Oscar-Nominated Short Films 2018: Animated    

Not necessarily 2017’s best animated shorts, but definitely the ones nominated for Oscars.

Yay for cartoons! There’s still a lot wrong with the Academy Awards, such as The Boss Baby getting nominated for Best Animated Feature or Sia’s “Rainbow” from My Little Pony: The Movie getting snubbed for Best Original Song. But at least there’s always been a category for “Best Cartoon” — even if the Academy realized in the 1970s that its members were mature adult grown-ups who work in a serious art form, and thus changed “Cartoon” to the more respectable-sounding “Animated Film.” (Well, la-de-frickin’-da.)

Although it was a given that the Olaf’s Frozen Adventure backlash would keep it out of the nominations, Disney is still present in the form of Lou, the Pixar short about an anthropomorphic pile of toys which played in front of Cars 3. Based on the Roald Dahl book, Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer’s Revolting Rhymes uses considerably more basic CGI to animate five fairy tales told with appropriately Dahlian twists, while Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon’s photorealistic Garden Party follows intrepid frogs as they explore a house. Meanwhile, Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter’s stop-motion Negative Space tells the story of a boy’s relationship with the suitcase of his oft-traveling father, and in Glen Keane’s deeply touching, hand-drawn Dear Basketball, Kobe Bryant reflects on his relationship with the game. 

Not rated.
Opens Friday at the Opera Plaza Cinema and the Clay Theater.

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