The 94th Annual Oscar® Awards Ceremony will be held later this week. Chances are someone is going to shove a ballot in your hand and ask you to predict who will win. When it comes to the Best Animated Shorts, you might be scratching your head. Who had time to see those? Don’t worry, I’ve got you! Here
is my review of all five of the films in this category. It’s an interesting array. I found myself saying, “What the $@!*!”, out loud, repeatedly, so you, know…that alone says something. A few words of caution: there is really only one film in this category that is appropriate for children. In fact, three of the five films are WILDLY inappropriate for children. Yeah. Fasten your seatbelts. Here’s something else interesting: none of the 2022 Oscar® nominated animated short films are from the US. Just a little Oscar® trivia to dazzle your friends with. You’re welcome.
Robin, Robin (Grade: A)
This is the only nominated short that has been widely available; you can screen it right now on Netflix. It is also the only film you can show your young children. It is a beautifully animated tale of mice and birds just trying to get by in a cruel world that sometimes leaves your belly empty. There are themes of
belonging, teamwork, personal worth, and perseverance. It is delightful, whimsical and everything you
would expect from an animated short. At it’s weakest are a couple of wonky, clunky musical numbers
that don’t seem to quite fit in, but they are short, thank heavens. We really don’t need to belabor
Gillian Anderson singing (in the same voice she used for Margaret Thatcher) as a cat on the prowl. Make
it stop! Otherwise, this film wins the cute factor.
Box Ballet (B+)
A ballerina and a boxer meet in unusual circumstances and a story blossoms. Stylistically this film’s
storytelling is on point, pun intended. I really liked the stylized animation and the use of timing that
made this film poignant, funny, and special. The ending…this is when I started saying, “What the
$@&*!” It was Parallel Mothers all over again….tell one story the whole movie and then end with a
weird ambiguous political statement. Bleeeeck!
Affair of the Art (A)
What a delightful, off the wall, bizarre little film! A 59 year old woman gives you a brief look at the
luggage in her obsessive, art loving mind, and it is a raw, graphic, unvarnished charcuterie platter of
“What the actual $@!*!” There is lots of bizarre nudity that is hilarious and the relationship gold that is
layered into this short, derailed train is epic. The animation is interesting and almost a strobe effect, this is not my cup of tea, but the storytelling was off the chart!
OMG! This is some massively $@!*-ed up $#!%! Holy Moly. At first glance you might think this is a film
about a woman and her dog, and you would be horribly, horribly wrong. Like, I need therapy after
seeing this, wrong! Oye! The animation is weirdly fabulous, but the weird is pretty weird. This film
features everything you don’t expect to see in animation: violence, gore, graphic sex scenes, I could say
more, but I don’t want to give more away…shocking. If you watch this, you will need to google the
inspiration and then call someone for mental and moral support – but the animation was really good.
The Windshield Wiper (A+)
This film has had a fair amount of buzz behind it, and it is clear why. The Windshield Wiper is of those
films that asks a simple question and then challenges you to see it in a new way, to change your mind, to grow. It is all the things: delightful, evocative, funny, moving, incendiary, beautiful and deeply thought provoking. There is nudity and graphic sex depicted. Definitely not for the kiddies, but worth everyone else’s’ time.
Did you see any of these films? What did you think?