Movie Review: Animated Oscar Nominated Short Films (2010)

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The Lady and the Reaper, Logorama, A Matter of Loaf and Death, French Roast and Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty

Short Films International and Magnolia Pictures are currently screening this year’s Oscar nominated live-action and animated shorts in theaters prior to the March 7, 2010 Oscar presentation. For theater listings and times check out Shorts HD.com. Below are the reviews for the five Oscar-nominated animated short films along with production videos and full versions of all five short films.

You can get my reviews of the five nominated live-action shorts right here.

Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty
Ireland / 6:06 minutes

Nicky Phelan’s Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty serves as its own piece of revisionist story-telling as Granny O’Grimm sets down to tell her granddaughter the age old tale of “Sleeping Beauty” only to lose herself along the way in fits of rage and jealousy as the plot twists and turns. The animation is pretty good, although the minimalist work on Granny compared to her granddaughter was a bit odd, but the 2D look to the storybook scenes were welcomed.

Where the film sort of loses me is that it is trying hard to be funny, but it isn’t. Outside of the birthing scene of Beauty in the opening not much more about it impressed or entertained me. By the time it was over I was ready to move on to the next one.

You can watch the whole short directly below and check out the official site right here.

French Roast
France / 8:17 minutes

Set in Paris, this slickly animated feature centers on a snooty businessman who realizes too late he doesn’t have any money to pay his check. His only immediate solution is to continue ordering coffee in an effort to stall for time, but as the plot moves forward, the maitre d’, a homeless man, a police officer and a little old lady add to the confusion.

Outside of the story, what I enjoyed most about this film was the use of the mirror in the background to tell the outside story. It’s not as if it does anything to the narrative as much as it is a fascinating way of performing a technique in animation that would be impossible in live-action without the use of CGI.

I have included the video above from the film’s production blog which has several more videos, sketches and photos from every step of the film’s production. The link I provided translates the page into English, click here if you would like the original French version.

You can watch the whole short directly below:

The Lady and the Reaper
Spain / 8:20 minutes

This one gets a bit repetitive even though it is only eight minutes long, but it is a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it as the Grim Reaper is continually thwarted by a hot shot doctor and is beautiful nurses in his attempts to take a willing old lady off to the after life. I thought the CG was great and had a ton of laughs with it. It doesn’t feel like an Oscar-winner, but it’s definitely a great little film.

This short also has an extensive production blog with additional videos such as the one included in this review as well as several bits of character design and storyboards. You can visit the production blog translated from Spanish into English here and the original Spanish version here. The official site is right here.

You can watch the whole short directly below:

SIDE NOTE: The Lady and the Reaper was co-produced by Antonio Banderas.

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