The Pink Phink (1964)

The Pink Phink ReviewThe Pink Phink Review

The Pink Phink is a 1964 Oscar-winning animated short film which was the first every Pink Panther short.

I love this film, it is great. Yes, its first half didn’t contain nearly enough gags as the second one did, but this is mostly a stellar, truly terrific short that does everything right. Pink Panther himself is excellent and so funny while The Little Man is memorable and quite amusing near the end in particular.

A couple of gags and facial expressions were very funny, but the entire scenario was beautifully executed and the action is always memorable here. Of course its iconic score is just amazing, so fitting in style to the animation and tone of the series and very atmospheric. The animation is absolutely phenomenal and I loved its usage of pink and blue. The comic-strip sensibilities are perfectly brought to film here. It truly is a classic film that deserved its Oscar for sure.

The Pink Phink is funny and memorable while featuring excellent character moments and gags and it is fueled with superb animation and score.

My Rating – 4.5

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Pearl (2016)

Pearl ReviewPearl Review

 Pearl is a 2016 animated short film that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

The film follows a man and his younger daughter as she grows up. The film is an interesting experiment as we follow her growing up from the front seat of a car, that is where we watch all of the action from. The animation is solid and the highlight for me was the score. The song that accompanied it was beautiful and heartwarming and it certainly fitted this story like a glove.

However, Pearl is an interesting, but not successful experiment. The idea behind it is great, but it wasn’t executed properly. I thought that it wasn’t that engaging or comprehensible to follow and it should have been much more emotional as it left me cold personally. But the biggest problem is that the film is the first Oscar nominated VR film and I do not have that technology so I couldn’t watch it as it should be watched. So the movie is made for just a handful of people who have that technology and that is troublesome.

Pearl is definitely a unique experiment which unfortunately isn’t fully successful as it needed more characterization and emotion in it.

My Rating – 3.8

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The Box (1967)

The Box ReviewThe Box Review

The Box is a 1967 Oscar-winning animated short film directed by Fred Wolf.

An old bearded man wearing a raincoat walks into a bar and sits down, placing a mysterious box next to him. The other patrons try, with varying success, to find out what’s inside. That is the premise here and it is quite interesting. It is the kind of old-fashioned cartoon that works well today as it did for its time and it is fun and charming.

It has a couple of good gags that rely on fun facial expressions and the animation is solid as the character designs are particularly memorable. But The Box is still not that worthy of an Oscar winner in my opinion as it isn’t as funny as it should have been, it is overly short and I did not get the point of its titular box at all.

The Box definitely has its amusing moments, but it is too short, too simplistic and not as funny as it could have been.

My Rating – 3.7

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The Hole (1962)

The Home ReviewThe Hole Review

 The Hole is a 1962 Oscar-winning animated short film which was directed by John and Faith Hubley. It’s an overrated film.

It features two construction workers at work in the bottom of a hole on a construction site discussing the possibility of an accidental nuclear weapons attack. It is one of the most talkative Oscar-winning shorts and it surely was interesting that it was structured as one giant, prolonged discussion. Some lines were quite interesting.

But most of that discussion was not as interesting as it should have been and not particularly smart or compelling. The voice acting is good, but the ending is subpar and the film is pointless in a way. The animation is its worst aspect as it is so mediocre not only in character designs, but also in imagery which felt choppy and unfinished.

The Hole is an interesting, but mostly failed experiment with choppy animation and not particularly compelling discussions.

 My Rating – 3.2

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Ersatz (1961)

Ersatz ReviewErsatz  Review

 Ersatz (The Substitute) is a 1961 Oscar-winning Croatian animated short film which was directed by Dusan Vukotic.

A man takes a trip to the beach and every object he brings with him, no matter how unlikely, is inflatable. That is the plot here and, needless to say, it is slight and the film is almost plotless. It is an excuse to venture into surreal territory, but I did not grasp the meaning or the point of it.

But you can’t deny the strengths of its animation. It is stupendously well animated and actually quite inventive in some of its scenes. I really liked the main character and the sounds that he made were quite amusing. The designs here are odd, yet very authentic. The movements and the colors were all really well incorporated and the film is quite unique in some of its imagery. But it is still a flawed film as the plot is nowhere to be found and the conclusion isn’t the greatest. It got the Oscar and although not deserved in my opinion, it wasn’t a terrible choice as I can see where they’re coming from as the film is pretty artistic in its own way.

Ersatz is imaginative and quite inventive in its animation, but pointless in plot and ultimately just solid.

 My Rating – 3.5

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Munro (1960)

Munro ReviewMunro Review

Munro is a 1960 Oscar-winning animated short film which was directed by Gene Deitch.

It is about a boy who is four years old and gets drafted into the army where everyone torments him as they think he is a real man faking his age. Now obviously this is a giant, and quite personal from the director, attack on military and the abuse of authority. And I really respected its parody as it felt important and yet very well handled as well.

The film is actually quite funny at times and more lighthearted than serious which was a good choice to sell this difficult premise. The animation is quite good, although somewhat lacking in identity. The narration should have been better, but the voice acting is solid and the sound is overall fine. The film succeeds much more in terms of storytelling than technically, but overall I really liked it and it deserved its Academy Award in my opinion.

Munro is very well made and it succeeds because it presents its important issue in a comical instead of overly serious manner.

 My Rating – 4.2

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Moonbird (1959)

Moonbird ReviewMoonbird Review

Moonbird is a 1959 animated short that won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for that year.

It follows two boys who in the middle of the night sneak out in order to find and catch the Moonbird. Now apparently the film is a unique experiment as it featured real child voices which came from the director’s own children and he taped their imaginary adventure and created a film around it. Now that premise and that approach is, needless to say, incredibly original and the film is admirable for it.

However, everything else here is disappointing. The film is a technical mess with the animation that is very subpar and the character design which is not the greatest. The sound wasn’t that well incorporated and the film doesn’t sound or look good. Plus it is overlong and not particularly engaging to watch. It is such a poor execution of a great premise.

Moonbird is original and an interesting, but not particularly successful or polished film.

 My Rating – 3.5

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Blind Vaysha (2016)

Blind Vaysha ReviewBlind Vaysha Review

Blind Vaysha is a 2016 animated short film directed by Theodore Ushev and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

It is about a girl who cannot see present with her left eye seeing the past and her right eye seeing the future. Rarely have I seen such an original concept in an animated short before. It is unique and it is perfect for this medium. However, I still find the film far from great because the narration isn’t the greatest and I would have chosen a different approach to tell this story. I also found the ending to be abrupt and the overall film needed to have been longer in length.

But the animation is phenomenal. It is the kind of artistic animation that suits this particular tale really well with great colors and very interesting character designs. I liked the score quite a bit and it is again fitting to the plot. The film is very authentic both in visuals and in plot which is why it succeeds as one of the year’s best animated shorts even if it isn’t as great as it could have been.

Blind Vaysha definitely could have been better, but it is still quite good with a terrific premise and fine animation.

My Rating – 4

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Magoo’s Puddle Jumper (1956)

Magoo's Puddle Jumper ReviewMagoo’s Puddle Jumper Review

 Magoo’s Puddle Jumper is a 1956 animated short that won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. It is an overrated film.

Yes, this Magoo adventure is nowhere near as good as another Oscar winner ‘When Magoo Flew’. In fact, it is so inferior that it didn’t deserve its Oscar at all. Once again the animation is weak and the plot is pretty similar to the previous movie. Here we follow Magoo as he buys a new electric car and drives it into the ocean. He is accompanied by another man in the car and that man is very forgettable.

Once again we get the series’ signature humor in the chit-chat of an old man and there isn’t anything wrong with that. However, the problem is that we have seen this premise before and done better. The sea isn’t that well utilized and it could have been much funnier. Some of the parts are funny, but overall it is a disappointment and a film that is lost potential.

Magoo’s Puddle Jumper is solid with Magoo’s signature humor being good, but it is familiar in premise and not that great overall.

 My Rating – 3.5

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Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom (1953)

Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom ReviewToot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom Review

 Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom is a 1953 educational animated short made by Disney that received an Oscar. It is a typical, just solid film.

The reason why I didn’t love this flick lies in my apathy for the educational format. They do their best here to make it entertaining, but it unfortunately still ended up being dull, overlong and forgettable. The film is solid as it definitely has its strengths, but it is far from great and it did not deserve its Oscar at all.

What I liked here is the animation which was pretty solid, albeit not great. But I liked the character designs and of course the sound effects are terrific. The beginning and ending are also good and memorable and the score is excellent with some really good, classic singing of the time. It is confidently made, but I was still bored by it immensely.

Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom has pretty good animation and score, but its educational format led to a dull viewing experience.

 My Rating – 3.5

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