From claymation to The Simpsons, this year’s crop of animated short films offer a wide range of style and theme. You can check out these films at the Ritz at the Bourse.
A mixed–media animation by experimental artist PES, Fresh Guacamole really does not have that much to it. It is a quick, clever take on making guacamole. PES makes the most out of his visual jokes, but if you’re looking for something substantial look elsewhere.
Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”
Maggie Simpson, the youngest of the legendary TV family, gets her moment to shine in this short. Set in the miserable “Ayn Rand School for Tots” (a great joke which was admittedly used in the show), Maggie must defend a butterfly from a bully. “Longest Daycare,” is action packed, full of physical and cerebral comedy— and even ends on a touching note—but, like the newer seasons of its TV counterpart, is ultimately just forgettable entertainment.
Head over Heels never quite lives up to its fantastic premise. It tells the story of a senior husband and wife who have grown apart over the years—so apart that they live on separate planes of gravity, literally upside–down to each other. What Head over Heels should be is a touching fable about finding compromises within a sea of differences. Yet, whether it’s because of the rough animation or the lack of connection between the characters, it never really clicks.
Adam and Dog
Minkyu Lee’s Adam and Dog takes time to capture the beauty and atmosphere of a world untouched. It is a variation on the biblical story of Adam and Eve, and focuses on how Dog became Man’s best friend. Lushly painted landscapes and slow pacing give you time to take in all the wonders of Lee’s Eden, although sometimes the film gives you a little too long to breathe. However, minor animation imperfections and all, the film feels personal and authentic.
Disney’s entry makes simplicity look easy. Paperman is basically the story of two twenty–somethings who meet cute, get separated, but find their way back together (through the admittedly deus–ex–machina work of some paper airplanes). It is a basic story, yet Paperman gets every beat right. Each shot, each motion, each pause effectively communicates the emotion of the characters to the point that any dialogue would seem like an unnecessary intrusion. Paperman is polished, pretty and loads of fun.