2/19/2007

Animated and Live Action Shorts Online

Posted in Side Topics at 2:19 pm by Sam

One of the problems with short films is the scarcity of distribution opportunities, and every year there are three categories’ worth of Oscar-nominated short films that nobody has seen or, unless you’re an Academy member, can see. The Internet has changed that a bit, and for the last couple years, some of the short films become available online.

This year, you can watch two of the Best Animated Shorts and one of the Best Live Action Shorts online, right now. This includes Disney’s “The Little Matchgirl,” an absolutely wonderful tearjerker adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story.

Here’s the guide to the Oscar nominated shorts of 2006.

1 Comment »

  1. Sam (405) said,

    February 20, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    Since posting this, I watched the two animated shorts. “Maestro” is the kind of combination of cute and clever that inspires a warm smile. Not much else, but a warm smile is by far and away worth the five minute investment.

    “The Little Matchgirl,” however, is transcendent. I loved it. It’s an incredible tearjerker; sad, but beautiful, compassionate, and powerful. It’s just seven minutes long, but I was more moved by it than all but a tiny handful of feature films, and it took a bit to recover.

    One thing that’s particularly striking to me recalls a comment we made on the podcast recently, about how silent film is a dead art form. So it is, basically, but this short is essentially just that. The story is told with beautiful music and beautiful images, but no dialogue. You don’t need any. But more than that, it’s not just technically silent, it holds to the sensibilities of vintage silent film. The imagery of D.W. Griffith and the pathos of Charlie Chaplin pervade “The Little Matchgirl,” particularly in the last shot. It would not have surprised me to learn that this was a shot-for-shot remake of a silent short from the 10s or 20s. It is not, but the point is that the thought occurred to me.

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