Magic Light Pictures
We’re barely out of the gate and already we’re scrambling to figure out if success this year in Oscar’s three shorts categories will be determined by just how well—cannily, slyly, opportunistically, or otherwise—a film co-opts some aspect of our culture wars. Case in point: Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon’s Garden Party, which Slant’s gurus of gold agree has set a new bar for photorealism in animation—a bar so high that it makes Pixar’s Oscar-winning Piper from last year seem like it crawled out of the primordial muck.
Indeed, we were slack-jawed with awe for the better part of the short’s seven-minute running time, during which a series of frogs delightfully, mischievously turn a curiously deserted mansion into their gluttonous playground. And then the reason for why the manse is in ruins literally rises to the surface and none of us could agree on just how much the Trumpian overtones of the short were intended by the filmmakers as a wish-fulfillment fantasy.