The LAMB Devours the Oscars: Best Animated Short Film

by Rachel · February 22, 2012 · LAMB Devours the Oscars · 7 Comments
Editor’s note: Welcome to the twenty-ninth of a 32-part series dissecting the 84th Academy Awards, brought to you by the Large Association of Movie Blogs and its assorted members. Every day leading up to the Oscars, a new post written by a different LAMB will be published, each covering a different category of the Oscars. To read any other posts regarding this event, please click the tag following the post. Thank you, and enjoy!

By Jason of The Videovangaurd

Does anyone here remember the show “Liquid Television”? It was on MTV back in the early 90s when they still played music videos and featured a wide variety of animated shorts that were quite bizarre but also very cool. “Beavis and Butthead” and “Aeon Flux” were among some of its well known titles and I wish they would reissue the series. I mention this program because all of these nominees would fit perfectly on it. They all are extremely well animated, but the majority of them don’t make any sense, just like a lot of shorts on that show. Only two of them tell a complete story, while the rest just try to amaze you with visuals alone. Even then, I was not that impressed.

Director: Patrick Doyon
(Long Sigh) Dimanche is about a kid who is at church and then goes to have lunch with some relatives. He enjoys putting coins on a railroad track and has an active imagination. This was the longest nine minutes of my existence. I have never been so bored before in my life and I have seen The Tree of Life twice in theatres. The animation makes the first season of “South Park” look like something Pixar would have made. If someone out there saw more in this than I did, please let me know.

Wild Life
Directors: Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby
(Another Long Sigh) An Englishman moves out towards the frontier plains to try and make it as a cowboy with minimal success. To help explain this man’s story, they use cards that discuss the functions of a comet. Are the filmmakers trying to say that the main character is like a comet? He burns bright and large but then quickly fades. I have no idea, nor do I care because I found this to be a very tedious and boring short. The artwork was nice, but not for an animated movie . This would have worked way better as a picture book in my opinion.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Directors: William Joyce and Brandon Oldenberg
After his whole town is destroyed by a hurricane, Morris Lessmore finds himself at a library that features books that for some reason have their own personalities and can fly. He decides to devote his time and efforts into preserving these books because of all the comfort they give him. I honestly felt kind of sorry for the guy because it’s obvious he has never made any real connection with anyone living if he has to befriend a bunch of books. Plus he’s kind of jerk for spending time at a library instead of helping his town folk after they were hit by a hurricane. Yes, I get that books can be a great thing and I do enjoy reading very much but never would I choose it over actual human contact. The animation is very well done and I liked how one book had an illustrated character that could show changes in emotions by flipping a few pages. It was a great combination of both 3D and 2D animation. I just got kind of creeped out because of the main character’s obsession with books. He wasn’t whimsical or charming, he was just pathetic.

La Luna
Director: Enrico Casarosa
Since Pixar failed to get a best animated feature nomination this year, it’s most likely they will win an award for this, although this is still a pretty weak short. The story involves a little boy who goes sailing with his papa and grandpa to the moon and helps clean away the stars. There is nothing more to it than that. Yes, it’s beautifully animated and features a great score from Michael Giacchino but there’s really nothing more to it than that. No bad guys, no conlict, no inner demons…nothing. It would have been a great ad for a light bulb company, but not as a stand alone short.

A Morning Stroll
Director: Grant Orchard, Sue Goffe
Have you heard the one about the man who walks down the street and sees a chicken enter an apartment? You haven’t? Well what if I told you the same story in different time periods and with different animation styles? Would you be excited then? Of course you wouldn’t because it is a dumb premise to begin with. Nothing happens in this entire short. You watch the same chicken enter an apartment three different times and that’s it. Maybe if I had never seen a computer animated movie before I would be impressed, but this was just pointless. This is the kind of short you present in order to receive another grant, not win awards with.
I understand the difficulties it must be to create an animated movie and I admire these filmmakers for wanting to experiment with different styles. It just felt like they were only interested in themselves instead of their audience.
If you agree with my reviews, please post comments below . If you are among those who disagree with my reviews but understand that the majority of my opinions are correct, please post comments below.  Joking aside, just don’t be rude.


7 Responses to The LAMB Devours the Oscars: Best Animated Short Film

  1. Colin Biggs says:

    Thanks for getting your thoughts done for all of these. It will come in handy for those Oscar pools.

  2. bubbawheat says:

    The only one I’ve seen in it’s entirety is The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore and I really enjoyed it. I saw it more metaphorically, like the hurricane destroyed the book he was writing which was his life, and the other books helped him to get on with starting his life over again, shown be rewriting his own book.

    The boring one I haven’t seen, but the gist of it from what I gather is that it’s supposed to be a typical boring Sunday just like most of us have had in our childhood. If you recognize things that you actually did as a child, you might enjoy it more, if it’s not much like your actual childhood I imagine it could easily be very boring. I’m also a little surprised you didn’t mention the zombie apocalypse setting of the chicken short, I wanted to see that one for that part alone.

  3. TheVern says:

    Colin. Thanks for comenting.

    Bubbawheat. The whole zombie apocalypse at the end really wasn’t worth mentioning, I’m afraid. They could have easily done it with surfing sadomastic ninja gophers or cyber pirate crossing dressing pigs and it would still have the same result.

  4. Elise says:

    It’s interesting that you would ask commenters not be rude, when this entry is filled with sarcasm and borderline contempt for these short films. It’s incredibly off-putting, and it doesn’t make me more inclined to check out your blog, because I can only imagine that you are just as derisive in reviews on your own page. Who needs to read that?

  5. Joel Burman says:

    I’m nice rundown of the category I agree with the sense of these films often being a bit artsier and less aimed towards kids. We have had a similar Swedish plague for years thanks to Jonas Odell.

  6. TheVern says:

    Elise. I’m glad to live in a country where one can express his or her own opinion. If you liked these shorts, I am glad that you found something meaningful in them. I just did not. In my post I mentioned several times about the quality of the animation but didn’t like the final product. Just because I don’t like a few movies doesn’t mean I’m hateful on everything.

  7. I’ve only seen Fantastic Flying Books, which is up on YouTube, and I did quite enjoy it.

    I think the race is down to that and Pixar’s La Luna. I still can’t decide whether Cars 2 not getting in makes voters more likely to vote for them, or less!

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