2014 Oscar Nominated Animation Shorts 2.0 stars

For once, Pixar is out of the picture — The Blue Umbrella was almost (but not quite) as dire as the feature that followed it (Monsters University). That clears the field for...Disney? Sigh. Look, if you've seen Frozen (and by this point, what parent hasn't?), then you know all about the Mouse House's tribute to its founding Mouse, Get a Horse. At least it has the guts to attempt some innovation as it plunges into the past. Also innovative: Possessions, a brightly-colored bit of modern folklore about a fix-it man who takes shelter in a storage shed during a storm and has a series of encounters with the stuff that's stored there. The mix of 2D and 3D gives the feeling of paper theater sets — limitation transformed into fitting aesthetic. Also included: Feral, a trippy, gray, shimmering story about a wild boy's adventures in civilization; Mr. Hublot, a piece of sweet steampunk about the risks and rewards of pet ownership, and Room on the Broom, an overlong, understuffed animated children's book that can't escape its source material. 2014.

Matthew Lickona

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