure to have taken in this year’s contenders may be bumming you out a bit. Darn life and responsibilities and commitments; you want to know which films you should make it your business to see.
The New York Times did a great piece on all of the nominated animated short films, starting off with a brisk caution to those who would dismiss this category as fluff:
It would be a mistake to assume that the 10 movies nominated this year for best live-action and animated short film in the Oscar sweepstakes are the kind of cinematic amuse-bouches often shown before the main feature at film festivals. Most are not trifles, and some range from 30 to 40 minutes long.
Among the animated films nothing resembles a traditional Disney cartoon. Sophisticated illustration, puppetry, stop-motion animation and digital wizardry are the order of the day.
Read the entire piece for the run-down; the entire program is about two-and-a-quarter hours long and is showing across the U.S. (Though not in my small town, darn it.) It may not be suitable for small children, but you‘re not a small child, are you? If it’s showing in your town, it sounds like it’ll be worth finding a sitter one of these nights.