A mix of old-fashioned black-and-white imagery and state-of-the-art 3D animation, the film celebrates Disney history by resurrecting such vintage characters as Clarabelle Cow and even Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, whose 1927 debut predated Mickey's by a year.
The film is a bit of a throwback in another way, too. It's a reminder of an era when the stars of the cartoons nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film were as popular and familiar as the
Mickey, Pluto, Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, Woody Woodpecker, Foghorn Leghorn, the Road Runner -- these are some of the characters who appeared regularly in Oscar-nominated short cartoons from 1931, when the category was inaugurated, through the early 1960s, when short subjects more or less disappeared from the big screen.
But not entirely. "Get a Horse!" screens with its four fellow Oscar nominees and a handful of other honored cartoons at
The Ridgeway screening represents the first half of a double feature devoted to shorts. The animation showcase will be followed at
Of course, "Get a Horse!," unlike most recent nominees in its category, is hardly obscure.
After nonfeature-length cartoons migrated from movie houses to television sets in the 1960s, most of the films vying for the Animated Short Oscar became as esoteric, "artsy" and hard to find, for most moviegoers, as the nominees for documentary or foreign-language film. But like
This year's other Oscar-nominated animated shorts, however, will be new to all but the true aficionado. Nevertheless, these "cartoons" -- the word seems inadequate, given the painterly beauty of some of the offerings -- aren't hard to enjoy, and should appeal to both kids and adults. None of them contains material that would earn a stronger rating than PG.
In addition to "Get a Horse!," the nominees include:
"Mr Hublot": Directed by
"Feral": The loveliest and most mysterious of the shorts, U.S. writer-director
"Possessions": Japanese director
"Room on the Broom": Such celebrities as
Screenings for Oscar-nominated animated shorts
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