Mr. Hublot Wins Best Animated Short

March 3, 2014 | By Kimberly Corliss

Mr. Hublot (2013), winner in the Best Animated Short Film category at the Oscars in 2014, is about compromise and stretching our own limits to meet the needs of those we love.  The eponymous protagonist, a squat robot in a stiff trench and tie, relinquishes his orderly and regimented life, sacrifices his perfectly arranged pictures on the wall, for the cherished company of a puppy-robot friend.   

Mr. Hublot lives in a vintage-style, mechanical world of the future, full of rickety machines.  Cars in the street look like 1950s toasters and the flowers in his windowsill planter spring up and retract with the spin of a gear.  From the continuous countdown ticking on his forehead to a telescope affixed to the side of his goggle-like glasses, Mr. Hublot is himself a feature of the charming yet run-down, gear-laden landscape, and he has the mental state to match his environment.  Mr. Hublot is isolated and displays the hallmarks of OCD; he drinks his morning coffee precisely on the hour and clicks the lights on and off a few times before leaving home.  When he spots a charming robot-puppy whimpering in a box downstairs, the magnetic draw of connection overrides his neuroses and he rushes to save the pup, incorporating it into his rigid schedule.  With its mechanical energy growing exponentially over time, the puppy-robot unintentionally wreaks havoc in Mr. Hublot’s tiny flat, and every bounding step it takes makes his floor quake off the Richter scale.   

Created by Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares, Mr. Hublot is a fable about the transformative power of connection.  The film shows us that love can help us access the deepest personal growth, and reassemble the creaking machines that are our mental and physical habits. 

Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT3C2kdMHOs

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