Oscar Nominated Short Films 2014: Animation Hooray for cartoons! While there's a lot wrong with the Academy Awards — the glaring lack of an award for stunt performers, for example — at least they've always had a category for Best Cartoon, even if they got all self-conscious and changed it from "Cartoon" to the more respectable-sounding "Animated Film" in the 1970s. Among the standouts of this year's cartoons are Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim's Get a Horse!, the semi-obligatory Disney offering and the first Mickey Mouse theatrical short since 1995. Continuing the studio's recent obsession with its glory days (cf. the Oscar-snubbed Saving Mr. Banks), Mickey steps off the screen of a faithfully-re-created 1928-style short into the real/CGI world, paying homage to Buster Keaton's Sherlock, Jr. in the process. Meanwhile, Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares' Mr. Hublot takes Jacques Tati's fears of a mechanized world to its logical extreme, as a clockwork man in a clockwork world opens his heart to a clockwork dog. Max Lang and Jan Lachauer's Room on the Broom's tale of a witch on a joyride with an increasing number of animal pals is mostly distinguished by Simon Pegg's exuberant narration, while Pixar's under-nominated The Blue Umbrella is a startlingly photorealistic story about lovestruck umbrellas in a rainy city, aided by a beautiful Jon Brion score.
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