The animated short film category is one that usually leaves us regular, non-Academy folks stumped on Oscar night. The films are currently screening around the country, but if you're not able to get to one of those showings, at least the Internet can give you a taste.
I was hoping these five movies would have made their way to the iTunes store by now; sadly, only Disney's The Little Matchgirl is available there. The good news: Clips from all of the films are online, and three of them are available in full — but probably only until the studios find out, so you'll want to hurry. Here's a rundown:
In this film, a singer prepares for his big performance, aided by a mechanical arm that caters to his wants and needs. This one is still available in its entirety, and it's worth watching all the way to the end for the cute twist.
The Little Matchgirl
This watercolor-style Disney version of Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale features a poor, hungry girl who sees visions of a better life for herself in the flame of each match she strikes. You can watch the full movie right now, but even once it gets pulled from YouTube, you'll still have lots of options: You can buy it from the iTunes store, watch a clip from the movie, check out a gallery of images, or watch another clip. The full film is on the Little Mermaid platinum edition DVD. But you might just want to watch this fast before Disney finds out:
To watch another full movie and see clips from the other two, including my favorite,
No Time For Nuts
Scrat, the squirrel from the Ice Age movies, is trying to bury his acorn in the snow when he accidentally uncovers a time machine. He ends up chasing his precious nut through the ages, dodging angry warriors, explosions, flying arrows and all kinds of other historical craziness. Hurry: You can see the full video right now, until Fox figures out it's online. If it's gone, you can still see a clip here, and the full film is on the DVD of Ice Age: The Meltdown.
The Danish Poet
I'm so sad this charming film isn't online anymore, because I wish everyone could have a chance to see it. The movie follows the narrator's quest to piece together the random twists of fate that led to her birth, including the death of a famous author, a hungry goat, several ferry boats, a herd of cattle, and a crowded train. Here's a clip, and there's another on this site.
The newest Pixar short is slated for release with Ratatouille this summer, but you can see a clip of the movie at this site. The story focuses on a young alien who can't quite get his abduction skills down, much to the frustration of his Monsters Inc.-looking boss.