And the 2015 OSCAR for Best Animated Short Goes To . . . . .

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Animation and Live Action Shorts, a celebrated program of mini-features, bringing a diverse and often cutting edge introduction to new techniques or trending subjects to the forefront of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the chance of winning the gold.

The 2015 selection of Shorts is no different. Both categories, LIVE Action and Animation Shorts present solid performances, demonstrated technique, and compelling stories.

Animation which is a favorite, unlike the 2014 program didn’t present what this reviewer believes is a clear winner like Mr. Hublot, a favorite with his toaster dog and still the animation introduces a range of animation styles and techniques ranging from the crisp and colorful Walt Disney Animation submission Feast to the Picasso-esqe style of The Bigger Picture.

For your consideration from the 2015 Animation Short category the five nominees are:

From the Netherlands, A Single Life, from the production team of Job, Joris and Marieke presents, through a mysterious delivery, the opportunity to travel through time to relive various aspects of our main characters life.

A Single Life is very nicely done, with clear animation and the ability to follow, understand the story. At two minutes the ability to present a well thought out and developed story that holds the attention is a testament to its position in the top five.

Feast, representing the USA and Walt Disney Animation, is the newest short from producer Kristina Reed and Director Patrick Osborne. Feast is the story of one man’s love life as seen through the eyes of his best friend and dog, Winston, and reveals the ups and downs of life with his lovelorn master as depicted through various stages of food consumption cycles. 6minutes.

Me and My Moulton, from Canada and Norway and Director Torill Kove and Producers Lise Fearnley nd Marcy Page with Production by Mikrofilm in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada.

One summer in mid- 1960s Norway, a seven-year-old girl asks her parents if she and her sisters can have a bicycle. Me and My Moulton provides a glimpse into the thoughts as she struggles with her sense that her family, with her two siblings and free loving parents is somewhat out of sync with what she perceives as “normal”. 14minutes.

The Bigger Picture, from the UK, and Director Daisy Jacobs and Producer Christopher Hees, comes the moving and dark tale of two brothers, each their mother’s favorite, and the deterioration of their love for each other as they age and deal with the emotions of aging mother

'You want to put her in a home; you tell her; tell her now!' hisses one brother to the other. But Mother won't go, and as their own lives unravel as she clings on. Innovative, life-size animated characters. Picasso-esqe or line renderings tell the stark and darkly humorous tale of caring for an elderly parent. 7 minutes.

The Dam Keeper, from the USA, an original animated short film by feature animation artists and Directors Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi and is produced by Tonko House, tells the tale of a young pig encumbered with an important job, and the meeting of a new classmate who changes everything.

A first-time collaboration between some of the most talented artists in animation, The Dam Keeper made its world premiere as an official selection at the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival and is slated to make its US premiere at The New York International Children's Film Festival this spring.

The Dam Keeper, the ability of animators Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, to humanize the animals allowing the audience to enter into the experience of our main outcast, an orphan piglet, whose father was the original dam keeper an unsung hero who by methodically performing a mundane task, every day, setting aside self, he protects the town and all its inhabitants, who unbeknownst to them are being protected.   

Our piglet, still a child has to attend school where he faces the local bullies, who are intent on injuring the new kid, he becomes overwhelmed by emotions and with the ultimate retribution at his fingertips he decides to show those bullies just who is in control.

Made up of over 8,000 paintings, The Dam Keeper blends traditional hand-drawn animation with lush brushstrokes to bring Kondo and Tsutsumi's celebrated painting-style to life like never before.

The Danish actor Lars Mikkelsen of television's Forbrydelsen (The Killing), and BBC's Sherlock, narrates this timeless fable. Directors Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi are known for their art direction on such beloved films as Ice Age, Ratatouille, Monsters University and Toy Story 3. 18minutes.

The Animation Short and Live Action program are coming soon to theaters everywhere and are worth seeing. 

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