There’s something about the phrase ‘short and sweet’ that is always overlooked when it comes to films these days. Most movies are drawn out in two-hour epics that don’t even have room to tell the whole story. However, the lovely thing about short films is that they are just precisely that, short. For this year’s Academy Award nominations for Short Film in Animation and Live Action, there are quite a few that are well structured and well written.

The nominees for Animation are Day & Night, The Lost Thing, The Gruffalo, Let’s Pollute and Madagascar, Carnet De Voyage. All are clever, cheerful pieces with such great animation that some look almost lifelike. The Lost Thing, The Gruffalo and Madagascar all tell a story either in a journal or book setting. Day & Night and Let’s Pollute have a happy-go-lucky way of getting their messages across about the differences we have with each other, or how ignorant we can be toward the environment, respectively.

In the Live Action category, there’s an array of very well made films this year dealing with love, death, politics and humor. The list includes Wish 143, The Confession, The Crush, God of Love and Na Wewe.

Ranging from the serious Na Wewe, The Confession and The Crush to the more upbeat God of Love and Wish 143. The Crush, Wish 143 and God of Love all discuss different types of love and affection, from bluntly just wanting to have sex before you die, to having a crush on a school teacher, to being a lounge singer while playing cupid. Na Wewe depicts a frequent tragedy of war (rebels attacking a minivan full tourists), and The Confession chronicles whether schoolboys will choose to confess to their priest about causing a deathly accident.

Some nominees offer cute characters that entertain and others serve up more serious subject matter, but all treat us to wonderful storylines.

Documentary Shorts releases in select theaters Feb. 18.

Grade: B

The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2011 releases in select theaters Feb. 11.