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Why the Oscar-nominated animated shorts were pulled from YouTube

Remember when Cinemark theaters threatened to boycott Tower Heist because it would be available on VOD during its theatrical release? Imagine if a film were available in full, not only on pay-per-view, but online for free during its theatrical release. That’s what happened with this year’s Oscar-nominated animated shorts, which cable channel ShortsHD, in conjunction with the Academy, has been screening around the country since Feb. 1.

After free versions of all five animated shorts cropped up on websites like YouTube and Hulu, theaters showing the films threatened to stop screening the animated slate if the films remained online for free. So ShortsHD asked the nominees to pull their films from the web, as first reported by Deadline. READ FULL STORY

Martin Freeman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, 2013 Oscar nominees honored at Shorts Awards

Martin Freeman starred in one of the lengthiest movies of 2012, but Friday night he was honored for his work in films with much shorter runtimes and much smaller budgets than the 169-minute-long Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. At the third annual ShortsHD Shorts Awards, Freeman picked up the Visionary Actor Award.

The English actor has continued to make short films, even after performing in high-profile projects like BBC’s Sherlock and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

“I love doing [short films] for the same reason that everyone in this room really likes them – because very often it’s the time that you get to really express an idea or ideas without someone breathing down your neck or without someone arguing about how big your trailer is,” Freeman told the audience gathered at the Paley Center for Media last night. “No one’s getting rich or famous out of it, but people are actually trying to express something – and it doesn’t take 18 months like The Hobbit does.” READ FULL STORY

Oscars 2013: A close-up look at the animated short nominees

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Man’s best friend, guacamole, marriage, Ayn Rand and paper airplanes are just a few of the subjects tackled in this year’s lineup of Oscar-nominated animated shorts.

All these films have in common is that they’re under 40 minutes long and created through some form of animation.  Otherwise, the films are wildly different in both tone and technique. Some are stop-motion films, some are hand-drawn, others computer-generated — and one is a hybrid.

As you get ready to fill out your own personal Oscar ballot, here’s a look at the funny, sweet, and serene stories facing off in the animated shorts category this year.

READ FULL STORY

'Paperman': Watch the step-by-step animation process for Disney's Oscar-nominated short -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Paperman

Disney’s charming short film up for an Oscar this year, Paperman, is a nostalgic return to the tradition of 2-D, hand-drawn animation that also embraces what modern 3-D animation technology has to offer.

The short is a little urban fairy tale about a man who attempts to capture the attention of the woman of his dreams with paper airplanes he launches from his skyscraper office to hers. It was made with new in-house software called Meander that enables a hybrid approach to animation, where characters and backgrounds are drawn over an initial digital layer.

To see that innovative new animation method in action, check out the EW exclusive video below, a progression reel displaying the process of creating one shot in Paperman.

SPOILER ALERT! Do yourself a favor and watch the entire six-and-a-half-minute short here before watching the reel below that reveals a key moment in the film. READ FULL STORY

'Paperman': Check out Disney's beautiful, Oscar-nominated short film -- VIDEO

Disney just posted its Oscar-nominated animated short Paperman online. The film, which played ahead of Wreck-It Ralph in theaters, is a unique blend of hand-drawn and digital animation. It’s also just a plain old eyepopping delight, with surprises I wouldn’t dare spoil for you, except to say you really need to take 6 and a half minutes to watch it now. It’s the first directorial outing for John Kahrs, who previously worked as an animator on Bolt, Ratatouille, The Incredibles, and Toy Story 2. Convinced? Now just watch it already: READ FULL STORY

'Paperman': The future of hand-drawn animation is Disney's new retro short

Behold the face that launched a thousand paper airplanes.

In the romantic animated short Paperman, an office worker tries to get the attention of the woman of his dreams by sailing handmade aircraft across the canyon of a bustling Manhattan street from his skyscraper to hers.

He’s folding a 2-D format into a 3-D shape to make an emotional connection — which is also a good way of describing how Walt Disney Animation Studios created the film.

Paperman is a hybrid that fuses the dimension and depth of digital animation with the abstract warmth of traditional line art. The result is a world seemingly sculpted out of sketches.

Click through to see three new photos, and the movie’s poster.

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