The five animated shorts are all worth buying a ticket to see.  They will be hitting theaters soon. You can find out where and more about all of the shorts on their site. 

So far, I’ve made it through four of the five animated films and am half-way through the live action.  The shorts, like the documentaries, are usually better than the nominated films in the feature category – except this year, the Academy picked  some very good films for its Best Picture lineup.

The best of the bunch, to my mind, are Paperman and Adam and Dog.  You’ve likely already seen Fresh Guacamole, as it’s been floating around on YouTube for a while now.

Paperman is a richly imagined black and white love story involving nothing so much as a man throwing paper airplanes in hopes of catching the attention of the woman in the next building. But to say anymore would ruin it.  Suffice it to say it’s the most lovable one, charming and disarming at once.

Adam and Dog is a little less accessible than Paperman and dwells ever so sweetly in metaphor. If Paperman is the Silver Linings Playbook of the bunch, Adam and Dog is the Life of Pi.  It captures an animated dog better than I’ve ever seen any animator do. The dog has a whole inner life, it seems, without anthropomorphic projection.  This was made by someone who knows and loves dogs.  So it helps if you love dogs as I do.  It isn’t particularly “easy” to watch but it may be the most thought-provoking.

Fresh Guacamole is just radically brilliant animation:

Head Over Heels is an interesting claymation short about a man and a woman who live in opposite gravitational pulls. One is upside down to the other yet they still must share a kitchen, do the cleaning and al for both households.  You’ll have to watch it to see how it turns out but it is sweet without frothing over the top like the delightful Paperman.

HEAD OVER HEELS – Trailer from Timothy Reckart on Vimeo.

The only one I have no yet seen is Maggie Simpson in the Longest Daycare.  I’ll have to track that one down. But I would think the prize will be up to the Simpsons (brand name alone) and Paperman, which will be hard for voters to resist.