Knowing the Academy’s top 10 animated shorts doesn’t make Oscar predictions any easier
So 10 films, out of 37 submitted to qualify for the Best Animated Short at the 82nd Oscars, have been selected to move forward in the voting process (see list below), but predicting a
front-runner from this group is easier said than done.
The Best Animated
Short category has been historically a bit of a wild card, due partly
to the fact that there are no advance awards to help in the
decision-making (there is no corresponding category with the Golden
Globes or an award show of equal magnitude), and partly to the fact
that because academy voters must view all of the nominees, their
decisions in the past have been based as much on their hearts as
critical acclaim and box office returns.
For example,while it seems a
safe assumption that Pixar's "Partly Cloudy" should be ahead of the
race due to its placement ahead of the blockbuster "Up," one need only
to look at the 2008 Pixar entry, "Presto," which played with "Wall-E."
Critics and fans alike were effusive to a fault over this charming
short about a magician and his highly uncooperative rabbit, and the
race seemed to place it head-to-head with the equally amusing French
short "Oktapodi." However, the winner of the 2008 Oscar was, in fact,
the quieter,more emotionally driven (and less well-known) "La Maison En
Petits Cubes" from Japanese animator Kunio Kato.
In fact, Pixar hasn't had a lock on the Animated Shorts category since 2001's "For the Birds"; all of its subsequent nominations ("Presto," 2006's "Lifted," 2005's "One Man Band," 2003's "Boundin'" and 2002's "Mike's New Car'") lost in their respective races, as did such established favorites as cult hero Bill Plympton's "Your Face" in 1987 and "Guard Dog" in 2004, and even Walt Disney Productions, whose "Mickey's Christmas Carol" failed to bring home the trophy in 1983. On the other hand, the much-adored Nick Park, whose "A Matter of Loaf and Death" is among the current 10, has won three of his four Oscar noms ("Creature Comforts" in 1990, "The Wrong Trousers" in 1993 and 1995's "A Close Shave"), so popularity can play a role in the final decision. Or... not.
the case, you'll have to wait until Feb. 2 to find out which
five from this list will be the official nominees; that's when the
Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee will
release its decisions along with the other nominees for the 82nd
Oscars. The ceremony itself airs on March 7.
They are as follows:
“The Cat Piano,” Eddie White and Ari Gibson, directors (The People’s Republic of Animation)
“French Roast,” Fabrice O. Joubert, director (Pumpkin Factory/Bibo Films)
“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty,” Nicky Phelan, director, and Darragh O’Connell, producer (Brown Bag Films)
“The Kinematograph,” Tomek Baginski, director-producer (Platige Image)
“The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte),” Javier Recio Gracia, director (Kandor Graphics and Green Moon)
“Logorama,” Nicolas Schmerkin, producer (Autour de Minuit)
“A Matter of Loaf and Death,” Nick Park, director (Aardman Animations Ltd.)
“Partly Cloudy,” Peter Sohn, director (Pixar Animation Studios)
“Runaway,” Cordell Barker, director (National Film Board of Canada)
“Variete,” Roelof van den Bergh, director (il Luster Productions)
-- Paul Gaita
More from The Envelope: