Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts (NR)

December 31, 1969
By Bill Gallo
The winner of this year's Academy Award for best short animated film was John Canemaker's The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation, an exploration of the Elmira, New York-born filmmaker's stormy relationship with his late father, who was apparently a brute and definitely a convicted arsonist. Peppered with bits of home movies and old family photos, it's a lacerating biography/autobiography that rises to the level of confessional poetry. Canemaker's film is the centerpiece of this impressive collection of animated Oscar nominees. Among the other highlights: Shane Acker's beautifully drawn 9, in which a pair of haunted fugitives are stalked through a ravaged wasteland by a huge, creaking insect with high-beam vision; Anthony Lucas's The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello, which posits a beautifully detailed, pseudo-gothic city beset by appalling violence; and Sharon Colman's Badgered, which shows us the beleaguered quadruped of the title struggling to catch a nap. All in all, a great sampler of the animators' art.


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