2018 Oscar-nominated Animated Short Films Review

ShortsTV, the World’s Only Short Film Channel (www.shorts.tv), working with Magnolia Pictures, will open “THE 2018 OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS” on more than 500 screens across the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia on Feb. 9, 2018. THE 2018 OSCARS NOMINATED SHORT FILMS will showcase the Live Action, Animation, and Documentary short-film nominees’ compilation as three separate theatrical events.

This marks the 13th consecutive year of the Oscar Nominated Short Films theatrical experience. It is the only opportunity for audiences to watch the short film nominees in theaters before the Academy Awards ceremony on March 4, 2018. The Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood and televised live on the ABC Television Network.

The nominees’ countries of origin range from the U.K, France and Germany to Kenya, Australia, and the U.S. This year the U.S. leads with the most shorts nominations (5 Documentary Short Film nominees’, 2 Live Action Short Film nominees’, and 2 Animated Short Film nominees’). Furthermore, in the Documentary Short Film category, 3 of the films are directed by women, one of the Animated shorts nominees has a female co-Director, and 3 of the Live Action Short Film nominees were inspired by or based upon true stories.

The Animated shorts nominees are:

Dear Basketball (director Glen Keane, United States, 6 min) – Written during his last season as an NBA player, Kobe Bryant narrates this love letter to basketball, reflecting on what the sport has meant to him since he was a young child filled with dreams of playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Even if you didn’t know the background of legendary animator Glen Keane, there would be no surprise to learn he had a long, illustrious career at Disney from the appearance of young Bryant. There are interesting choices in the animation design, as early in Bryant’s life and career look like incomplete sketches. John Williams supplied the score.

Garden Party (directors Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon, France, 7 min) – Frogs have taken over an abandoned mansion where something sinister has occurred as the short slowly reveals. The art is very impressive as the frogs and other objects look astounding realistic. The filmmakers have a great sense of humor and of how to tell a mystery as the story plays out.

Lou (Dave Mullins and Dana Murray, United States, 7 min) – Previously paired with Cars 3, Lou comes from Pixar, who won this category last year with Piper. Lou is an unusual, magical creature, comprised of toys and other things lost by children at an elementary school. Lou teaches a lesson to a young bully and to viewers. While the story has a nice message, it makes no sense why none of the children ever bothered to look in the Lost and Found box for their stuff.

Negative Space (directors Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, France, 5 min) – Using stop-motion, a man talks about his relationship with his father and the bond they formed over the proper packing of suitcases. It’s a much more heartwarming story than what might be presumed as the short opens. There’s a lot of great attention to detail in the objects.

Revolting Rhymes (directors Jan Lachauer and Jakob Schuh, United Kingdom, 29 min) – The only short that runs over 7 minutes, Revolting Rhymes is based on the book by Roald Dahl and illustrations by Quentin Blake. It tells stories in a Fairy Tale shared universe with Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and others. The Big Bad Wolf (Dominic West) serves as the narrator. While funny looks at fairy tales have been done many times, this version didn’t really stand out. There are some amusing parts, but not enough for its run time.

Not sure which I would suggest for your Oscar pool, but my favorite of the five is Garden Party.

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Gordon S. Miller

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site. "I'm making this up as I go" - Indiana Jones

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