The weakest slate in years, 2012’s animated shorts are long on sentiment but short on substance.
“Paperman,” which debuted in front of Wreck-It Ralph, is the standout, the just-sweet-enough story of an office drone who turns his stack of forms into weapons of love.
“Adam and Dog” is a winsome but slight story of the first man’s best friend, while “Head Over Heels” explores the disconnect between a man and a woman who live on opposite sides — top and bottom — of the same house.
“Fresh Guacamole” is the most inventive, showing human hands turning lightbulb elements and chopped dice into the familiar dip, but it’s a technical display and not much more.
“The Longest Daycare,” shown with the latest Ice Age, is a Simpsons short as fitfully amusing as any recent episode — here, it’s shown without the superfluous 3D.
It’s worth nothing that, atypically, all of this year’s nominees are handmade, or at least are made to appear so — not a show-stopping algorithm in the bunch. But without a solid script behind it, old-school craft is just eye candy.