If you’re in the market for catching up on this year’s crop of Oscar-nominated short films and enjoying the original Muppet Movie on the big screen, have we got some news for you.

Beginning Friday, February 17, Milwaukee’s Oriental Theatre will screen three separate programs (documentary, animated, live action) of new Oscar-nominated shorts. See ’em all before the big Oscars ceremony on March 12! Then, on February 19, the officially historic theater will kick off a nearly two-month-long family film series, beginning with the original Lion King and ending with the original Muppet Movie. How to get to the Oriental? Just hitchhike, bus, or yellow cab it! (Cab it?)

Okay, the shorts first. The 165-minute documentary shorts program will screen Friday, February 17 through Thursday, February 23. It will include How Do You Measure A Year? (dir. Jay Rosenblatt), The Elephant Whisperers (dir. Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga), Stranger At The Gate (dir. Joshua Seftel and Conall Jones), Haulout (dir. Evgenia Arbugaeva and Maxim Arbugaev), and The Martha Mitchell Effect (dir. Anne Alvergue and Debra McClutchy). FYI, McClutchy is a Milwaukee native, and The Martha Mitchell Effect screened as part of the 2022 Milwaukee Film Festival. Neat!

The animated shorts program will also screen Friday, February 17 through Thursday, February 23. It will include An Ostrich Told Me The World Is Fake And I Think I Believe It (dir. Lachlan Pendragon), The Flying Sailor (dir. Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby), Ice Merchants (dir. João Gonzalez and Bruno Caetano), The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse (dir. Charlie Mackesy and Matthew Freud), and My Year Of Dicks (dir. Sara Gunnarsdóttir and Pamela Ribon). Please note that while the first four films are suitable for kids 10 and older, My Year Of Dicks is intended for adult audiences only. A short break will occur before this final film if parents want to skedaddle with the little ones.

And yes, the live-action shorts program will screen Friday, February 17 through Thursday, February 23, too. It will include Ivalu (dir. Anders Walter and Rebecca Pruzan), Night Ride (dir. Eirik Tveiten and Gaute Lid Larssen), Le Pupille (dir. Alice Rohrwacher), The Red Suitcase (dir. Cyrus Neshvad), and An Irish Goodbye (dir. Tom Berkeley and Ross White).

And now the family films. They’re films! For families! And tickets for kids under 12 are only $6! Here’s the lineup!

Sunday, February 19
The Lion King (1994) – noon

Sunday, March 5
Homeward Bound (1993) – noon

Friday, March 10
Freaky Friday (2003) – 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 19
Frozen (2013) – noon

Saturday, March 25
Mary Poppins (1964) – noon

Friday, March 31
Fantasia (1940) – 7 p.m.

Sunday, April 2
The Parent Trap (1961) – 12:30 p.m.
The Parent Trap (1993) – 3 p.m.

Friday, April 7
The Muppet Movie (1979) – 7 p.m.

Fun! Head over to the Oriental’s website for tickets and more information.

Finally, here’s the video for “Lost In The Woods.” It’s actually from Frozen 2, but the fact that it’s made to sound like an old REO Speedwagon or Journey power ballad is hilarious.

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