Short Animated Films
Day & Night
Pixar’s entry this year shows what happens when Day and Night meet and argue over who is better, only to realize they each have their own great qualities and traits and can get along. Insanely unique and well done, the animation is amazing as always and the story is different from Pixar’s usual fare.
Based on the children’s book of the same name, this short boasts some high profile UK voice talent with Helena Bonham Carter as the narrator, Robbie Coltrane as The Gruffalo, and Tom Wilkinson and John Hurt rounding out the supporting roles. It tells the story of a cunning mouse who goes for a stroll, outwitting enemies along the way with the threat that he is meeting a scary, made up predator, the Gruffalo. Only, the mouse finds out that the Gruffalo may not be so made up after all. The story is long, predictable, and at 27 minutes, tends to drag a bit. In the end, it’s a sweet children’s story with average animation.
A satirical take on an educational film, this short instructs you on how to pollute best by never reusing anything and throwing everything away. Because it’s so short (about 6 minutes), it’s obvious message doesn’t escalate to preachy, but with it’s rudimentary animation, it’s probably here for its relevance and nothing else.
The Lost Thing
In a place not unlike our world today, where many are too busy to stop and notice anything, a boy finds a lost thing on the beach and attempts to find it a home. The animation is beautiful and it’s message, while not very subtle, is conveyed in a unique way when the boy discovers a whole world of things right in front of us that everyone has seemingly forgotten.
Madagascar, A Journey Diary
A traveler has new experiences, including spiritual enlightenment, on a trip to Madagascar, as presented to us while flipping through his travel diary. In terms of animation, this is by far the most unique, as it flips through the diary every sketch comes to life and in every shot the animation is different. However, because it’s told in such a different way, the story can be slightly incohesive.
What Will Win: It’s a toss up whether the Academy will favor the star studded voice cast in The Gruffalo or the unique animation with a spiritual side in Madagascar, A Journey Diary. It really could be either, but I’m going to give the edge to Madagascar, based on last year’s Logorama win and the year before’s La Maison en Petits Cubes.
What Should Win: It’s hard to believe that Pixar is the underdog in this category, but I think Day and Night is one of it’s strongest shorts yet.