The 2012 Oscar-Nominated Animated Short Films Predictions

I say it every year and I’ll say it again: I am not a huge fan of short films. I have trouble making an emotional connection with the characters, or getting invested in such a short story. But I still respect the work that goes into any film project, and among the five films nominated for Best Animated Short at this year’s Academy Awards, there are two legitimately great films.

The animated shorts are now playing in select theaters.

No. 5. Maggie Simpson “The Longest Daycare”

By far the least interesting of the group, this Simpsons short is cute, but doesn’t have much to offer: after all, there’s nothing innovative about the animation (it’s been the same for 30 years, more or less) and the story lacks the edge and humor typically found in the show’s episodes. It does have butterflies, however.

No. 4. Adam and Dog

A dog wanders around in nature until he stumbles across a naked man who befriends him in this spin on Adam and Eve, a nicely animated movie that will resonate with dog lovers. There’s not a whole lot to it, but it’s a sweet short that grows on you as the simple story progresses.

No. 3. Fresh Guacamole

The shortest film I’ve ever reviewed, Fresh Guacamole is only two minutes long and is about a guy preparing a dish of “guacamole,” but with a twist. The short is clever and animated with intriguing, stop-motion effects, though ultimately there just isn’t much to it. It feels more like an experiment than a fully fleshed out film, especially compared to the other nominees.

No. 2. Head Over Heel

I almost gave this movie an upset win over Paperman. This unique and imaginative tale about a husband and wife who live in the same house but are literally separated by different gravitational fields (he lives on the floor, she walks around on the ceiling – or vice versa) is eye catching and grabby. Definitely worth watching.

No. 1. Paperman

There was an Internet meme over the summer that declared that Disney managed to capture more emotion in six minutes than the Twilight movies did in five movies. This is true, but not only is Paperman our pick for Best Animated Short of 2012, but it is also the best animated movie of any length of the year.

My prediction: Unless the Academy feels Pixar has won enough over the years (unlikely), Paperman is the clear favorite and as safe of a bet as there can be during the show.

See our full list of the 2012 Academy Award nominees.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Animated Movies, Awards & Oscars, Movie Reviews