Oscar-Nominated Shorts: Animation (NR)

By Bill Gallo
This dazzling 90-minute package contains the sort of gifts even devoted moviegoers rarely get to open -- the overlooked, orphan titles that arouse momentary curiosity on Academy Awards night and then promptly vanish. Simply said, the six short films collected here by Apollo Cinema -- 2003 Oscar nominees all -- deserve more attention than their lengths suggest. Australian Adam Elliot's vivid Harvie Krumpet (22 minutes; animated) tells of a hard-luck Everyman redeemed by joy. A Torsion (12 minutes; live action), from Slovenia, shows us the tender encounter between the members of a traveling choir and a farmer who asks for help with his injured cow. Taking a cue from Gogol, Florian Baxmeyer's The Red Jacket (20 minutes; live action) follows the trail of a coat thrown away by a grief-stricken German father as it makes its way to a boy in war-torn Sarajevo. In Chris Hinton's Nibbles (4 minutes; animated), a father takes his sons on an eventful fishing trip in a Canadian forest. There's more, but our allotted space grows, well, short.


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