Time to once again examine this year’s crop of Academy Award nominees in the category of Short Subject Animation, aka The Only Oscar That Matters.
This year, as always, we have a strong list of shorts but one clear winner (which probably won’t win, which is why I hate awards). I’ll run them down from least to best.
This is the only nominee I haven’t seen, so that’s why it’s last. It could be great, but who knows? It looks interesting.
Why isn’t this online? Seriously. It’s short subject animation. You might as well put it out there, you’re not going to sell a lot of DVDs for a 16-minute film.
MAGGIE SIMPSON in THE LONGEST DAYCARE
by David Silverman
This Simpsons short aired before the latest “Ice Age” movie last summer and last Sunday after “The Simpsons” episode. Baby Maggie has to protect a butterfly from her arch-enemy. It’s cute but not Oscar-worthy. It’s better than most Simpsons episodes of recent years, but that’s not much of an accomplishment.
Now this is what I typically think of when I think of short subject animation. Weird. Surreal. Fascinating. Also, very short. I like it. I watched it a few days ago on YouTube but it has since been taken down and won’t be back up until after the Oscars. Don’t know what they’re thinking there.
Disney’s contribution and the favorite-to-win is this sweet little tale of a man, a woman and paper airplanes. The animation is impressive and it was better than “Wreck-It Ralph,” the film it opened for.
I rarely get emotionally invested in the Oscars. I don’t really care that much if “Argo” beats “Lincoln.” Sure, I have favorites in some categories but it won’t break my heart if they lose. Nothing this year really caught my attention in that “Wow. That Should Win An Award” kind of way.
Until I watched “Adam and Dog.”
This 15-minute fable encapsulates why I love short subject animation. The art is lush and feels like you’re watching an animated watercolor portrait. And the story is beautiful. It’s the tale of man and dog and how their relationship dates back to the dawn of time. But don’t bother reading any more of my mindless ramblings, just watch.
If this doesn’t win, I will be very sad.