Oscar-winning Animated Shorts
that you Need to See: VOL. 2

Because you can never have enough good art, we decided to write another article about animated shorts that took home the famous golden Oscar and left a significant mark on the world of animation. In Part 1, we introduced you to The Man Who Planted Trees, Wallace and Gromit in The Wrong Trousers, and the animated classic The Old Man and the Sea. Now grab your popcorn and get ready for another batch of amazing films.

1. The House of Small Cubes (2008)

The first Japanese film to win an Oscar in this category tells the story of an old man whose house is being slowly consumed by the water around it. As the water level rises, our hero must build more and more floors to escape and be able to continue living in his house. One day however, he accidentally drops his pipe through a hole in the floor, which sinks to the ground floor. So he decides to go after it. The talented animator Kunio Katō managed to create a truly memorable and moving film that will stay with you. He achieved this with a simple, emotional story full of metaphors but above all, with an interesting visual stylization of the environment in which the old man lives.

2. Gerald McBoing-Boing (1950)

Although it may seem a little dated today, this simple animation influenced and inspired a huge number of great animators and quite possibly determined the direction of cartoon animation for decades to come.

It was created by a group of young filmmakers who had left Disney to form the animation studio United Productions of America and adapted from a story by Theador Geisel a.k.a. Dr. Seuss. It tells the story of a small boy who is only able to talk by emitting strange sounds.

The film bucked the trends of traditional animation of the era in several ways. It does not centre on cute animals with human characteristics, but instead features a human family. It does not contain any of the cartoon violence which the viewer saw with Tom and Jerry. And the portrayal of the characters was far more realistic here than elsewhere in the 40s and 50s.

In addition, the creators play with a lot of original, hitherto unseen techniques. When moving from one environment to another, for example, editing is often not used. Instead, the background of the characters simply changes seamlessly. It is also worth noting the changing colours of individual scenes. These change according to the prevailing mood in the story. When the hero is sad, everything is blue. If he laughs, it turns yellow again.

3. Geri's Game (1997)

An Oscar winner with a Czech connection!. Geri's Game was the first Pixar studio film where the main character is a man. Using the latest 3D technology, director Jiří Pinkava created the endearing story of an old man who goes to the park to play chess with himself.

The aim of the film was to take Pixar's 3D animated work one step further, and working on this project was a unique experience. The creators wanted to push boundaries of their art with realistic textures of human skin and the most faithful reproduction of clothing possible.

After an extensive study of human motor skills, facial expressions and the surface of the human body, the team managed to create an uncanny human likeness with the help of animation. At the time, viewers were amazed by this next-level replication which made the character so believable and allowed for the necessary emotional investment.

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