This year’s entry from Pixar is a whimsical delight about a… creature? Spirit? … resides in the lost and found box at a school, working to return wayward items to the children who adore them. When a bully starts terrorizing the playground and stealing possessions, the creature -- comprised of lost jackets, shoes, books, and with two baseballs for eyes -- decides to extract a little revenge, and teach a lesson.
Dear Basketball5 minutes
Here’s an unusual entry: Kobe Bryant wrote, produced and narrates this first-person ode to this first love, the game of basketball. With a musical score by John Williams and animated by Glen Keane, who also directs, it’s a surprisingly emotional testimony from a professional athlete about what he has given to sport, and what it has taken from him.
Garden Party7 minutes
This hyper-realistic animated short follows the journey of a neon-green tree frog and a fat bullfrog through an unlikely landscape: a palatial mansion that has sat abandoned for some time, so the swimming pool has turned into a pond that nature has reclaimed. Not so much a coherent narrative as a showcase for amazing animation, with a gruesome twist. Inventive and macabre.
Negative Space5 minutes
This dreamy stop-motion animated film examines a man’s relationship to his father as he mastered the art of packing a suitcase just right. I liked the surreal sojourn into an imaginary underwater realm where underwear and shirts swim like fishes. More of an idea than a complete movie, even a short one.
Revolting Rhymes29 minutes
Roald Dahl’s books have been turned into a number of wonderful animated feature films, especially “James and the Giant Peach,” so here’s a short(ish) one. Wonderful voice work punctuates this fairy tale mashup of Snow White and Red Riding Hood, who in this telling are friends contesting with a trio of wolves, an evil stepmother and a greedy pig running the bank of Porkeley’s. Snow White steals the magic mirror so the dwarves (all ex-jockeys) can play the horses, while Red is more of a vigilante-style badass with a pistol tucked in her knickers.