Saturday, February 23, 2008

Oscar-nominated animated shorts

I went to see the animated shorts this time. There were five films, all using inventive and interesting animation techniques, including 3-D animation, watercolor, and puppets. But three of them had storylines I wasn't that crazy about.

The two films I liked the best were "I Met the Walrus," which had witty line drawings illustrating, extending, and sometimes punning on the words of a 1969 interview with John Lennon, and "Peter and the Wolf," which was set to Prokofiev's music and had wonderful portrayals of several animals, including a charming pet duck, which unfortunately got eaten by the wolf. "I Met the Walrus" was very short, so I don't think it will win. "Peter and the Wolf" might. The other film I think might win would be "Madame Tutli-Putli," which was visually quite interesting, but left me saying "Huh?" at the end.

Both programs of shorts will be playing in S.F.'s Embarcadero theater at least through Thursday (the runs may be extended if there is still demand). A list of other theaters where they are, or will be, playing around the country is here, and a list of all the films in both the animated and live action programs, along with brief descriptions, is here. A DVD will also be released at some point.

Recommended. Although I liked some of the selections more than others, I enjoyed both the live-action and the animated shorts programs, overall, more than any regular-length feature I've seen recently.

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