Watch the Best Animated Shorts Semi-Finalists!

Even though the Oscars ceremony routinely runs three hours long, they don't have time for some of the coolest stuff: like showing the nominees for Best Animated Short Film. Most of these movies can't be seen at your local cineplex, and some won't even make it to DVD. But thanks to the magic of the internet, you can at least get a sneak peek at most of them.

On Friday, the Academy announced the 10 semi-finalists in the Best Animated Short category. In February, they'll be narrowed down to five. The variety in the current list is very exciting. Here it is, with summaries and links to trailers:

The Kinematograph - Stylishly animated drama about an early-century inventor who believes he can change the world -- but his greatest creation brings tragedy. Watch the trailer here.

The Cat Piano - A hand-drawn, sinister film noir about jazz-age cats, narrated in Kerouac style by Nick Cave. Watch all eight minutes here.

French Roast - Dialogue-less and computer-animated, this one's already won a couple awards. A pompous businessman in a French cafe finds that he's forgotten his wallet and can't pay. Embarrassed, he orders more coffee... Watch the trailer here.

Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty - Part of the darkly hilarious "Granny O'Grimm" series of twisted bedtime stories, narrated by an Irish grandma who's well-meaning but rather insane. Cleverly combines 2D and 3D animation. Watch a clip here.

The Lady and the Reaper - Antonio Banderas' production company is behind this short from Spain, about an old woman's encounter with Death. Watch the teaser here.

Logorama - Couldn't find a video for this one, but the official website gives us this: "Spectacular car chases, an intense hostage crisis, wild animals rampaging through the city... and even more in LOGORAMA !"

A Matter of Loaf and Death - The latest Wallace and Gromit film from Chicken Run animator Nick Park. View the trailer and clips here.

Partly Cloudy - The requisite Pixar nominee, this is the short film that played before Up, about a creatively-challenged cloud.

Runaway - A train crash set to lively music -- like a New Yorker cartoon gone terribly wrong. Animator Cordell Barker has a big cult following. See the trailer and behind-the-scenes video here.

Variete - Variety show act as a metaphor for the stages of life. View a clip here.

What's your favorite Oscars category? Chime in below!

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