Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts 2018: duel of the cousins!

Last night, Cousin Ben and I saw the Oscar nominated animated shorts. He emailed me and a few others a quick review. Following are his reviews, followed by my reviews in italics.

Negative Space – short and sweet. Best per-minute. Good for anyone who has had a dad, and who has ever packed a suitcase. Sad and funny ending, I do that kind of thing in some of my stories.

Dear Basketball – also deserving goodness per few minutes. A real thank you note/good bye, look forward. As Ben was driving us back to his place, we were trying to remember the exact order of the shorts. Or rather, he did and wanted me to do that too. He is 6 foot 6 so his wants are persuasive. I googled the show on my handy-dandy Android phone, and unfortunately found a whiny critic who complained about how Dead Basketball was just a commercial for Kobe Bryant. I said that I do not want to buy parts of Kobe Bryant. I am not a sports fan, but I liked this. A quick review of his career, and how it ends, and how he loved it, and I felt for him.

Lou – hey! Pixar is here being very Pixar which is always good. Ditto.

Revolting Rhymes – not very short. in-between a movie and a short. Reminds me of Into The Woods. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Into_the_Woods_(film). Thoroughly enjoyable. Half an hour, which is long for a short, but it held my interest the entire time. If a show lasts long but feels short, it has done its job. British humor, creepy British ending. Storyteller Roald Dahl wrote this short that twists fairy tales and obeys the Elements of Style advice of “Omit Needless Words,” for it has no wasted moments.

Garden Party – dark, disgusting, beautiful, humorous. Unique and deserving of consideration. I knew what the big reveal at the end would be, of course. The visuals and the humor at a gristly locale shows the great divide between frog and human.

Lost Property Office – decent classic contrived animation. Not on the Oscar list, maybe it was a runner-up. It was okay, it had a happy ending, the stop-motions animation was grayscale and moody, but I do not care for lingering shots on lost and found shelves. Okay, that last thing was just one scene, but still. I remembered a short film from years ago about a guy who was probably the filmmaker’s uncle: interesting to his nephew, but to me, not so much. That short had the probable uncle stand on a hill and stare at the horizon for a long time. In a short film. Short means you don’t have a lot of time. That grated on my writer nerves. A lot. When the script says, “Annoying guy stares at horizon for a long time,” the script needs rewriting. But this sort of thing can work in the right hands: even more years ago, I saw another short film called A Garage Door. It was just that. A shot of garage door for about a minute. A minute that felt like a week. The crowd started yelling. I think the filmmaker knew exactly what he was doing.

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