In the animated-shorts field, Pixar made the cut again. But unlike its more visually opulent entries of the past, Day & Night boasts a comparatively low-key aesthetic to dramatize the unlikely friendship that develops between Daytime and Nighttime. The Gruffalo features voice work from Helena Bonham Carter and Tom Wilkinson in a fable involving a mouse who outsmarts predators. And its solid storytelling outranks the glib satire Lets Pollute, a faux-educational film promoting the benefits of consumer excess. Inventive and playful, Madagascar, a Journey Diary is an impressionistic travelogue across the island nation incorporating pencil sketches. Which brings us to The Lost Thing, a deceptively simple remembrance of a boys encounter with a bizarre orphaned creature. This exceptionally moving film touches on friendship, loneliness, and the tragedy of how getting older numbs us to the wonders of the small oddities around us.
The shorts run for one week only at Chez Artiste. Various Oscar Short programs are also scheduled at CU-Boulder's International Film Series on February 23 through 26.
Feb. 11-17, 2011