• Four frames from A Morning Stroll

All this week I’ll be reviewing the Oscar nominees for best short animation, which open Friday at Landmark’s Century Centre. Check back this time tomorrow for the next installment.

Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe’s wacky A Morning Stroll, produced by the British outfit Studio AKA, runs only seven minutes, but it’s so neatly conceptualized that it feels like a longer film. The source material is “The Chicken,” a short story by one Casper G. Clausen that appeared in the New York Literary Review in 1986 and, I’m guessing, inspired the movie’s tripartite structure. For all three parts the action is the same: a man on a city street is startled as a chicken rounds the corner, walks past him, climbs the steps to a residential house, knocks on the door with his beak, and disappears inside. But each time it plays out in a different era, first in 1959 (rendered in simple line drawings), then in 2009 (color 2-D images), and finally 2059 (highly detailed 3-D work). By the last installment the street has become a wasteland, the man has become a zombie, and a chicken trotting down the street is apt to be considered not odd but edible. Check out the trailer after the jump.