By Kit Bowen
TheMovieKit.com

This may the first time an animated Pixar short didn’t make cut: “Partly Cloudy,” the short film released with “Up,” was conspicuously left off the list. It looks this stellar group of animated short film nominees have finally outshined the masters.

“French Roast” (France)
Who: Director Fabrice O. Joubert
What: A gentleman, enjoying his coffee in a French cafe, realizes he has forgotten his wallet and has to figure out how he’s going get away with it, while also dealing with a ragged old beggar, a sleeping nun and of course, the ever-present waiter. Watch the short in its entirety here:

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“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” (Ireland)
Who: Director Nicky Phelan, written and performed by Katherine O’Rouke
What: A seemingly kindhearted grandmother tells her young grandchild a particular skewed version of “Sleeping Beauty” to try to help him go to sleep. She gets a little carried away in her storytelling. Watch the short in its entirety here:

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“The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” (Spain)
Who: Written and directed by Javier Recio Gracia
What: The Grim Reaper and a do-gooder doctor fight over the life of an elderly lady, who really just wants to be with her deceased husband. Watch the short in its entirety here:

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“Logorama” (U.S.)
Who: Written and directed by Nicolas Schmerkin
What: In a world where company brand logos run the place, two Michelin Man cops chase down a rogue Ronald McDonald. A very clever twist to the buddy cop movie and quite colorful. Watch a clip from the short, explicit language and all:

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“A Matter of Loaf and Death” (U.K.)
Who: Written and directed by Nick Park
What: Wallace and Gromit are back for another adventure! This time, as bakery owners, they must catch a serial killer with the help of a mysterious woman and her poodle. Watch the trailer:

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It’s nice to see that all the nominees are comedies – but it also makes it hard to choose. The Wallace and Gromit short probably won’t win, since Nick Park has already has a few Oscars, while “Logorama” is hand-drawn, thus giving it a disadvantage to the CGI shorts. So it’s between the last three, and although “Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” made me laugh out loud, I think I’d go with “The Lady and the Reaper” because of the production value. Lots of funny stuff AND action in that one.

Road to the Oscars series:

Podcasts – Kit Bowen, Nate Freiberg, Adam Spunberg, and Phil Wallace

February 4: Live Action Short – Kit Bowen

February 5: Animated Short – Kit Bowen

February 8: Documentary Short Subject – Christa Youngpeter

February 9: Documentary Feature – Nate Freiberg

February 10: Foreign Language Film – Paul Popiel

February 12: Animated Film – Nate Freiberg

February 15: Sound Mixing – Jeremy Martin

February 16: Sound Editing – Jeremy Martin

February 17: Original Song – Adam Spunberg and Savanna New

February 18: Visual Effects – Mallory Pickard

February 19: Original Score – Adam Spunberg

February 22: Makeup – Christa Youngpeter

February 23: Costume – Steve Neumann

February 24: Art Direction – Christa Youngpeter

February 25: Film Editing – Steve Neumann

February 26: Cinematography – Paul Popiel

February 27: Original Screenplay – Jeremy Martin

February 28: Adapted Screenplay – Jeremy Martin

March 1: Supporting Actress – Marla Seidell

March 2: Supporting Actor – Phil Wallace

March 3: Actress – Marla Seidell

March 4: Actor – Kit Bowen

March 5: Director – Adam Spunberg

March 5: Picture – Kit Bowen

March 7: The 82nd Annual Academy Awards!