Oscar Nominated Short Films 2017: Animated

Yea, cartoons! Oh, excuse us: animated films for grownups.

Cartoons rule! There’s still a lot wrong with the Academy Awards — like Lemonade not being eligible, to name a random example. But at least there’s always been a category for “Best Cartoon,” even if the Academy realized in the 1970s that its members were grown-ups, and so changed “Cartoon” to the more respectable-sounding “Animated Film.” (What-ever.)

The Pixar presence in the ’Cademy Cartoon Cavalcade this year is Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer’s Piper, in which a young sandpiper has to overcome her fear of the waves. It’s also, by design, the studio’s most photorealistic animation to date.

The most notable inclusion may well be Patrick Osborne’s Pearl, which takes place entirely inside a car over the course of several years, as a young girl grows up with her travelling-musician father. An edited version made to fit a flatscreen in a theater is charming — but in its native form, Pearl is 360-degree, virtual reality video developed via Google Spotlight Stories, and shot from a POV between the front seats; you can and should download that app right now and watch Pearl in its native environment.

The passage of time and binocular vision also factor into Theodore Ushev’s 2D, woodcut-style Blind Vaysha, about a girl whose left eye can only see the past, and whose right eye sees the future.

Oscar Nominated Short Films 2017: Animated
Not rated.
Opens Friday at the Embarcadero Center Cinema, the Opera Plaza Cinema, and the Clay Theater

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