Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Best Animated Short - 1944

Aah! It's July 31, which means that not only is it the 23rd anniversary of Nolan Ryan's 300th win, but it's also the first anniversary of my epic drive from Texas to Virginia, my first of six marathon drives of at least 12 hours with no more than one hour break in the middle at one time. I've never come close to driving that long before so my memories of that night and day is pretty well implanted in my mind. It's hard to believe that a year has passed since then. You can enjoy my live blog of the drive.

Anyways, back to where we were. It was 1944 and war was raging in the east and in the west. So many young men in the prime of their lives were being sent to Europe and Africa and Asia to die in the name of freedom. On June 6, 1944, the Allied nations landed on the beaches of Normandy to begin the reclamation of western Europe from Germany. Despite the loss of over 12,000 troops - that's 12,000 young men who would forever lose conscious even as time stretches on for a googleplex years - it was still a successful landing that eventually lead to the end of the war.

Meanwhile, while young men were out their losing their lives while fighting for the Allied way, citizens in the United States were still able to enjoy forms of entertainment, including baseball and film.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Best Animated Short - 1945

Well, we're into 1945, and that means we're into the years that I've been dreading. Now there are rules in place limiting the maximum number of nominees in the Best Animated Short category to five. There were no such rules in place in the early 1940s, so there were more than five nominees every year from 1941-1945, with as many as ten in one year. Considering it's been taking me upwards of eight hours to write a review for a five-nominee year (although most of the time is spent distracting myself on sites like Facebook and Equestria Daily), I can't fathom how long it'll take me to write these reviews. Especially since I have the equivalent of a full time job now. But we'll try to power our way through.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Non-Nominated Highlight - Rhapsody Rabbit (1946)

So I'm sure you've noticed in my last review that I kept alluding to a great controversy, the greatest in the history of the Best Animated Short category and one of the greatest in animation history. As you know, The Cat Concerto took home the Oscar. Unfortunately, it was not the only film that year from a major studio that featured a popular mascot character playing Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2" only to be bothered by an uninvited guest. For at the very same time Friz Freleng and his crew at Warner Bros. was making their own film of a similar nature: Rhapsody Rabbit.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Best Animated Short - 1946

We're at 1946, and what it year it was! It was the year after World War II ended, and emotions were running high throughout the entire year. It was the year the Boston Red Sox finally made it into the World Series for the first time since 1918, but saw it all fall apart around them in the final game thanks to the hustle of Enos Slaughter. It was the year that the newly formed United Nations finally came together for their first meeting. And it was the year of the greatest controversy in the Best Animated Short category, but we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Best Animated Short - 1947

Sometimes I've been thinking, why do I even bother? I've been putting hours upon hours into this blog, and the posts with the most views have had nothing to do with Oscar nominated shorts. Granted I've done more advertising with those posts, but that may be because I don't feel like the actual reviews are good enough to warrant advertising. If I post it on reddit like I did with the Rainbow Dash film I'm sure it'll get a negative score so fast it'll make my head spin. So yeah, with my work ramping up exponentially I'm thinking I may have to go into another hiatus. But if a blog that nobody reads go into hiatus, does it matter?


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Best Original Song Highlights - Wet Blanket Policy & The Woody Woodpecker Song (1948)

There have been plenty of great songs that have appeared in animated short films: "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" from Three Little Pigs*, "I Haven't Got a Hat" from I Haven't Got a Hat, "Sinbad's Song" in Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor, "Der Fuehrer's Face" in Der Fuehrer's Face, "A Cowboy Needs a Horse" from the film of the same title, "Return My Love" in What's Opera, Doc?, "Hey, Paul" in Paul Bunyan, "Miss Hippo's Lament" in Noah's Ark, pretty much all the songs in A Symposium on Popular Songs, "Heffalumps and Woozles" and "The Most Wonderful Thing About Tiggers" in Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, "Get a Big Top Hat" and "It Can't Be Done" in Great.

Yet amidst all of the incredibly legacy of songs in animated shorts, only once has a song from a short film been nominated for an Oscars, and it happened in 1948. The song was "the Woody Woodpecker Song" from Walter Lantz's Wet Blanket Policy.

*I suppose it was Disney's misfortune that Three Little Pigs came out in 1933, a year before the Best Original Song category was instituted. I don't know if it would have gotten nominated if the category was present a year earlier, but it never even had a chance.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Best Animated Short - 1948

Aah! Residency has begun! I'm now experiencing the joys of working a full time job for the first time in my life! Now I'm not sure if I'll ever have time to finish up these last 17 reviews! And whatever you do don't go to a teaching hospital for the next few months. In reality I'm writing this a week before orientation starts, so I've got a little bit more time to churn out some more  reviews, but I'm not looking forward to losing all my free time...for the rest of my life. But hey, that's what I was getting myself into when I chose this profession so might as well suck it up and go in there with drive and ambition! It's what Rainbow Dash would do!