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Oscar Animated Shorts: And Then There Were 10

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Festivals and Events

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Oscar Animated Shorts: And Then There Were 10

In December, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed its 10-title shortlist of works under consideration for nomination in the Best Animated Short category at the 91st Oscars. Here is a recap of the films in question and some of the impressive accolades they have picked up on their road to the red carpet.

Nominations voting will be open January 7-14, 2019, and the finalists will be announced January 22. The 91st Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 24 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network.

Age of Sail
U.S.A.
Director: John Kahrs
Produced By: Google Spotlight Stories (Karen Dufilho, Jan Pinkava), Chromosphere (Gennie Rim, David Eisenmann)
Recognition: Official Selection at Venice International Film Festival, Los Angeles Animation Festival; Nominated for four Annie Awards
Synopsis: An ambitious, rolling voyage set at the turn of the century, the story centers on William Avery (voiced by Ian McShane), an old sailor adrift and alone in the North Atlantic. When Avery reluctantly rescues a teenage girl (Cathy Ang) who has mysteriously fallen overboard, he finds redemption and hope in his darkest hours. Kahrs previously won the Oscar for Paperman.
Watch:

Age of Sail

Age of Sail

Animal Behaviour
Canada
Directors: Alison Snowden & David Fine
Produced By: NFB (Michael Fukushima), Snowden Fine
Recognition: Anima Mundi Grand Prize, LAAF Best Comedy & Best Direction, Etiuda & Anima Audience Choice; Nominated for Best Canadian Short at TIFF; Official Selection at Annecy, Animafest Zagreb, Edinburgh Int’l Film Festival, VIFF
Synopsis: This comedic yet emotional short compares critter issues to our own human problems as five animals meet for a group therapy session led by Dr. Clement, a canine psychotherapist. Animal Behavior is the husband and wife team’s first short since their Oscar winning 1993 film Bob’s Birthday.
Trailer

Animal Behaviour

Animal Behaviour

Bao
U.S.A.
Director: Domee Shi
Produced By: Pixar Animation Studios
Recognition: Nominated for Best Narrative Short at Tribeca Film Festival, INOCA Halfway Award
Synopsis: The studio’s first woman-directed short centers on a mother struggling with an empty nest, who hatches a fantasy in which one of her handmade dumplings comes to life. Shi and her team emphasized capturing a realistic Chinese-American experience and making perfectly mouth-watering bao in CG.
Watch (Limited Time):

Bao

Bao

Bilby
U.S.A.
Directors: Pierre Perifel, J.P. Sans & Liron Topaz
Produced By: DreamWorks Animation
Recognition: SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival Jury’s Choice, Palm Springs Int’l ShortFest Audience Award; Special premiere at Annecy
Synopsis: The vibrant, sweet and slapstick-funny Outback adventure centers on a self-sufficient little bilby (a small, rodent-like marsupial with big bunny ears) who gets caught up trying to protect a puffball of a baby bird from the many threats of the Australian wilds. The second film out of DWA’s new Shorts Program.
Watch (Limited Time):

Bilby

Bilby

Bird Karma
U.S.A.
Director: William Salazar
Produced By: DreamWorks Animation
Recognition: SFFILM Special Jury Prize; Official Selection at Palm Springs ShortFest; Special premiere at Annecy
Synopsis: Decades in the making, DWA’s first short film (and first 2D project in many, many years) is a painterly homage to traditional cartooning with an important message about being greedy told via a hungry wading bird who becomes unhealthily obsessed with catching a colorful new fish in the pond. Read more in this issue!
Watch (Limited Time):

Bird Karma

Bird Karma

Late Afternoon
Ireland
Director: Louise Bagnall
Produced By: Nuria González Blanco
Recognition: Animayo Grand Jury Prize, Tribeca Film Festival Best Animated Short, SPARK Best in Show, CICFF Best Animated Short 1st Prize, Bucheon Int’l Animation Festival Jury Short Film Prize & AniB’s Choice Award, IFTA for Best Animated Short
Synopsis: An elderly Irish woman named Louise sits drifting back through her memories — existing in two states simultaneously, in the past and the present. A heartfelt, tenderly rendered exploration of dementia created in simple, warm 2D. Bagnall is Creative Director at the acclaimed Cartoon Saloon studio.
Louisebagnall.tumblr.com
Trailer

Late Afternoon

Late Afternoon

Lost & Found
Australia
Directors: Andrew Goldsmith & Bradley Slabe
Produced By: Lucy J. Hayes
Recognition: Sydney Film Festival Yoram Gross Animation Award, Austin Film Festival Audience Award for Animated Short, Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Best Short Animation, Screen Producers Australia Award for Short Film, Australian Effects & Animation Festival Short Film Award, Awgie Awards for Major & Animation
Synopsis: A knitted toy dinosaur must completely unravel itself to save the foxy love of its life in this heartstring-tugging stop-motion short.
Watch:

Lost & Found from Goldy on Vimeo.

Lost & Found

Lost & Found

One Small Step
U.S.A./China
Directors: Andrew Chesworth & Bobby Pontillas
Produced By: TAIKO Studios
Recognition: Rhode Island Int’l Film Festival Grand Prize – Animated Short Film, Hamptons Int’l Film Festival Audience Award, Red Rock Film Festival Audience Award, SCAD Film Festival Best Animated Delight, SIGGRAPH Audience Choice, Intendence Best in Festival & Best Animated Short
Synopsis: A “love letter to everyone who chased that impossible dream and the family that supported them through it,” this tearjerker short from Disney alums Chesworth & Pontillas centers on a Chinese-American girl who sets her heart on becoming an astronaut. As she struggles in pursuit of her goal, her loving father supports her with his small shoe repair business, and ultimately inspires her to reach for the stars.
Watch:

One Small Step from TAIKO Studios on Vimeo.

One Small Step

One Small Step

Pépé le morse (Grandpa Walrus)
France
Director: Lucrèce Andreae
Produced By: Caïmans Productions (Jérôme Barthélemy)
Recognition: César Award for Best Short Film – Animation, FANTA ELX Best International Short; Nominated for Annie Award for Best Short, Bucheon 2017 Jury Prize, Annecy 2017 Short Film Audience Award, SPARK 2017 Best 2D, Krok 2017 Best Debut
Synopsis: A 2D exploration of the varied faces and experiences of mourning within one family, seen through the eyes of a young boy: On a dark and windy beach, Grandma prays, Mom screams, his sisters don’t give a hoot, and Lucas is alone. Grandpa was a strange guy, now he’s dead.
Watch:

PÉPÉ LE MORSE / GRANDPA WALRUS – Film from Caïmans Productions on Vimeo.

Pépé le morse (Grandpa Walrus)

Pépé le morse (Grandpa Walrus)

Weekends
U.S.A.
Director: Trevor Jimenez
Produced By: Jeremy Slome
Recognition: Annecy Int’l Animation Film Festival Best Short Film Jury Award & Audience Award, Warsaw Film Festival Best Animated Short Film, Nashville Film Festival Best Animated Short, Chicago Int’l Film Festival Best Animated Short, Los Angeles Film Festival Best Short Film, Oaxaca FilmFest Best Animated Short, RiverRun Best Animated Short, SFFILM Bay Area Short, Warsaw Int’l Film Festival Best Animated Short, 3D WIRE Best Animated Short (Int’l); Nominated for Annie Award for Best Short
Synopsis: A young boy shuffles between the homes of his recently divorced parents as surreal, dream-like moments mix with the domestic realities of a broken-up family in this hand-animated film set in 1980s Toronto.
Trailer

Weekends

Weekends

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