Oscar Nominated Short Films Animates Series

To be quite frank, these nominated films were somewhat disappointing and did not dance in the same league as the films recognized in the live action category that I previously reviewed. From my viewpoint, only Revolting Rhymes and Garden Party will challenge for the Oscar, so let’s begin with a short discussion of both.

Revolting Rhymes, a product of the BBC, is my pick to win the Oscar in this category. It is based on Roald Dahl’s fairytale book that reinvents some recognizable characters. You see a wolf sitting down with an elderly woman in a small café as he tells his life story. Everything is told in rhyme, and you watch as you see traditional characters play very untraditional roles.

Snow White is beleaguered by a queen who wants her dead so she can eat her heart. The wolf’s two furry nephews are out to find a way to either eat Little Red Riding Hood or the three little pigs, one of whom who runs a bank where Snow White mistakenly deposits her limited funds.

Without saying more, please do not assume that this film has a happy ending. While Snow White and Riding Hood wear wolf fur coats skinned from their protagonists after disposing of them, the elderly wolf dons the babysitter’s

garb as he appears at the door of our girls’ home. They seem to have left their two little children at home to await their sitter as they left for an event. You sense vengeance was in the air.

Garden Party is a French film that is fun to watch despite its dark theme. Toads and frogs of various sizes find a way to hunt for food in an expensive country villa that appears to have windows filled with bullet holes. The large swimming pool is filled with debris and food is strewn all over the inside of the home. It is a field day for our amphibians.

And lacking any moral concern, our toads are not remarkably bothered when the rotting corpse of the home’s owner surfaces in the pool. Put another way, this is not a Disney cartoon.

A film that I found to be mediocre yet was loved by a New York Times reviewer was Dear Basketball. It is about the retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who wrote the script and served as the narrator. It basically allows him to look back on a childhood where he developed into a star basketball player by initially throwing a tube sock into a basket. Bryant’s noble attempt to try to find a way to say goodbye as an adult will hopefully allow many of you to forget the sexual assault case brought against him in 2003 which was later dismissed.

Then there was Lou, a Pixar film about a schoolyard bully who was forced to confront his weaknesses by a lost and found box that brought the contents to life. While cute on occasion, this is one time Pixar will not light an Oscar cigar.

Lastly there was the intriguing little film entitled Negative Space. A product of France, it told the lovely story of how a little boy was taught to effectively pack a suitcase by his father. Dad’s frequent travels left him fully aware of the drawback of packing inappropriately, and wait until you see the very funny moment when his son looks with disappointment at the empty space left in his father’s coffin.