For years, I had hoped that the nominees for short films (animated and live action) would be screened before the Oscars so that I would not sit home with a blank look on my face when the nominees were read and a winner was chosen. Finally, I got to see the five nominees for Best Animated Short Film. If you want a quick link to them all at the Oscars site, go here.
I Met the Walrus: An animated adaptation of a 1969 interview with John Lennon by 14-year old Jerry Levitan.
Even Pigeons Go to Heaven: Computer animated short from France about a con-artist priest who tries to sell a heaven-bound machine to a poor elderly man. Animated by Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse.
My Love: Oscar-winning animator Alexander Petrov’s Impressionistic Russian short of a 16-year old hopelessly falling in love with two different women.
Madame Tutli-Putli: Animated by Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, this is the animated story of a heavily-traveled frail woman who encounters bizarre happenings as a passenger on a high-speed train.
Peter and the Wolf: Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman animate an adaptation of the Prokofiev work about a young boy and his animal friends facing a vicious wolf.
All of them are technically brilliant. I can understand why each was chosen. The tough part comes with picking one, because it pits certain styles of animation against another in many cases. (Walrus’ mostly line animation with computer work of Even Pigeons, for instance). Some prejudices can seep through–luckily for CGI animators I don’t choose the Oscars, as I’m generally not a fan of most of that work.
But even with the baggage, Pigeons is a terrific short filled with wonderful detailing. However, it’s not my choice for the best.
That choice would be My Love.
Even though Petrov has won an Oscar and has been nominated twice before, I don’t think he should be denied another win for this short. It’s quite simply the most moving and emotional of the five films. Animated with brilliant colors and startling vivid details in facial features, the characters in this short really did come alive for me. I was also so enthralled by the editing of this piece I wished it was a full-length feature. It really could have worked as one.
You owe it to yourself to see this on the big screen–you won’t regret it. However, if you really can’t get to a theater to see it, here is My Love presented in three parts: