For over a decade, ShortsHD has proudly brought the Oscar® Nominated Short Films to audiences across the globe. This exclusive release features the year's most spectacular short films across Live Action, Animation and Documentary, and for a limited time is available to watch on the big screen.The 2016 Oscar® Nominated Short Films will be released in theatres on January 29th, giving you the opportunity to see the nominated films before the Oscar® Awards ceremony on February 28th.
In addition to the theatrical release, the nominated Live Action and Animation short films will also be available to buy online and on VOD/Pay Per View Platforms (AT&T, DirecTV, Vubiquity, InDemand, COMCAST, Cable Vision, XBOX, Sony, Century Link, Vimeo, Frontier & Google Fiber) so you can continue to enjoy them long after the winning envelopes have been opened.
The most familiar Oscar nominated animated short for 2016 for American audiences is Sanjay's Super Team, the seemingly obligatory annual entry from Pixar. Seen before their latest feature release, The Good Dinosaur, Sanjay's Super Team is a good but not great entry. If it wins, we might as well shut down this category and give the award annually to Pixar because clearly everything is fixed. The film centers around a young Indian-American boy bumping into conflict after conflict with his more traditional, religious Indian-born father. The two find common ground when Sanjay begins to see Hindu gods as superheroes.
Cute. Clever. Kind of sweet. Oscar winner? Not a chance.
The stick-figure animation style of Don Hertzfeldt is a critically praised acquired taste. This film, the longest entry among this year's animated shorts at 17 minutes, is pleasant enough yet also another surprising nominee among what was generally a weak year in both short and feature animation. World of Tomorrow takes a little girl on a mind-tripping journey through her not so distant future. You will either consider it to be spiritually profound or self-indulgent or, hey, maybe a little bit of both. Me? I just considered it a tad too long.
Prologue is a beautifully animated film from U.K. filmmaker Richard Williams. Handdrawn, a rarity these days, Prologue suffers more than a little bit from an overwhelming feeling that it's part of something bigger and should be part of something bigger. At a mere six minutes in running time, Prologue basically presents as a battle between two warriors, an Athenian and a Spartan. If one were voting solely on the basis of animation, Prologue would be in the running. We're not. Slight in story, Prologue may please animation purists, but even the most hardcore purist will have to acknowledge it falls short of Oscar worthiness.
We Can't Live Without Cosmos from Russian filmmaker Konstantin Bronzit is one of two true gems amongst this year's Oscar nominated animated shorts. The story of two cosmonauts who are overachievers and friends, the film is a 16-minute animated short with hints of warmth, humor, absurdity and a bit of a retro vibe. The film falls slightly short in terms of animation quality, though one can't help but feel like much of this is an artistic choice by Bronzit that works nicely within the framework of the film. I wasn't blown away by We Can't Live Without Cosmos, but it was one of only two films that held my attention their entire time and left me feeling satisfied at film's end.
Bear Story is easily the best of this year's animated shorts. Directed by Chilean Gabriel Osorio, Bear Story has it all from stunning animation to a simple yet beautifully brought to life story. The most intelligently constructed of this year's animated shorts, Bear Story paints the life story of an anthropomorphic bear as a street performer through a clockwork diorama. Think about it. I can't stop thinking about it. The film is beautiful to look at, meaningful to observe and impossible to forget. If there's any justice, Bear Story is this year's winner.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic