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Academy Awards 2013: Animated Short Films Race

Julia Epstein-Norris |
February 13, 2013 | 6:20 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

"Paperman" may be a frontrunner for the animated short category. (Disney)
"Paperman" may be a frontrunner for the animated short category. (Disney)
The Oscars are almost a week away, and there is plenty of buzz going around. Who will win the coveted Best Actor and Best Actress awards? Daniel Day Lewis seems to be a shoe-in for Best Actor, while Best Actress seems too close to call—will it be Lawrence or Chastain? Of course, everybody is anxious to see which movie will take home the coveted award of Best Picture; will it be Argo or Lincoln, or maybe Silver Linings Playbook? But there is more to the Oscars than these three awards, so what about the twenty-one other awards? There are so many other fantastic categories, such as the award for Best Animated Short Film. This category boasts some of the most enjoyable and artistic films of the year, so what exactly is the buzz surrounding these animated shorts?

There are five films nominated: Adam and Dog (Minkyu Lee), Fresh Guacamole (PES), Head Over Heels (Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly), Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare” (David Silverman), and Paperman (John Kahrs). The nominees include a broad range of topics, from stories of love and friendship to stories about making guacamole out of non-edible household objects. All of the films are fantastic, but in the end there can only be one winner. 

Adam and Dog, created by Minkyu Lee, is a heartwarming take on Adam and Eve, underlining the familiar notion that dog is a man’s best friend. It is a story of friendship and companionship. The film’s visuals are exquisite and were hand drawn by the Disney animator, Lee, who made the film independently and financed it himself. The film is extremely well made, and by the popularity it has been getting online it seems to have a very good chance of securing the win on Oscar night. 

The next contender is Fresh Guacamole by PES, an extremely short stop-motion film.  This is one of the most unique films ever made, and for that PES should be applauded. It is a film about making guacamole out of inedible objects—for example the tomato is made up of tiny red dice. It is a fun film that is definitely worth the two minutes out of one's day.

Another nominee is Head Over Heels, a Claymation film created by Tim Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly. This is the only student film up for an Oscar (it is Tim Reckart’s graduate film from the UK’s National Film and Television School). A love story with a twist, the short is about an old married couple that live on opposite sides of the house, literally—one lives on the ceiling, and one lives on the ground (depending on which way the house is rotating). Despite the odd premise, this film has one of the most romantic endings in cinema. 

The Simpsons are always fun to watch, and the short Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare” by David Silverman is no exception. It is a very light-hearted and comical film about Maggie Simpson going to the Ayn Rand School for pre-school. If the Academy is looking to give the award to a comedy, then this is the one they should choose. 

Lastly is Paperman, created by John Kahrs, a Disney film about love at first sight. Disney Studios are nominated for seventeen Academy Awards this year, and they have a very good chance of winning this award. Paperman is an amazing, heartwarming film that everybody will love. It is one of the most genuine films of the year, and nobody should be upset if this does indeed take home the Oscar. 

All of the nominees this year for Best Animated Short are fresh and original. Paperman seems to be a crowd pleaser, but Adam and Dog is making some noise for itself on the internet. Head Over Heels remains unique, as the only student film up for an Oscar. Fresh Guacamole and Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare” are both fantastic as well—needless to say it is going to be a very close race. Watch the Oscars on February 24 to find out which film will pull ahead! 

Reach Staff Reporter Julia Epstein-Norris here.



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