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19th Annual Animation Show of Shows Review

Animation Saturation

I confess that I have not seen any of the first 18 "Annual Animation Show of Shows", so I can't compare the 19th version to anything, but I have seen all of the Oscars short animation nominees for the last 10 or so years. The previous 18 compilations have featured films that later received 36 Oscar nominations and 10 wins. Some of the films in this collection are not eligible for an Oscar because they are more than a year old.

This year, there are 16 animated short films:


• Can You Do It-Quentin Baillieux, France
• Tiny Big-Lia Bertels, Belgium
• Next Door-Pete Docter, U.S.  
• The Alan Dimension-Jac Clinch, UK
• Beautiful Like Elsewhere-Elise Simard, Canada
• Hangman-Paul Julian and Les Goldman, U.S.
• The Battle of San Romano-Georges Schwizgebel, Switzerland
• Gokurosama-Clémentine Frère, Aurore Gal, Yukiko Meignien, Anna Mertz, Robin Migliorelli, Romain Salvini, France
• Dear Basketball-Glen Keane, U.S.
• Island-Max Mörtl and Robert Löbel, Germany
• Unsatisfying-Parallel Studio, France
• My Burden-Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Sweden
• Les Abeilles Domestiques (Domestic Bees) Alexanne Desrosiers, Canada
• Our Wonderful Nature: The Common Chameleon -Tomer Eshed, Germany
• Casino-Steven Woloshen, Canada
• Everything-David OReilly, U.S.



I'm not going to review all 16, but I'll mention some that made an impression upon me.   


"Next Door" (1991) - Pete Docter's student film of a joyous young girl who drives her middle-aged neighbor crazy with her noisy adventures, until a shared enthusiasm brings them together. It's a fun watch. Docter went on to win Oscars for "Up" and "Inside Out".

"The Alan Dimension" (2016) - Alan is a retired accountant who has the power of precognition. However, his powers only seem to apply to exceedingly mundane things. His obsession with his powers eventually drives his wife to leave him. It's cute.

"Hangman" (1964) - Restored version is an adaptation of a poem by Maurice Ogden about a town that allows its citizens to be executed one by one. It features universal themes of persecution, injustice, and personal responsibility, and it remains as relevant today as when it was first released. Easily the best film in the group.

"Gokorusama" (2016) - Reminiscent of Jacques Tati, this is an amusing tale of a series of bizarre and unfortunate events in a Japanese mall. It features grown men dressed as fuzzy animals, outlandish backgrounds, and robots. The most visually stimulating entry.


If you're a freak fan of short animation films, you should see it. The rest of you are better off passing.

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