For the third year in a row, I’ve had the good fortune to make the live-action and animated short film nominees part of my Oscar blitz. Both sets of five nominated films play at theaters around the country and I highly encourage you to seek them out. You can see the complete list of theaters here. The films are also released through iTunes.

As was the case last year, I was more impressed by the live-action shorts than the animated selections. I liked elements of all five, but the standouts for me were Raju, the story of the adoption of an Indian boy by a German couple, and The Shore, about a man coming home to Northern Ireland after 25 years in the U.S. Raju was heartbreaking, but I think my personal vote would probably go to The Shore; however, I could see any of the five nominees potentially winning as the other three were quite fun in their own quirky way.

As for the animated shorts, all five had a large element of WTF in them. Or, as someone who shall remain nameless said, “these might make more sense if we were high.” I wouldn’t know about that, but I do know that there was nothing that came close to last year’s winner, The Lost Thing, or even The Gruffalo. Even the additional films on the program left me wanting more. That being said, among the nominees, my vote would certainly go toward The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.