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Oscar Animated Shorts Preview: The Lost Thing, Day & Night Are Best of Five

by Anne Thompson
February 19, 2011 11:22 AM
  • |
Thompson on Hollywood

Depending on where you live, some combination of the Oscar-nominated shorts (animated, live action and documentary) may be playing in a theater near you, thanks to Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures (trailer, clips and detailed release info below). Four out of five of the animated shorts are quite strong.

Here are my Oscar picks:

1. The Lost Thing is a beautifully designed and imagined magical steam punk Australian short about a guy who finds a "lost thing" and tries to take it home (no go). Here's a clip.

2. Pixar's high-concept Day & Night is brilliant, witty and fun. Here's a clip.

3. Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage is animated out of the pages of a travel diary, using a variety of forms: water color, pencil drawings, paintings, etc. It's gorgeous but lacks narrative drive. Here's a clip.

4. The Gruffalo features some of Britain's top actors (Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Wilkinson. Robbie Coltrane) in a delightful family fable. Nothing much new here. Here's a clip.

5. Let's Pollute carries an environmental message in a vintage animated infomercial package with booming voiceover. Here's a clip.

Running Times:
Live Action – 106 mins
Animation – 85 mins (includes two bonus films – The Cow That Wanted to be a Hamburger and Urs)
Documentary – 197 mins (plus a 10 mins intermission)

Los Angeles Release Date: February 11, 2011 Animation and Live Action at Landmark’s The Nuart Theatre, West LA and Regency Theatres’ South Coast Plaza, Santa Ana

Los Angeles Release Date: February 18, 2011 Documentary Shorts at Laemmle’s Sunset 5, West Hollywood. Animation and Live Action at Laemmle’s Town Center 5, Encino and Laemmle’s Pasadena Playouse 7, Pasadena

New York Release Date: February 11, 2011 Animation, Live Action and Documentary


  • reed | February 25, 2011 8:24 AMReply

    Lost Thing deserves to win. Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage was my second choice. However my SIFF friends say Gruffulo, with the big names involved, will likely win. Let's pollute had only one joke. I agree that Day and Night was sub par and clunky.

  • cadavra | February 24, 2011 12:53 AMReply

    I prefer LET'S POLLUTE. It has a clever point of view and gets it across in an entertaining fashion without overstaying its welcome.

  • William Thalmus | February 21, 2011 3:04 AMReply

    The Lost Thing was great. It was hard to imagine Day and Night even being considered, it was not on par with the others by any measure.

  • GL | February 20, 2011 5:38 AMReply

    Also Agree, The Lost Thing just looks intriguing. I saw Day and Night, and to me I am sorry I have seen better Pixar shorts. Witty yes, but nothing innovative, for them at least. You can say that I am being to harsh, but they have a million Oscars already...I judge them tougher.

  • RealDogBoy | February 19, 2011 11:31 AMReply

    I agree with you about "The Lost Thing". It's the best of the five. It would be nice to see a feature from that Australian crew.

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