Animated Short Nominees 2005

I promised a little more concerning the animated shorts up for Oscar this year. As I sorted through the information available on AWN, I had only intended on writing a little on each. Instead, I found myself completely absorbed in Chris Robinson’s articles about the 3D nominee Ryan. Chris’s piece on Ryan Larkin is eloquent and moving, personal and confessional, honest and heart-breaking. While running the Ottawa Film Festival as he does every year, Chris learned that Oscar -winning animator Ryan Larkin was panhandling on the streets of Montreal. The committee found him, and through a last-minute jury substitution and a few drinking sessions, got to know the animator behind the lost soul. Fellow jury member Chris Landreth was so impressed by his story he created a film. In Robinson’s words:

Landreth again uses Maya software and does an extraordinary job re-creating himself and Ryan as characters in the film. The interview between the two takes place in an old, rundown cafeteria that looks like the waiting room for hell; an assortment of disfigured and, literally, broken characters occupy the space.

Ryanappearance is initially horrifying. Landreth has re-created him as a fragile, incomplete person. We see the remains of what was once a face and much of Ryan s body is twisted, busted or just not there.

Landreth sees his mother in Ryan. Robinson sees himself. I see a very interesting competition for the gold in the shorts category this year. For more on the nominees:

Birthday Boy: A Korean child dreams of being a soldier.
Gopher Broke: A gopher has an encounter with a produce truck.
Guard Dog: It’s a Bill Plympton.
Lorenzo: Bizarre short about a cat whose tail comes to life and dances with him.

Author of Strawberry Shortcake: Return of the Purple Pie Man, Disney’s Frozen Comic Collection, Transformers: Robots in Disguise Animated and Littlest Pet Shop: Open for Business. She’s written for IDW Publishing, Hasbro, Lion Forge, American Greetings and Scholastic, and her work has been discussed in Comics Beat and The Washington Post. Subscribe to the newsletter

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