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The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2018: Animated

by Greg Vellante
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Feb 13, 2018

In a mixture of light and dark themes, this year's Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films is an eclectic selection of family-friendly delights and adult-only wit. As is usually the case, a frontrunner in this category is the yearly Pixar entry. No, not that godawful, 22-minute Olaf "Frozen" bullshit that played before "Coco," but rather the playful and pleasant "Lou," which was one of the only good things about "Cars 3."

The silent caper focuses on a schoolyard bully who steals toys from his peers, and the anthropomorphic Lost & Found box who essentially torments the child until he learns a lesson about sharing and caring. It's a cute, funny little film that offers life lessons for the young ones, and it's one of Pixar's best short in years.

Another short film for young ones is "Revolting Rhymes," an earnest adaptation of a Roald Dahl story that reimagines classic fairy tales. This film is fine yet tedious at nearly a half hour, especially when included within a group of animated competitors that are all less than 10 minutes. Sports fans will love "Dear Basketball," unless they're not fans of the LA Lakers or accused rapists. The film blends sketched-out animation against a letter read by Bryant, all about his gratitude towards the game he loves. It'd be a stirring film if its subject and narrator weren't so controversial, because passion for one's talent is certainly a sentiment worth being addressed. With Bryant expressing these thoughts, his reputation only serves as a distraction from the film's sincere elements.

On the darker end of the spectrum, we have the quick yet moving "Negative Space." The film is imaginatively told through creative animation, which complements a beautiful narration -- the two combining visuals and prose in a way that can only be described as poetry. And then there's "Garden Party," which is difficult to discuss without spoiling its slowly-revealed surprises. Two things that can be said.

1) This film is beautifully animated, with some of the best photorealistic animation I've seen since Jon Favreau's "The Jungle Book."

2) This film is definitely (DEFINITELY) not for kids.

Predicted Winner: "Lou"


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