Saturday, November 10, 2012

85th Academy Awards Animated Short Films Shortlist

A total of fifty-six (56) films qualified in the category and 10 were selected to continue to round two where Branch members will now select three to five nominees.

These are the ten shortlisted animated films that AMPAS announced today.

Adam and Dog, Minkyu Lee, USA, 17'
火之要鎮 Hi no Yōjin (Combustible), Katsuhiro Ôtomo, Japan, 12'
Dripped, Léo Verrier, France, 8'
The Eagleman Stag, Mikey Please, UK, 9'
The Fall of the House of Usher, Raúl García, USA, Luxembourg, France and Belgium, 17'
Fresh Guacamole, PES, USA, 2'
Head over Heels, Timothy Reckart, UK, 10'
Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare, David Silverman, USA, 5'
Paperman, John Kahrs, USA, 7'
Tram, Michaela Pavlátová, France and Czech Republic, 8'

Information about each short.

Adam and Dog
Synopsis: A story about the first dog ever created.

Part of an omnibus feature film entitled "Short Peace". Synopsis: Taking place in Edo in the 18th century, Combustible is the story of Owaka, the daughter of a merchant family who leads a lonely childhood, save for the friendship of the troublemaking boy next door Matsukichi. Matsukichi is fascinated by fires -- when they occur, they often take out whole neighborhoods in that era, and the brave tattooed men in the fire brigade are tasked with pre-emptively demolishing buildings around the flames before the damage travels too far. Matsukichi gets a tattoo, and having been disowned by his father, he joins the ranks of the firemen. Owaka, however, is not so lucky. Her parents are busy arranging a marriage for her. Miserable to the point of desperation, and pining for Matsukichi to come rescue her, she accidentally starts a fire of her own.

Synopsis: New York, on 1950. Fascinated by art, Jack skims museums all day long. He steals paintings which he hides at his home so he can eat them! Masterpieces are his food and plunge him into a state of ecstasy when he eats them. But in excess to eat, paintings become rare until they disappear.

The Eagleman Stag
Synopsis: A dark, cerebral comedy about a man's obsession with his quickening perception of time and the extreme lengths he goes to in order to counter the effect. Each unfolding scene is a key moment in the life of Peter, another piece in the puzzle. Realized in monochrome stop-motion, the haunting and surreal settings create a sense of contemporary film noir.

The Fall of the House of Usher
Narrated by Sir Christopher Lee; part of a five animated tales feature film called "Extraordinary Tales". Synopsis: Roderick Usher summons his boyhood friend to help him ease his decaying condition. Synopsis: The death of Madeline Usher, last in the line of the Usher family precipitates Roderick's descent into madness and death.

Fresh Guacamole
Synopsis: Transforming familiar objects into fresh guacamole.

Head over Heels
Was in 2012 Cannes. Synopsis: After many years of marriage, Walter and Madge have grown apart: he lives on the floor and she lives on the ceiling. When Walter tries to reignite their old romance, their equilibrium comes crashing down, and the couple that can't agree which way is up must find a way put their marriage back together.

Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare (aka: The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare)
Synopsis: The Simpsons return to the big screen in this all-new short, which is being paired with Ice Age: Continental Drift. The Longest Daycare is a four-and-a-half-minute 3D short featuring a lot of Maggie Simpson and no dialogue.

Synopsis: The story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him.

Was in 2012 Cannes. Winner at 2012 Annecy. TRAM will be the part of the project Sexperiencies, a collection of short animated movies about female sexual fantasies. Synopsis: It's the humdrum daily routine for Tram's conductress. As every morning, men get on the tram to go to work, one after another, all similar, quiet, grey, apathetic. And yet, on that day, following the jolts and the road's vibrations, to the rhythm of the tickets inserted in the ticket-stamping machine, the conductress gets turned on and the vehicle gets erotic. The tram conductress' desire turns the reality into a surrealistic and phallic fantasy. She then takes a ride on the passenger's giant and blushing penises. Music maestro !

Shortlist has nice samples from traditional animation markets from all over the world.  Some surprises either because of the beautiful images or the amazing stories. Somehow I find Fresh Guacamole not beautiful and not with an amazing story BUT was the most hypnotic, absolutely captured my total attention.

Watch trailers or image example @MOC (some are the full short)

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