Sunday, February 12, 2012

2012 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Animation: A Quick Parent's Guide

Just wanted to do a quick post regarding the package of animated shorts that is playing in theaters this week. For years I've wanted to see the annual collection of Oscar worthy toons and take my kids to expose them to different styles of animation. And year after year, I can never find any information regarding the content of the short films. Just because they are cartoons doesn't mean they aren't chock full of sex, violence and profanity. I've stayed away from the toon feat in the past but this year I made a somewhat more aggressive attempt to find out if the Oscar package was child friendly.

The studio was nice enough to quickly answer my query on Facebook and said it was "family friendly and full of laughs". So I took the kids last night and found the proceedings to be the equivalent of a PG rating.

There's actually very little dialogue in the 8 shorts featured and besides one use of "hell" there is no objectionable language. What you will find is an old man flipping the middle finger, another guy mooning the old man - pressing his butt cheeks up against a car window, and a cute fish getting his head chopped off. There is a startling scene where a zombie jumps out at the camera and a brief chase leads to a small bloodbath. My 6 year old was very off put by the zombie and spent the rest of the night worrying that there would be more scary parts.

But in the end, the kids and I greatly enjoyed the eight films. Only one of them is very dry and drags on a bit. The rest are a mix of charming, funny and thought provoking.

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