Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Best Animated Short - 1991

So one thing about writing these reviews is that they take a lot of time to write. Before starting this project I wrote a couple of reviews for the nominees for the current year, but it never really registered how long they take, as I wrote them only once a year. When I started this project it became clear that I underestimated how long it would take to write these reviews. In the beginning a review of five nominees was taking me a good three hours. This includes the time it takes to watch a short to jog my memory of it and writing the review. Now it's taking me five to six hours. I'm spending a lot more time per short, and I don't even think the quality is getting any better. (Of course if I had any regular readers, which I don't, I might be able to get some feedback, *hint hint*)

However, hopefully things will be getting better. After all, we have left the era of five nominees and entering into the Golden Age of Three Nominees. In the 20 years between 1992-2011, five nominees were the norm. There were only two years where there were fewer than five nominees: 1996 and 2000. Conversely, in the 27 years between 1965-1991, three nominees were the norm. There were only four years with more than three nominees: 1968, 1974, 1975, and 1977. I went over the rules for this category as it currently stands in an earlier post. It states that any three to five films that fulfill a certain score criteria gets a nomination. I have no idea why there is this disparity in the number of nominees. Was there a rule change sometime between the 1991 Oscars and the 1992 Oscars, one that changed the number of nominees (with exceptions) or one that changed the score limit? Did people just grade harder? Unfortunately I hadn't been able to find the answer, as I can't find the Academy Award rules from back then.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ranking the Oscar nominated shorts: 1992-2001

Back in March, after I completed the reviews of the Oscar nominated shorts from 2002-2011, I wrote a special post ranking the nominated films in those years by personal preference. That turned out to be one of my favorite posts, since it was fun going over all of the nominated films in making the ranks, and I just like making ranked lists. It was so much fun that I've decided to make one of these ranked lists once every ten reviews. Since I just completed my 20th review, I will now present my rankings of the films nominated between 1992-2001, which were the 61st - 70th time that the Best Animated Short award was presented.

For the most part there were five nominees per year in these ten years. The only exceptions came in 1996, when there were only four nominees, and 2000 when there were only three. That makes for 47 total nominees, three short of the 50 that were nominated between 2002-2011. And there was one film that Disney had locked up in their underground vaults guarded by Cerberus for 15 years, but one courageous man had risked life and limb to bring Redux Riding Hood to animation audiences everywhere. While director Steve Moore will probably end up chained to a rock having his liver eaten by an eagle every day, his contributions will never be forgotten by me, as it allows me to rank all 47 nominees!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Best Animated Short - 1992

We have finally gotten to the 20th set of nominated shorts! That means there's another 60 more to go! That's not too exciting, actually. What is more exciting is that it's the 20th anniversary of all things 1992. Fasten your seat belts. We're going to take a trip down memory lane.

1992 was a whirlwind year in my life. It was the year that I turned seven. I was at the stage where I was able to have some pretty vivid memories, but very few that withstands the effects of 20 years of neuronal reconstruction. More importantly, it was the year that I moved from California to Kansas. I've lived in five states in my life. Michigan was where I was born, and where I lived until 1989. We still go there frequently because of family. Virginia is where I lived the longest - I've lived there since 1999 - and it's where my family still lives. I've been in Texas since 2009 for school. Kansas was where I spent the majority of my childhood (1992-1999), and it is where I have the fondest memories. That leaves California as kind my forgotten home. I lived in Pleasanton from 1989-1992: I was too young and it was too distant to have any lasting memories. Or so I thought.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Best Animated Short Make-up Review - Redux Riding Hood (1997)

So if you're one of the two people that have been following my blog since I started it, you should know that in the 19 years that I've reviewed, there are two films that I haven't seen. And they both happen to be from Disney. One was Lorenzo, the 2004 film about a pompous cat whose tail comes to life thanks to some witchery. And the other is Redux Riding Hood, the 1997 film that serves as like an afterstory to the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. Both films were nominated for the Oscar, but neither film won. After the losses, Disney had shelved the films and they have not been found online or on DVD releases for years, with only a guest appearance at a festival with Oscar-nominated animated shorts. Lorenzo is still MIA, but after 15 years under lock and key, Redux Riding Hood is finally available online. I wrote about the film back when I did the 1997 reviews, but now that I have finally seen it, I might as well do a full review.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Non-nominated Highlight: Oink (1993)

Well, as I like to point out (and have been kind of proving with the ability to embed or link to 74 of the 92 nominees between 1993-2011), many of the nominated short films are readily available online. However, there are those handful of films that are impossible to find online. I've still managed to find many of them on videotapes or DVDs with many other short films. I usually like to watch the other shorts, because they may be more interesting than the ones that were actually nominated. Nowhere is this more evident than in this film, the next entry into our series of great short films that were not nominated. (Although to be honest I did link to three other great films that were not nominated since the last entry. See if you can find them.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Best Animated Short - 1993

Our journey in reviewing the Oscar nominated animated shorts has taken me to 1993 Oscars. This was the first time I remember watching any parts of the Oscar ceremony. Before I get into that story, let me first clarify something. The Oscars are an annual thing, so there will have to be a way to designate which ceremony you are talking about. There are generally three ways to do so. The first way is to do the official title, which counts the ceremonies using the 1927-28 one as the first one. So for example one we are reviewing is the 66th annual Academy Awards while the one that just passed is the 85th annual Academy Awards. I don't like this method because it is annoying and requires a lot of math. An alternative method is to do it by year, but even then there are two ways to do so. One is to do it by the year of the ceremony, so in this case would be the ceremony from 1994. The other is to do it by the year the movies they were celebrating came out. So this would be the 1993 Oscars, since the films that were nominated had their release in 1993. This is the way I do it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Best Animated Short - 1994

Whee! We're at 1994! Whenever I think of 1994 I always it as the year my youngest sister was born. And now she is 18, about ready to graduate from high school, and starting to complain about how old she is getting to be. (If I had posted the articles at the original intended rate of two a week, I might have been able to post this closer to her birthday.) But in my heart she will always be my baby sister. Awwww. 1994 was also the year that my middle sister received a box of Topps 1994 cards, the ones with my favorite font. I used to sneak over and "borrow" a pack. I ended up opening more packs of those cards than she did. Finally, 1994 was the year of one of the most epic Best Picture lineups in history. Seriously, any lineup that includes Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, and The Shawshank Redemption is one to be reckoned with.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Best Animated Short - 1995

1995 was a milestone year of sorts in my Oscar history. It was the year that I first became aware of the Oscars. Oh, before then I knew there was an award show that celebrated the movies, but I didn't know what films won or were nominated until well after the fact. 1995 was the year when I first learned the nominees (at least some of them) BEFORE the ceremony. Okay, it was only one film, which was Apollo 13, which I saw in theaters the year before, but still I cared enough about its Best Picture chances that I wanted to watch the show. I ended up watching just enough to see Apollo 13 lose Best Visual Effects to Babe, and Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream lose Best Documentary Feature to Anne Frank Remembered. I can't remember why I stopped watching, but it wasn't until the next day that I found out Apollo 13 lost to Braveheart.