Which Oscar-Nominated Animated Short Film of 2014 Will Win?
As I say every year, I am not a huge fan of short films, but every year, I give the Oscar-nominated ones a chance to win me over. So here I am, reviewing the Oscar-nominated animated short films of 2014.
And they are largely disappointing…
5. Room on the Broom
In Room on the Broom, a boring witch flies her lazy animal friends around on a broom while being pursued by a dragon. While beautifully animated, the subdued nature of the story and only occasional bursts of narration make this one a slog to sit through. Little kids may enjoy it, but even they will be tested by the lack of energy.
An animated Japanese dude wanders into a shrine only to discover that various household objects are “inhabited by goblin spirits.” The animations are bright, fast and creative, but I missed the part about “goblin spirits” after getting distracted for a moment. I really had no idea what was happening at any point during this little film, and as a result nothing really resonated with me. At least it is more energetic than Room on the Broom.
3. Mr. Hublot
I feel like there have been other animated short films set in a world of robotic people, but Mr. Hublot is a simple story about a “man” who opens up when he befriends a robotic “dog.” The animation is impressive and exquisitely detailed, and the story is mildly entertaining and at the very least cute, but it has a “been there, done that, seen it” vibe to it that I just couldn’t shake.
Less an animated film than a watercolor painting brought to life, Feral tells the simple story of a boy raised in the wilderness who is found and reintroduced to society. Naturally, the kid can’t shake his preference to being a wolf. The story doesn’t really matter, though, as the unique artwork stands apart from everything else on display.
1. Get a Horse!
Disney actually puts its trademark star (Mickey Mouse) to work for a change in this short that has the hero attempting to save Minnie from Peg-Leg Pete. Traditional, right? Wrong. Blending old and new and embracing 3D, Mickey works both sides of the movie screen to save his girl and send Peg-Leg Pete scurrying. It’s a fun, clever and creative adventure that literally turns things upside down. The short played in front of Frozen.
Ultimately, it comes down to uniqueness versus entertainment value. Get a Horse! is ambitious and fun, but it is by no means Disney’s best short. And Feral isn’t nearly as entertaining, but it is hard to deny how much different it is than anything else I’ve seen in recent memory. Neither blew me away, but I would be content with either winning Oscar gold.