Nowadays, with the exception of the odd animated short that plays before some animated features, it takes some effort to be able to watch shorts (festivals, for instance). Thankfully, the Oscar nominated shorts (in addition to some other selected few) get play (details can be seen here) and can be watched theatrically or online. I truly recommend it, for the variety of stories and styles.
The Animated program included:
Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj´s 3D animation is pristine, with great-looking characters and environment. The story, a tale of regret and longing, is a tad sad but interesting. Gustavo Santaolalla providing the music is never a bad thing.
Presenting a simple, flat visual style, Patrick Osborne’s short has a very touching, cute story of a father-daughter relationship. The constant setting allows for a very particular window to see how the characters evolve over time.
Theodore Ushev’s short is very poetic and symbolic; its visual style is different from what the mainstream uses, but it somehow matches the story and theme.
Robert Valley’s film uses its length (it is by far the longest of the five nominated shorts) to tell a more complex, adult story. Visually flat, it’s not particularly attractive, but it matches the memory flow narrative.
The fifth nominee, Alan Barillaro’s film, is not part of this package. It was, however, attached theatrically to Finding Dory, therefore can be seen in different ways. The short has an amazing look, detailed and realistic; the story is light, funny and inspiring.
As a bonus, these selected shorts were also included:
Funny and cute, the 3D animation by Sylvain Amblard et al is a bit simple for the standards of today.
Alicja Jasina’s film has a very clean, almost elementary, but inventive animation; nice way of telling this particular story.
Franck Dion’s short comes up with a nice and creative visual representation of the issue portrayed in his film, making this an interesting experience.
With an interesting animation style, Jan Saska’s short gains points for its black humour and unexpected structure.
Alexandre Arpentinier et al tell a simple story that is silly, funny and very well-animated.