Blog Cinemania Student Critic Review: Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts

Posted February 18, 2020

by David Sapp, Cinemania Student Critic

All of the 2019 Oscar Nominated Animated shorts are brilliant, using unique techniques to make each one special.

Memorable, the French short directed by Bruno Collet uses surreal imagery to portray a man slowly losing touch with reality and forgetting everything.  Also, it applies styles of famous paintings such as The Starry Night and other artistic works in the animation, making it all the more beautiful.  The film puts you in the perspective of a person with Alzheimer’s disease and the animation really portrays well what it is like to have everything around you morph away.

Dcera, or Daughter, directed by Daria Kashcheeva from the Czech Republic, is about a daughter dealing with the loss of a parent and recollecting a bad childhood experience.  It makes use of handheld camera movements in stop-motion animation, which is something you usually wouldn’t see, and the end result is incredible. It gives the short a claustrophobic tone as the walls close in on the protagonist.

Sister, by Chinese director Siqi Song, is about a young boy imagining what his life would be like if his aborted sister were to have been born.  It offers gorgeous stop motion animation and a charming style of storytelling that, while being very lighthearted, blends in the deeper, more emotional aspects very well.

The final two shorts, Hair Love directed by Matthew A. Cherry and Bruce W. Smith as well as Kitbull directed by Rosanna Sullivan were both heartwarming in story and well-animated but felt weaker in impact compared to the others. While some are better than others, all of this year’s animated shorts were extremely creative both in animation and story and each one had something very important to say.

 

Cinemania is JBFC’s after school film club where middle school students watch & discuss films from all over the world.

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