• The back room of the “Ayn Rand School for Tots”

All this month we’ll be reviewing the Oscar nominees for the best animated, live-action, and documentary short films, alternating daily between categories. Check back tomorrow for the next installment.

This five-minute Simpsons cartoon played before the most recent Ice Age feature; and while it features a couple of satirical gags worthy of a good Simpsons episode, it feels closer in spirit to the kid-friendly entertainment of the Ice Age movies. The plot has baby Maggie enrolled at the “Ayn Rand School for Tots,” where toddlers are divided into a “Gifted Area” and a grim-looking room marked “Nothing Special.” Apart from the appearance of “Raggedy Ayn Rand” dolls, the filmmakers never advance on the satirical promise of that set-up. Instead they introduce a toddler villain who likes smash butterflies with a mallet and who chases Maggie around the school when she tries to adopt a caterpillar.