Directed by John Kahrs
Walt Disney studios makes a triumphant return to the animated short film world after leaving Pixar in charge for the last few years with PAPERMAN. This black and white homage to whimsy and fate is an absolute delight that is sure to charm even the most reticent romantic. In a world without colour, where people go about their daily lives without any notice for those around them, a chance meeting at a train station tends to stick out, no matter how fleeting. As the hero of this story fights against the rules in hopes of finding something as elusive as love, the audience is reminded that the universe will have your back in these pursuits, if you let it.
Directed by PES
PES is an American born, computer animation director. His first Oscar nominated short film, FRESH GUACAMOLE, is the shortest Oscar nominated short film in history, clocking in at 1:41. Allow me to say though that you will be completely transfixed for that brief period of time. In bold, bright colour, the most bizarre recipe for guacamole I’ve ever seen is demonstrated for your viewing pleasure. It begins with the avocado taken from a grenade, with a pool ball for a pit, and only gets more bewildering from there. It also only gets more fascinating from that point as well.
HEAD OVER HEEL
Directed by Timothy Reckart
Sometimes, when you’re in a relationship for a very long time, you can end up living completely separate lives while still living in the same house. Sometimes, you don’t even see it coming and, and worse still, sometimes you cannot find your way back. Timothy Reckart’s HEAD OVER HEELS captures this heartbreaking balance brilliantly. In it, an older couple live under the same roof but on different floors and I don’t mean she lives upstairs from him. Rather, she lives on the ceiling and he lives on the floor. Sometimes though, all it takes to get on the same page again, is for one person to do one nice thing for the other.
ADAM AND DOG
Directed by Minkyu Lee
Have you ever wondered how dog came to be known as man’s best friend? Director Minkyu Lee suspects it was pretty early on in our existence. Her imagining of creation is beautiful to gaze upon but a little unfocused in its message. In ADAM AND DOG, Adam, of “Adam and Eve” fame, finds a dog in a field in the Garden of Eden one day. They play; they explore; and the dog never leaves Adam’s side. Until Adam wants some alone time with Eve, that is. Lee proposes that the bond between man and dog is so strong because this dog never abandoned Adam, even in the worst of times. I may have been more moved more if Adam hadn’t taken the dog for granted to begin with. This also makes ADAM AND DOG the origin story of man’s selfishness as well.
MAGGIE SIMPSON IN “THE LONGEST DAYCARE”
Directed by David Silverman
THE SIMPSONS missed out on a Best Animated Feature nomination a few years back when they released their first ever feature film. Now they have their first moment in Oscar glory with this Maggie Simpson silent outing, THE LONGEST DAYCARE. Maggie must fight to keep a defenceless caterpillar from being killed before it turns into a butterfly but her struggle is not as simple as that. As she fights for the rights of butterflies everywhere, she also fights her own struggle to rise from the mediocrity of her own design. David Silverman, who directed THE SIMPSONS MOVIE, keeps the pace quick and the laughs tight, sneaking insight into the mix when no one is looking.