[UPDATE 2/22/13 8:47 MST] Some of you may have noticed that some of the links for the Oscar-nominated shorts don’t work. We had suspicions that someone was making the studios and filmmakers pull the shorts from the web, but now we have confirmation.
The Verge has reported that the shorts were pulled in response to Hollywood pressure. Specifically, Carter Pilcher, CEO of distributor Shorts International, put up quite a fit to get them removed. Many of you may know that for the past few years, the short films (both animated and live-action) have been shown in select independent theaters across the country. According to a letter written by Pilcher:
Unlike Webbies or Ani’s, the Academy Award is designed to award excellence in the making of motion pictures that receive a cinematic release, not an online release. This release of the films on the Internet threatens to destroy 8 years of audience growth and the notion that these film gems are indeed movies — no feature length film would consider a free online release as a marketing tool!
Apparently the online releases have “a very significant, adverse reaction from the independent theaters that are playing the films.” Translation: ticket sales have plummeted and no one is going to see them in theaters anymore. So looks like we may not be able to watch all (some are still available) of the films until at least after the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday.
If you still haven’t seen the shorts, you still might be able watch them at local theater near you. For showtimes and locations, click here.
With the Academy Awards coming up next week, it’s time to make those predictions and fill out your Oscar ballots! While many of us have seen the the majority of the animated films up for Best Animated Feature, many haven’t had the chance to see all the contenders for Best Animated Short.
Well, never fear! All of the short films are now available online! The five films in the running this year are:
- Adam and Dog
- Fresh Guacamole
- Head Over Heels
- Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”
Adam and Dog: This traditionally animated 15-minute film directed Minkyu Lee tells the story of a dog in the Garden of Eden who meets earth’s first man, Adam.
Fresh Guacamole: A quick stop-motion film directed by PES takes a clever twist on making guacamole.
Head Over Heels: A ten-minute stop-motion short directed Timothy Reckart & Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly shows the daily life of a old married couple who live in unique circumstances.
Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”: Directed by longtime The Simpsons veteran, David Silverman, this fun short is about Maggie Simpsons as she’s stuck in daycare with a bug-killing toddler.
Paperman: This romantic short directed by John Kahrs melds 2D and CGI animation techniques to tell the story of two strangers whose pass cross in a busy train station.
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After watching all the shorts, I’m blown away with the creativity and captivating storytelling of each. There’s not question in my mind why these all were each nominated. I enjoyed the variety of animation styles, techniques, and story subjects as they collectively left me inspired upon viewing.
While going into this I thought that Paperman would remain my pick to win, I was profoundly blown away by Adam and Dog with its emotion and simple elegance. Its pacing is slower than some of the others, but it allows you to take in and explore the world as you follow the dog through Eden.
As for my other favorites, Fresh Guacamole was fun, quirky, and reminded me much of a short you’d see on Sesame Street (that is a compliment). Paperman had a whirlwind year of press and promotion last year and, not surprisingly, lived up to the hype. The plot is very Disney-esque and draws the audience into the main character’s plight, while making you laugh, cry and root for him throughout the film.
Head Over Heels is a unique take on the idiom after which it’s named. Its raw stop-motion animation is lovely, yet the I couldn’t quite get into the plot. Lastly, Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare” is nice little Simpsons short, that reminds me much of the A Streetcar Named Marge episode where Maggie is put in a similar situation. But again, I wasn’t invested in the story until it was nearly over.
The winner will be revealed at the 85th Annual Academy Awards airs Sunday, February 24th.
Now you’ve seen my opinions, now I want to hear yours! Let us know in the comments what are your thoughts about the short and which film you think will take home the big golden prize!