Studios hope that an Academy Award nomination will bring their films more attention, and in the case of the shorts (both animated and live action), Oscar recognition makes them part of the program now playing in theaters.
ShortsHD brings to selected theaters nationwide all the Oscar-Nominated short films, both animated and live action. If you’re a real Oscar fan, or you want a leg up in picking the winners, you’ll want to check them out. You can see all the trailers online, as well as find out where the program is playing near you. If you don’t have a nearby location or can’t make it to the theater, the films will be available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and Pay-Per-View beginning February 25.
The Academy Award-nominated short animated films are (with descriptions provided via PR):
Feral (USA, 13 minutes) directed by Daniel Sousa
A wild boy is found in the woods by a solitary hunter and brought back to civilization. Alienated by a strange new environment, the boy tries to adapt by using the same strategies that kept him safe in the forest.
Get a Horse! (USA, 6 minutes) directed by Lauren MacMullan
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ innovative new short “Get A Horse!” is a contemporary homage to the first animated shorts featuring Mickey Mouse, with all-new, black-and-white, hand-drawn animation that’s paired with full-color, 3D, CG filmmaking in the same frame. Mickey (voice of Walt Disney), his favorite gal pal Minnie Mouse, and their friends Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow delight in a musical haywagon ride — until Peg-Leg Pete shows up and tries to run them off the road. This groundbreaking short takes a sharp turn when Mickey finds himself separated from Minnie and must use every trick up his sleeve to find his way back to her.
Mr. Hublot (France, 11 minutes) directed by Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
Mr. Hublot lives in a world where characters are made partially of mechanical parts, driving huge vehicles, rub shoulders with each other. A world where the giant scale of machines and the relentless use of salvaged materials reign supreme. A withdrawn, idiosyncratic character with OCD, Mr. Hublot is scared of change and the outside world. His solution: he doesn’t step foot outside his apartment! The arrival of the dog Robot Pet will turn his life upside down: he has to share his home with this very invasive companion…
Possessions (Japan, 14 minutes) directed by Shuhei Morita
The 18th Century. On a stormy night, deep in the mountains, a man has lost his way and comes across a small shrine. When he enters, the space suddenly turns into a room in a different world. One after another appear abandoned umbrellas, discarded kimonos, and such spectral things. The man painstakingly mends these paraphernalia, which harbor deep-seated bitterness, and brings them comfort. “How well you served people before you turned to rags. Your rest is earned.”
Room on the Broom (UK, 25 minutes) directed by Max Lang & Jan Lachauer
A half-hour animated film based on the wonderful children’s picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler…. A story about a kind witch who invites a surprising collection of animals to join her on her broom, much to the frustration of her cat. The gang ultimately saves the witch from a fearsome dragon, and in gratitude she rewards them with a magnificent new broom which has room for everyone. Featuring the voices of Gillian Anderson (Witch), Rob Brydon (Cat), Martin Clunes (Dog), Sally Hawkins (Bird), Simon Pegg (Narrator), Timothy Spall (Dragon), and David Walliams (Frog).
Having taken sneak peeks at all of these, Possessions is my favorite, for its use of cultural symbolism, its beautiful animation, its appreciation of handcraft and history, and its message.