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Oscars 2016: Best Animated Short Shortlist

Another shortlist. One I actually enjoy looking at. Animated Short. I enjoy it so much I held off writing it up until I could try to look for most of the potential nominees.

Typically you know what they’re gonna vote for once you have a final category. Picking the category though, can be a bit tough. Last year, looking at the shortlist, I could have told you one movie that absolutely would not be nominated. And sure enough, there it was. So what do any of us know. But at least we have some cool stuff to look at in the meantime.

Here is your shortlist for Best Animated Short Film:

Blind Vaysha — From the moment she was born, Vaysha was a very special girl. With her left eye she can only see into the past, and with her right she can only see the future. The past is familiar and safe, the future is sinister and threatening. The present is a blind spot.

love this type of animation. I hope this is nominated, but it’s difficult to tell.

Borrowed Time — A weathered Sheriff returns to the remains of an accident he has spent a lifetime trying to forget. With each step forward, the memories come flooding back. Faced with his mistake once again, he must find the strength to carry on.

This was done by two Pixar animators, and it’s dark as shit. A sheriff returns to the edge of a cliff where, years earlier, his father (I’m assuming), the sheriff, was riding with him, when the carriage flips and his dad falls off the edge of the cliff. The son tries to save his father, but is unable to. (In a really crazy way, too, that you never see.) Now, years later, he returns to the spot, filled with grief and guilt, which have haunted him for years. I could see them nominating this, but this doesn’t feel like the kind of thing that wins. There’s no happy ending here.

Happy End — A black comedy about death with a happy ending.

The animation is interesting. Need to know more to really say one way or the other.

The Head Vanishes — Jacqueline has lost her mind a bit, but whatever, for her trip to the seaside, she has decided to take the train by herself, like a big girl!

Hard to tell from the little clip I have. Will need to look more into this one.

Inner Workings — The mind and heart of an average office worker clash over what he wants and what he needs.

This was the short that played in front of Moana. It starts by making you think of Inside Out, but then it becomes a really great story on its own. Not something overly original, narratively, but really well made and it’ll make you smile. This seems like a definite nomination.

Once Upon a Line — A man leads a monotone, humdrum existence until he meets somebody.

Like the animation style a lot. Will they go for it? 50/50 at the moment. They like student animators, so that’s a plus.

Pear Cider and Cigarettes — The brutally honest story of Robert’s turbulent relationship with a self-destructive, yet charismatic friend from childhood, who cries out for help from a military hospital in China and sets Rob on a wild ride to get him home to Vancouver.

Really well animated. Not sure they go for this, but it could happen.

Pearl — Set inside their home, a beloved hatchback, Pearl follows a girl and her dad as they crisscross the country chasing their dreams. It’s a story about the gifts we hand down and their power to carry love. And finding grace in the unlikeliest of places.

This is the guy who did Feast, and I think he may have done it again. This is a beautiful little film.  It’s a father/daughter relationship told in such a beautiful way.

I feel like this should end up nominated.

Piper — A mother bird tries to teach her little one how to find food by herself. In the process, she encounters a traumatic experience that she must overcome in order to survive.

If you saw Finding Dory in theaters, this was the short that played in front of it. It’s about birds learning to go to the edge of the ocean to get food, and one who is afraid to after ending up under the surf the first time out. It’s adorable, and looks great.

Word of caution, that Piar and Disney have not both been nominated in this category at the same time since 2006, and it’s only happened twice more ever. So it’s highly unlikely (but not impossible) that both get on.

Plus, with Pixar, some of their more gorgeously animated shorts don’t end up getting nominated, so I wouldn’t rush to immediately call this a nominee until you’ve seen what else this shortlist has to offer.

Sous Tes Doigts (Under Your Fingers) — When her grandmother deads, a young eurasian girl relives the story of the women of her family, from the colonial Indochine to the isolation in a transit camp.

This looks well animated, and sometimes that’s enough.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tough call, here. Not sure which ones are most likely. I can make cases for or against a lot of them.

Right now, based on nothing, I’d say…

Inner Workings, Pearl, Once Upon a Line, Sous Tes Doights, and…maybe The Head Vanishes? I gotta see more from some of these to get a sense. But right now, let’s go for those two. I’ll think about this more in three weeks when it comes time to guess the nominees.

It’s a good primer though.

– – – – – – – – – –

One more shortlist to get through, which I’ll manage to look at either later today or tomorrow.

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