I ended up watching a lot of animation for some reason this weekend, catching both "Coraline" and the program of Oscar nominated shorts. "Coraline" may have its deficiencies in the story department but the movie itself was clearly a labor of love, and I enjoyed the quality of its stop motion animation. The giant nerd glasses the theater handed out for the movie's 3D effects didn't hurt either.
On the other hand the Oscar nominated shorts were a terrible disappointment. If that's the best the world of short animation can offer these days the genre needs to be put out of its misery with a bullet in its head. The program swung back and forth between sentimental treacle ("Lavatory Love Story") and inferior rip-offs of old Warner Brothers cartoons (some Pixar piece of crap about a rabbit and a magician). Pixar, if you can't beat the work of underpaid, overworked factory slaves from 60 years ago when you've got a $100,000,000 budget, what's the point of even trying?
The sole exception was a short piece from Japan, "La Maison en Petits Cubes". (I guess "Tsumiki no Ie" wasn't good enough.) I found it to be beautiful, sad and understated which means it'll probably lose to some mediocre crap about a hungry rabbit refusing to do magic tricks.