Submitted by theAmericanStranger t3_117g9ga in movies

Last night saw 2 collections of 2023 Oscar shorts, Live Action and Animated. It seems like The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is a leading candidate in the Animated Shorts category, and obviously it's the costliest, slickest production of all the shorts I saw, but it's so TERRIBLE ! IndieWire summed it best:


>Using glowing yellows and calming blues over snowy white plains, the film doles out a litany of platitudes aimed at children.

The problem is the plot and dialog consists of nothing but these platitudes, not a single conversation or even short exchange that is even somewhat believable, absurd, or carries any range of emotion. Cringe-worthy! and so long... even the credit section ran excruciatingly long.

My vote would go to The Ice Merchants; to quote IndieWire again, "visually striking film, hauntingly beautiful “ . But the others were good too, except for this monstrosity, which I'm afraid will win.



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Spagh-ed-di t1_j9brw0d wrote

for real! I went to the theater this past weekend to watch them all. The Boy... was terrible. I could stand the dialogue. So so so unbelievable. Towards the end the people in the audience actually starting laughing and screaming out with each bit of dialogue, it was that bad. I really really really hope it doesn't win. I was actually starting to feel bad for the film, but now reading how people think it's going to win, I don't feel that way any longer.

For me, my vote is for The Ice Merchants or My Year of Dicks. Both had great visuals that i thought were a bit unexpected, so that was nice. In terms of emotions though, Ice Merchants tops that list.


Jumps_The_Lazy_Dog t1_j9g1x9j wrote

Wait it’s hilarious because that’s how our theater reacted too. After the horse goes “did you know I can fly” the room burst out laughing


theAmericanStranger OP t1_j9c2wwu wrote

I could not agree more; only diff for me the audience was way too polite, I didn't want to be the first to scream, lol.

All the other pieces are good, but there's some magic to the Ice Merchants that's very rare.


kurt_hectic t1_j9z6u5g wrote

Same experience at the theater last night! My first reaction was "...are they actually finding this funny/good...? I'm dying inside, I hate this!" but soon after noticed how it was timed with each stupid development. What a shit sandwich. "Wot's the bravest thing yew've eva done 🥺??"


TheseAreNotTheDroids t1_ja1tflb wrote

I feel the same way. I think the worst part about it is that despite every character repeatedly stating out loud the moral of the story, by the end I was totally unconvinced because the characters had done so little else. Halfway through I found myself hoping that it would end soon, but I knew based on the title alone that it would still be much longer because we hadn't even met the horse yet. The one positive was the art direction: now that I know it is based on a children's book I can definitely see that they did a good job matching that feel.

The Ice Merchants would be my top pick as well, I think it told a very intriguing story without saying even a single word. The art was beautiful, and the action felt cinematic. I loved that the ending was basically told through the colors of a pile of hats, truly a creative but touching end to that short story.


qawsedrf12 t1_j9biurz wrote

My vote is for My Year of Dicks

mostly because I want to see the presenter try to say it with a straight face


theAmericanStranger OP t1_j9blrpi wrote


Don't want to write spoilers, but this was a good one, some scenes absolutely crashing it.


DrAlecHarvey t1_j9cpzju wrote

I didn’t hate it but it was definitely the weakest of the nominees. I found it really sappy in a bad way. The animation style was nice though.

I really liked Ice Merchants and My Year of Dicks. I would be cool if either of those won


DrAlecHarvey t1_j9cq0wo wrote

I didn’t hate it but it was definitely the weakest of the nominees. I found it really sappy in a bad way. The animation style was nice though.

I really liked Ice Merchants and My Year of Dicks. I would be cool with either of those winning


theAmericanStranger OP t1_j9cqr9j wrote

>I found it really sappy in a bad way.

"Hate" is obviously a bit dramatic here, but man, this is exactly why I couldn't stand it! I would be cool with any other short winning it, but I have to say The Ice Merchants was the most special and my fav.


hollywooddouchenoz t1_j9cxyoe wrote

Agreed. The script sounded like it was written by a chat bot.

Pretty pictures adorned with disjointed platitudes that feel like they were cribbed from a poster in your guidance counselor’s office.


grownduskier t1_j9eqqnp wrote

Unfortunately only The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse and The Flying Sailor are the only two shorts from the Best Animated Short category available in the UK currently. I thought Flying Sailor was absolute shite tbh, visually stunning animation aside. Maybe it's because The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse came out at Christmas here on primetime BBC but I really enjoyed it.


LocationNegative t1_j9grqvk wrote

It was such treacle! I don’t get all of the praise it’s received.


Jerrymoviefan3 t1_j9budkk wrote

The most heavy handed short almost always win the live action short Oscar and I hope that doesn’t spread to animated.


flowersforvases26 t1_j9by1rl wrote

Why are ya’ll so mad over a short film based on a children’s book? 😂


verrius t1_j9caht8 wrote

Honestly the notion that animation is solely the domain of small children is offensive. And Oscar recognition of that false idea doubly so.


theAmericanStranger OP t1_j9crohl wrote

I don't believe this is what the commenter meant, but in any case I'm not against this short because it's based on a children's book or that its intended audience is that age - not at all! Many, if not most legendary animated movies were made for children; I just happen to believe this one was made terribly heavy-handed with its "message" - children thought history loved and cherished books and movies which were way more nuanced about bringing a positive message and did not shy away from conflicts.


verrius t1_j9d34or wrote

There's a difference between media meant for children, and media meant for families. I can't actually think of very many "classic" animated films that are specifically meant for children; most things targeted at children are generally reviled (see: Caillou), or at best tolerated (ex: Barney), because in targeting exclusively children, they usually give up anything even resembling a plot, or anything else of value to anyone over the age of 10. But the Oscars are notorious for having its members literally just ask their children what their favorite things were when it comes to voting for the animation categories, both on nominations and winners, so its not at all surprising that something where the dialog is nothing but platitudes was still nominated.


flowersforvases26 t1_j9cfwkq wrote

I don’t think it’s offensive but I do agree with you. I think animation is for everyone. Even though this is based on a “children’s book”, the short film is for everyone. As is the book.


theAmericanStranger OP t1_j9c36hl wrote

Watch it, and then report back.


flowersforvases26 t1_j9c4v8g wrote

I loved it. I’m also biased cause it’s one of my favorite books. The whole book is full of platitudes. That’s the point. It’s meant to be a simple, easy read for anyone…about kindness, love and friendship. The short film reflects the message as well as the artistry of the book. I’m sorry you didn’t like it.


theAmericanStranger OP t1_j9c67an wrote

Full, of platitudes, or nothing but platitudes? Some of the best children books are of course choke full of positive messages, platitudes if you will, but there is SOME dialog, SOME action that paves the way for the message. However, this short had NOTHING but a message which was hammered again and again ad nauseam. Maybe you have a personal history with the story, fine, I'm stating my opinion and as you can see I'm not the only one. And I had a full lifetime of reading stories to my kids and now to my grandchild