Steve Daly
May 04, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

We gave it a B-

Given the way short films and videos abound on the Internet in crummy-looking copies, it’s a balm to savor the pristine audiovisual quality of A Collection of 2006 Academy Award Nominated Short Films. But as a collectible, this set isn’t much to get excited about. Documentary shorts aren’t included, and only two of the five animated nominees show up (those left out were made by big studios that presumably nixed their appearance on this indie DVD). You do get the ‘toon winner, The Danish Poet, a sweet Scandinavian shaggy-dog story, and the clever Maestro, about a bird warming up to sing. They’re more entertaining than the live-action stuff, including winner West Bank Story, a silly, gratingly stereotypical musical parody of West Side Story about feuding Israeli and Arab fast-food proprietors. The best surprise is The Passenger, a CG-animated piece in a bonus section of non-nominated, runner-up titles. It turns a rainy-day bus ride into a Spielbergian suspenser with a sublimely inventive sound mix. Try hearing that clearly on YouTube.

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