The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2015: Animation (2015)
February 9, 2015 7:05 PM - Subscribe

Shorts International presents a theatrical release of the five Oscar nominees for Best Short Film, Animated, plus four "Highly Commended" animated shorts.

Where to see it

Oscar Nominees:
Me and My Moultonofficial website (full film for purchase in some regions) • trailerIMDB
Feastofficial websitetrailerfull movie for purchase at AmazonIMDB
The Bigger Pictureofficial websitetrailerIMDB
A Single Lifestudio websitetrailerIMDB
The Dam Keeperofficial website • trailer #1, #2IMDB

Highly Commended:
Sweet Cocoonofficial websitetrailerIMDB
Duetfull filmIMDBpreviously on MeFi
Bus StorytrailerIMDB
posted by DevilsAdvocate (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My thoughts:

Me and My Moulton: A pleasant enough film about three daughters of some slightly eccentric parents in 1960s Sweden, but I didn't find it particularly outstanding.

Feast: A Disney short which screened in front of Big Hero 6. A warm-hearted, funny film. Apparently it's considered the front-runner for the Oscar; I'd rank it second behind The Dam Keeper but wouldn't object if it won.

The Bigger Picture: Technically amazing, with its combination of life-size(!) 2D animation and stop motion (see the "Making of" video), but I found the story rather dry.

A Single Life: Very short film with basically a single gimmick, but well done for what it was.

The Dam Keeper: Longest of the nominated shorts in this category at 18 minutes, and also the only nominee I had seen before seeing this program. A young anthropomorphic pig maintains a dam which protects a town from an encroaching darkness. Well animated and a good, if simple, story. This would be my choice for the Oscar, if it were up to me.

Sweet Cocoon: An oversized caterpillar tries to get into her cocoon with the help of a few other bugs. Mildly humorous, but it was never quite good enough to draw my attention away from the voice in the back of my head telling me that COCOONS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY. (Caterpillars don't move into a fully formed cocoon, they construct the cocoon around themselves.)

Footprints: Bill Plympton, with good animation as always, and a better story than in some of his other short films I've seen. A man awakes to find a window broken, and footprints leading away from it. He follows the footprints to try to track down the culprit.

Duet: Seems pretty well covered in the previous thread on the Blue; nothing to add to the discussion there.

Bus Story: Decently funny film about a woman who wants to be a... school bus driver? Sounds like a weird premise, but I thought it worked.

A general observation: at least three of these nine films had darkly humorous moments where you might not expect them.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:31 PM on February 9, 2015

I thought the selections this year were generally an improvement over the last few years', which tended to have a heavy helping of mawkish sentimentality and/or clichéd stories and premises. Duet was the only real offender this year, and arguably the skill of the animation made it a tolerable watch.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:50 PM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just saw these tonight! I agree with soundguy99 that they seemed less mawkish than previous years (though I don't have a great basis for comparison, this is only the third year where I've seen them all).

I'd rank them as follows: Me and My Moulton, A Single Life, The Dam Keeper, The Bigger Picture, Feast

I loved M&MM, I thought it was sweet, charming, and real. A Single Life was incredibly winning, a really well executed concept. The Dam Keeper was done in a lovely style but the narration and story didn't grab me. The Bigger Picture's unique style suited the story well, but like DA I found it rather dry. Feast was cute but not the most original thing in the world (and pretty similar to 2012's Adam and Dog, which itself was not strikingly original).

I didn't really dislike any of them. No matter who wins, it will be deserved, but MAN do I wish Bus Story was up there, too. An excellent, idiosyncratic story with a fitting animation style. I laughed so hard I actually cried.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 6:24 PM on February 17, 2015

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