Feature films dominate the Oscars, but the shorts category is usually a treasure trove of gems that too often go undiscovered. The Internet has helped bring more attention to these works, thankfully. This year's contenders for Best Animated Shorts are available to watch right now, and we've published them for your viewing pleasure.
We've already praised Disney's Paperman
, which has been getting tons of buzz for its charming story about an office worker who meets the girl of his dreams. Fate (and paper) intervenes, but brings them back together for an adorable finale. Director John Kahrs employed hand-drawn and computer-generated black-and-white animation for his metropolis love story. Parts of it remind us of Patrick Hughes’ 2008 Australian short Signs
, which you can watch over here
In The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare
, Maggie attends the Ayn Rand School for Tots where "[her] freedom is assured by [their] probing." There, she befriends a caterpillar and battles its enemy — a nasty kid with a hammer who enjoys snuffing out everything beautiful in his path. Simpsons'
fans will appreciate all the pop-culture references as usual, and we always enjoy the "silent' Simpsons
episodes for their purity of story and imagination.
Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly's Head Over Heels
reveals the unusual living arrangement between a married couple that is at a distant emotional crossroads. In a world of CG everything — especially when it comes to the progressive techniques of studios like Pixar — it's really nice to see something done the old-fashioned way: claymation.
Also available for streaming are Minkyu Lee's Adam and Dog
and Fresh Guacamole
— about some very unusual ingredients used to make a fresh batch of the tasty dish. Give them a watch, and let us know who wins your vote for Best Animated Short.