Oscars 2019: Best Animated Short Shortlist

And finally, we have Animated Short. I always save this one for last because it’s like a nice little dessert after all the other categories. I always like seeing what’s on there. This year will be interesting because I don’t think Pixar or Disney has a big short they’ve released.

Anyway, 92 shorts qualified for this category and they’ve narrowed it down to a shortlist of ten, of which five will be nominated.

Here is the Animated Short shortlist:

Dcera (Daughter)
Hair Love
He Can’t Live without Cosmos
Hors Piste
Kitbull
Memorable
Mind My Mind
The Physics of Sorrow
Sister
Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days

We’ve done really well in the other categories, so let’s see how many of these I can find…

Dcera (Daughter). Just a trailer for this one. The plot: “The bond between a father and a daughter is imperiled by matters that go unspoken and hurts that are slow to heal.”

Looks gorgeously animated with a cinematic style you normally don’t see in animated shorts. Looks like it’s gonna be great. I’m wondering if the tight camera is gonna help or hurt it in the eyes of voters. I think it’s gonna be about the entire experience of watching it, so I think it’s probably a net positive.

Hair Love. There’s the film.

This one got some notice when it got released over the course of the year, so seeing it here isn’t that surprising. Though in my experience, why do I feel like they’re gonna leave this one off in the end?

The animation style is nice. And the story is really beautiful. Usually what they respond to in something like this is the emotion of the story, and it’s really hard to see them ignoring this.

He Can’t Live without Cosmos. Is this… a sequel to the other one that got nominated? All I’ve got is this trailer, so I guess that’s what we’ve got.

I didn’t think they’d go for that first one, but they nominated it. So I wonder how this one’s gonna fare. It feels cheap to just assume ‘well they nominated the first one, so they’ll nominate this too’, when we really have no idea what they’re gonna respond to. My gut says instinctively no, just because they’ll move on to something else, but I guess we need to see what’s out there.

Hors Piste. There’s the full film.

That’s our third out of four foreign films. That’s interesting.

This one’s 80s TV inspired, which is amusing. It’s also a straight comedy, which can go 50/50 on them in terms of nominations. It’s very humorous. I could both see this getting on but also straight up being left off. It feels like it fits the category. It’s well-made, too. I wanna see what else is here.

Kitbull. Another full film.

This is Pixar but like, a lesser Pixar they don’t put on the film releases.

On the one hand, you assume Pixar will always make it on. On the other… they might not feel the need to do so. The animation here is nice (and might actually be hand-drawn? Doubt it, but one can live in hope), but I’m not sure I really cared about the story that much past the obvious cuteness in the middle with the bottle cap. Of course, how I feel about the shorts doesn’t mean shit in terms of what’ll be nominated. Because there’s always one or two shorts that I can’t possibly see them going for that make it on and I can’t explain it. It’s also… about dogfighting? Which I’m not sure is entirely their thing in this category. They like weird, steampunk things about old men with transcendent endings. I feel like this is one I’m either gonna be forced to put on despite not really believing with it or I’ll refuse to put it on and then it’ll get on and have been an obvious inclusion. I can’t really win with this one no matter what I do.

Memorable. Just a trailer for this one. Most I’m finding is that it’s about a guy getting dementia.

It looks stunning. But the thing with them is… there’s only so many ‘serious’ shorts they can go for in a single year. Daughter looks pretty serious. But this looks gorgeously animated too. So I don’t know. Maybe both can get on. This bodes well for Hors Piste, I think. Though there’s always one of these that looks great that they leave off. So me thinking it looks great doesn’t mean anything.

Mind My Mind. Just a trailer for this one too. “When relying on social scripts to survive the social world, it’s not easy to go off-script. Especially if you’re obsessed with German dive bombers and just want to date a girl.”

This looks nice. Wondering if they go for it. I always feel like they don’t go for ones with a lot of dialogue, unless they’re very personal (like Pear Cider and Cigerattes and Me and My Moulton) or just amazing (World of Tomorrow). But I’m not right on that. They do vote for them, I just seem to think that. It looks nice. Could go either way.

The Physics of Sorrow. Also only a trailer for this. This “tells the story of a man reminiscing about his childhood as he struggles to understand the meaning and purpose of his life.”

Oh it’s the Blind Vaysha director. That’s… good. And it looks stunning. Wondering if they go for this thematically though. It’ll be interesting. Visually I’m all for this, though.

Sister. Full film for this one.

Mostly foreign this year. This is a new one. I feel like usually we’ve only got like two foreign, maybe a third that you can’t tell because there’s no dialogue. Also fair warning, they love shit like this. People remembering their childhoods. Weekends was last year’s one of these. Negative Space was two years ago. My gut says, outside of the animation style, probably not on this, just because of that turn it takes near the end (which I get, but also…rug pulling), but I’m always wrong about at least two of them. Maybe they go for it.

I like the mix of animation styles in all these shorts. It looks like we hit one of everything thus far. And I like it.

Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days. And full film for this one.

The animation style here is stunning, and the subject matter feels exactly like the kind of thing they’d go for in this category. I really liked this one.

– – – – – – – – – –

So not bad. I found half of them. In terms of the full ones I saw — loved Hair Love, Hors Piste was a lot of fun, Kitbull was okay, Sister didn’t do it for me (though it looked great) and Uncle Thomas was fantastic.

Based on what I’ve seen and what I know of myself and my tastes, my probable preferred category would be Daughter, Hair Love, Hors Piste, Memorable and Uncle Thomas. That’s just my guess. I assume He Can’t Live Without Cosmos will be just like the other one, Mind My Mind could be great but it’s hard to tell from the trailer. And Physics of Sorrow I know will look fantastic but I’m not sure if the subject matter will grab me. But I’ll see if I can get ahold of those other five and have a full opinion on this one.

In terms of likelihood to be nominated, I’d say this is how I’m seeing it at this moment:

Dcera (Daughter)
Hair Love
Hors Piste
Kitbull
Uncle Thomas

Alternate: He Can’t Live without Cosmos

Dark Horse: Memorable, Mind My Mind

Surprise: The Physics of Sorrow, Sister

Again, pure guesswork. But you have to assume Pixar gets on for now, Hair Love feels like it’s gonna be the one most people like the best, Uncle Thomas completely fits the category, Hors Piste is the ‘fun’ one they like to throw on, and Daughter just looks artistic enough to get on. Memorable or Mind My Mind could be that spot. Maybe they go Cosmos again, who knows.

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