The animated shorts (here's a roundup of how to watch them):
- Sanjay's Super Team: a Pixar film in which little Sanjay turns Hindu gods into superheroes. I really liked the luminous design in the battle scene, but overall this felt pretty minor.
- World of Tomorrow, available on Netflix: my favorite. It's a weird science-fictional story that mixes comedy with existential dread when little Emily is visited by her future clone. This short may need to go on my Hugo ballot, if it's eligible.
- We Can't Live Without Cosmos: two astronauts-in-training look forward to spaceflight, and then one of them goes while the other stays behind. The drawing style reminded me of Hergé's Tintin books.
- Bear Story [trailer]: a sad story of family separation when a bear is kidnapped by a circus. Most of this film is rendered as clockwork machinery, and uses surprising camera angles and transitions, so I thought it was very inventive. My second-favorite of the nominees.
- Prologue: a pencilled-looking rendering of vicious hand-to-hand fighting between (possibly-Greek?) warriors and naked fighters. Good visual style, but there's no plot and not really much to it.
- Cordell Barker's "If I Was God..." [trailer] also switches between styles, from Claymation to 2D to papier-maché. I am surprised it didn't make it into the category.
- Two pieces from French animators, "The Short Story of a Fox and a Mouse" and "Catch It!" (featuring a bunch of meerkats trying to save their precious fruit) are fun little stories; "Catch It!" had really good character design. I expect their directors will be working on the next Shrek movie soon enough.
- Bill Plympton's "The Loneliest Stoplight" is also fun: a stoplight tells of its one brush with fame.