February 15, 2013 12:00 AM

Oscar shorts are long on charm

This year’s crop of Oscar-nominated live-action and animated shorts — five in each category — are a hodgepodge of quality, country of origin and artistic intent. They range from experimental whimsy to brutally realistic Third World drama. Some are original and intriguing, seemingly made by people with a passionate need to express what’s on their minds. Others are conservative and dutiful, as if their career-minded creators are hoping to catch studio executives’ eyes.

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