Watch 66 Oscar-Nominated-and-Award-Winning Animated Shorts Online, Courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada

I recent­ly heard some­one quip that pro­pos­als to cut the Acad­e­my Awards are tan­ta­mount to sug­gest­ing that the NFL trim down the Super Bowl. Cer­tain­ly for many who would rather watch the for­mer any day of the week, even the play-by-play of tech­ni­cal cat­e­gories repays atten­tion. Yet peo­ple who think of the Oscars as a major sport­ing event with big stars and block­busters going head-to-head can still appre­ci­ate the show as more than spec­ta­cle. How else, for exam­ple, would most of us learn about bril­liant ani­mat­ed short films like the Nation­al Film Board of Canada’s Ani­mal Behav­iour, made by hus­band and wife team Ali­son Snow­den and David Fine and nom­i­nat­ed in this year’s Oscars? (See the trail­er above.)

Snow­den and Fine pre­vi­ous­ly won an Oscar in 1995 for Bob’s Birth­day, a hilar­i­ous short about an unhap­py British den­tist. Their lat­est film takes a charm­ing, anthro­po­mor­phic route to the ques­tion Fine pos­es as, “Should what comes nat­u­ral­ly to you be some­thing that you seek to change to please oth­ers, or should oth­ers accept you as you are?”

Group ther­a­py par­tic­i­pants seek­ing accep­tance include Lor­raine, a leech with sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety, Vic­tor, an ape with anger issues, and Cheryl, a pray­ing man­tis, writes the Nation­al Film Board, “who can’t seem to keep a man.”

The NFB informs us that Ani­mal Behav­iour is their 75th Oscar-nom­i­na­tion in the cat­e­go­ry of Ani­mat­ed Short Film, and whether you’re inclined to watch this part of the awards or not, you can get caught up with their exten­sive playlist of 66 Oscar-win­ning and nom­i­nat­ed films on YouTube. (Bob’s Birth­day is not avail­able, at least in the U.S., but you can watch it here.) See Snow­den and Fine’s first film, George and Rose­mary, a sto­ry in which “two gold­en agers prove that pas­sion isn’t reserved for the very young.”

Watch the very impres­sive stop-motion ani­ma­tion of 2007’s Madame Tut­li-Put­li, an “exhil­a­rat­ing exis­ten­tial jour­ney” direct­ed by Chris Lavis & Maciek Szczer­bows­ki. See Chris Landreth’s 2013 Oscar-win­ning com­put­er-ani­mat­ed short, Ryanabout a char­ac­ter “liv­ing every artist’s worst night­mare.”

And see the 2007 Oscar-win­ning exis­ten­tial ani­mat­ed short The Dan­ish Poet, direct­ed by Torill Kove and fea­tur­ing nar­ra­tion by Liv Ull­mann. The offer­ings are vast and var­ied, dis­play­ing the very best of Cana­di­an ani­ma­tion, a nation­al art that usu­al­ly goes unseen and unac­knowl­edged by audi­ences out­side its bor­ders. But after watch­ing sev­er­al of these films you might agree that NFB ani­ma­tion deserves its long his­to­ry of recog­ni­tion at the Oscars. See the com­plete playlist of films here.

Many of these films can be found in our col­lec­tion, 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Ear­ly Japan­ese Ani­ma­tions: The Ori­gins of Ani­me (1917 to 1931)

The Psy­che­del­ic 1970s Ani­ma­tions of Kei­ichi Tanaa­mi: A Music Video for John Lennon’s “Oh Yoko!,” Sur­re­al Trib­utes to Elvis & Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe, and More

Free Ani­mat­ed Films: From Clas­sic to Mod­ern 

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

by | Permalink | Comments (3) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (3)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.