This is the only Oscar category this year that I have any right of having an opinion on, and in less time than it’d take to watch just one of the Best Picture nominees you could watch all five of these animated shorts. Depending on the speed of your internet connection it’d take roughly 45 minutes, but thanks to two of the nominees it’d be well worth it.
Although enjoyable and quick, it has no story. It’s just a video of someone making guacamole out of non-food items. I imagine it took a lot of editing, so it has that going for it, but I can’t imagine it will win.
This short had an inside shot at being my favorite considering it revolves around my favorite Simpson’s family member, Maggie. Marge drops Maggie off at the Ayn Rand Daycare Center and Maggie meets a caterpillar who she must protect before it goes through the faster metamorphosis process ever and a butterfly killing psycho toddler smashes it. The story moves along nicely with some laughs along the way and ends satisfyingly, but ultimately the competition this year is too good for it to have a chance.
Speaking of competition, from the predictions I’ve read most people consider this to be one of the two possible winners of this Oscar. Maybe they’re right, but I will be disappointed if this wins. The story is about a Dog who befriends a naked man, but unfortunately for the dog the naked man finds a naked woman – who we can assume is Eve – and the naked man wants the dog to leave him alone so he and the girl can do what naked men and naked women tend to do. The story ends bleak, but also enjoyable. Adam and Dog had my favorite animation of the bunch, but it took too long and did too little for me to care about anything in the story except the dog, who the story is about, but the emotions I assume it meant to convey just didn’t arise in me.
The story is very interesting. An old man and an oldish woman who have grown apart live in a house together. The interesting part is that one lives on the floor and the other lives on the ceiling. I’m still not certain which one lives where – or how it works, but I’ll ignore the laws of science for now – but the couple manage to make it work. The old man decides to try and rekindle their love by fixing a pair of her old shoes, but she’s persistent to open his gift. The house, which was spiraling through the air, then lands somewhere, with the woman’s part of the house now the floor. She leaves the house to go look around the area and as the old man tries to follow her he discovers that if he leaves the house he’ll float off into the sky. The short is claymation, which isn’t my favorite animation form at all, but the ending is super adorable, which is why I won’t mind if it wins.
This is my favorite short, and also the frontrunner to win. Like The Longest Daycare, Paperman was seen by a lot of people because it was originally released as a short before the movie Wreck It Ralph – Longest Daycare was played before Ice Age 4 or whatever, I believe. The job I help my mother out with occasionally actually required me to make sure Paperman was playing before Wreck It Ralph at the theaters I was assigned, so I watched Paperman about five times in the theater. Normally I would have just sat through it with earbuds in listening to a podcast or music, but after watching it the first time I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to watch it four more times.
Paperman is about a man holding some papers who sees a woman at a train station. One of the papers is blown out of his hands and hits the woman’s face. The man grabs the piece of paper off her and laughs when he notices her lipstick left her lips impression on the paper. When he looks back to the girl she’s on the train and ostensibly out of his life forever. When he gets to work and is given a large stack of papers from his boss – to do what with I’m not sure – he looks out his window and through an open window in the building across the street sees the same girl. He tries to get her attention but can’t, so instead does what any sane man would do. He starts making paper airplanes out of the stack of papers next to him and tries to fly them over to her. After failing over and over again he’s left with one paper, the one with the girl’s lipstick impression on it. So he reluctantly makes it into a paper airplane and what happens next is magical.
The animation is great, the story is wonderful, the music fits it perfectly, and I believe it should win the Oscar for Best Animated Short.