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

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood February 19, 2011 at 11:22AM

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.
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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

This article is related to: Awards, Directors, Genres, Video, Oscars, John Lasseter, Animation, Shorts, Trailers


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.