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February 20, 2013


Relative newcomers Adam Pesapane (PES), Minkyu Lee and Timothy Reckart go up against seasoned veterans Matt Groening and Disney Studios in this year's Animated Shorts. All of the Animated Shorts rely on visual artistry and eschew dialogue.

Stop-motion animator Adam Pesapane (PES) took almost three years to concoct the foodie fantasy, Fresh Guacamole. A cook's hands take a machete to a grenade, slice it open, hack into the pool ball "pit" to remove it, and scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl... And so it goes from there... A clever bagatelle. Coming in at under two minutes it is the shortest film ever nominated for an Oscar. Known for his use of everyday objects and stop-motion animation to create original material, PES cites as an influence the Czech surrealist animator Jan ┼ávankmajer.

Watch it here at
Hugh Hart talks to PES for


Another three-year labor of love, Minkyu Lee's old-fashioned cell animation short, Adam and Dog, takes us back to Creation when a feisty little dog must muster all of his determination to demonstrate to a somewhat distracted Adam that he IS and deserves to be man's best friend. Lushly realized landscapes evoke an Eden of natural majesty. Lee was responsible for every aspect of the film, laboring on it during free time while working a day job at Disney on Winnie the Pooh and Wreck-It Ralph.

Dan Sarto interviews Minkyu Lee for Animation World Network.

Minkyu Lee

Minkyu Lee

All images courtesy of Minkyu Lee.

Timothy Reckart's stop-motion Head Over Heels gives new meaning to the observation that a couple has "grown apart." In fact, after many years of marriage, Walter lives on the floor and Madge lives on the ceiling. When Walter tries to rekindle the romance, they must find a way to reconcile what is up and what is down.

Ramin Zahed of Animation Magazine talks to Timothy Reckart about the making of Head Over Heels.

Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly

Maggie Simpson stars in The Longest Daycare directed by David Silverman. This is not the first time the Matt Groening franchise has satirized No Child Left Behind. The Simpsons took a swipe in a 2009 episode titled "How the Test Was Won." Maggie's first day in the Ayn Rand School for Tots finds her plunked into a machine that sorts her out of the Gifted section and into Nothing Special.

David Silverman

GQ's Oliver Franklin says John Kahrs's Paperman "might be the best rom-com you see this year." A 1940s company man encounters a woman on a commuter train into the city, then promptly loses her. Pushing paper at work, he happens to see her through the high rise window across the way and shoots her a paper airplane -- that misses. Six minutes and countless paper airplanes later...

Watch it at
Christina Radish of talks to John Kahrs about making Paperman.

John Kahrs

John Kahrs

PS... Here's Salon's Andrew O'Hehir's round-up of the 2012 short film nominees, "Is the golden age of short films upon us?"

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