Saturday, February 8, 2014

Academy Animation

Lists are great!  Movies are great!  What's doubly great, though, are lists of movies!  Can you tell from my exclamation points how happy that thought makes me?

The ultimate list of great movies is the one with those films good enough to be nominated for the Academy Awards.  I would like to say that I manage to see all those movies, but there is no way that ever happens. Approximately fifty films receive nominations each year and I'm lucky if I manage to see ten on the list.

However, in recent years, I have been able to watch all the short films in competition for the Oscars.  Before then, they were almost impossible to find.  But, finally someone figured out that there was a market out there for all of us insane film buffs marking movies off our lists.

So now the short films are screened in theaters around the country a few weeks before the awards ceremony.  And because the films are short, they screen all five of the nominees for the same price.  In fact, the animation nominees are so short, they usually throw in a few extra "highly commended" films on the same bill.

This year I went in the middle of the day, taking advantage of the only slightly cheaper ticket prices.  There were lots of different kinds of animation, hand-drawn, computer graphics, even some stop motion.  I can't really tell the difference between all of those, so for me it was the stories the films told that were the most important.

I have no idea what the academy looks for in an animated film, and my picks haven't been very accurate in past years, so I'll be curious to see which film wins.  They were all interesting and some were even fun, but I liked the sweet message of Mr. Hublot the best.  I'll be rooting for it to take the gold statue.

Next week, I'll see the documentaries and live action entries, so stay tuned!

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