Guest Author - Amber Grey
An accepted Academy Award nomination for the "Best Short Film, Animated" category is a “short” which has the running time of 30 minutes. The following "shorts" run from several minutes to barely cutting the 30-minute mark but the stories they tell in such a small amount of time is extraordinary.
In 1939, "Peace On Earth" was the first animated short released by MGM Studios. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has been replaced by a society the animals have built. One winter night, an elder squirrel tells a younger squirrel what had happened to humanity and why their society is different from ours. Interestingly enough, the team of animators for this "short” were World War I veterans and drew inspiration from what they survived in combat for the war scenes. This innovative and thought-provoking "short" was nominated for an Academy Award in the "Best Short Subject, Cartoons" category in the 1940 Academy Award ceremony. It is an interesting "short" which comes highly recommended to see.
With taking a break from a heavy subject, an entertaining "short" is "The Night Before Christmas." Released in 1941, this animated short features the classic dynamic duo of “Tom and Jerry.” When the house is asleep, Jerry comes out to play with the toys nestled under the Christmas tree. But Tom isn't playing around. Their hilarious hijinks ensues but will the spirit of Christmas put them in the mood to reconcile? It was nominated in 1942 and has become a favorite not only of the "Tom and Jerry" franchise but of the classic film community as well.
The last but not least of this list is "The Snowman" (1982). This twenty-six minute "short" was based off of the children's book by Raymond Briggs. It tells the story of a boy who builds a snowman. Once the boy decorates his snowman with a magical black hat, the snowman takes the boy on a magical journey he will not soon forget. Unfortunately, its 1983 nomination did not garner the coveted Oscar award. Nevertheless, this adaptation has become an intricate and iconic part of the classic holiday spirit.
I have provided the youtube links for each animated short for your viewing pleasure.
"Peace On Earth" animated short
"The Night Before Christmas" animated short
“The Snowman” has three parts: