Five 2021 Academy Award Nominated Short Films (ANIMATED)
“Burrow”: A Pixar SparkShort about a rabbit embarrassed by her humble ambitions for her home when she sees other subterranean animals’ elaborate ones. It conveys a nice message about cooperation.
“Genius Loci”: The film’s synopsis describes finding a “moving oneness” amid “urban chaos,” but the film feels like something else. It seems to delve into the growing disorder of an afflicted mind. Protagonist Reine suffers from delusions and has difficulty sorting her sensory input, complicating a journey into the wilderness of a city night.
“If Anything Happens I Love You”: The emotional knockout of the slate, it’s an examination of grief and how it can be toxic, and it riffs off events ripped from headlines without settling on one actual incident. The fact that viewers will immediately sense authenticity despite that generalization is even sadder than what’s depicted in the film. Black, ghostlike figures represent what can’t be addressed but can’t go away, either. This film is hard to forget.
“Opera”: An “animation installation project,” a nine-minute day-night cycle depicting countless tiny humanoid figures executing socioeconomic roles in something like a human Rube Goldberg machine. The film is meant to be projected on an infinite loop. It’s impossible to catch everything happening in one viewing; suffice to say “Opera’s” eye leans toward the jaundiced, even cynical.
“Yes-People”: A charmer using almost no dialogue other than an Icelandic “Yes,” spoken by different characters for different reasons. Its humor is warm, and the animators wonderfully convey much through facial expressions.