The Oscar for Animated Short Film 2010 - The Nominations

So with just a few hours to go before the Oscar nominations it's time to attempt to wrap up this year's race for the Animated Short Film Oscar so lets start with a moan: out of the ten films that were long listed I've only seen four of them. It's not like I haven't been trying (scanning their websites on a daily basis) or like I could have watched some of the ones I haven't but just didn't have time (the only one available that I haven't watched is the Pixar one - available illegally via YouTube), no the companies involved have simply limited their distribution of their respective short films. This perplexes me.

On the one hand I'm sure there are good reasons for this... I'm just struggling to think of them right now. The main aim behind short films seems to almost always be to gain a bit of publicity for the studios or artists producing them, therefore, it logically follows, if you make your film available to the widest possible audience, you gain more exposure. Perhaps not. Perhaps there are some larger forces at work that can explain exactly what is gained by not distributing short films more readily but for now the fact remains that only a small percentage of the Oscar long list was viewable ahead of the nomination announcement without going to an organised screening for Academy members.

Having said that, there is plenty of information available about all of the films involved. The Lady And The Reaper for example has an excellent website and production blog, complete with a short trailer (no full-length though, grumble, grumble...). Logorama has had some good press in various places and a trailer to that is also available. Runaway, The Kinematograph & Variete also have trailers, Partly Cloudy has a small featured section on the Pixar website. The end result is that the six films that I haven't seen all have a presence without actually being present themselves.

Predictions


This article will be updated later today to see how good or how badly I did. It's obviously not as easy as it should be to do predictions (see above) for this award but lets have a stab at it anyway. Here are thistimeitwillbedifferent's five tips for nominations in Animated Short Film at the Oscars 2010:

The Cat Piano
French Roast
Runaway
Logorama
Partly Cloudy

The Reasoning

In my mind, The Cat Piano and French Roast are shoe-ins. They both have pedigree, individual visual styles, inventive stories and high production values. If one or other of them misses out it will be a travesty. Partly Cloudy too, by virtue of it being by Pixar, has an excellent chance and I can't see the Academy ignoring such an industry heavyweight. The other two then are the most risky choices. Cordell Barker's Runaway looks to have some moral weight to it and is drawn in the kind of individual hand-drawn style the Academy has shown propensity to love before, you could level the same thing at Variete, but from what I've seen of the two, Runaway certainly seems to have the upper hand. Logorama might turn out to be taking too much of a stab in the direction of the mainstream for Oscar's liking but it also seems to be doing it in a pseudo-ironic way and its good press coverage give it a great chance.

Other Chances

I've not seen much of The Kinematograph but what I have seen also looks intriguing and well-produced, consider it an outside bet. The Wallace & Gromit film, in my opinion, shouldn't be anywhere near this award but Nick Park has previous form so don't be surprised if he pips one of the more deserving efforts. Granny O' Grimm's Brown Bag films have fought the good fight with a great publicity campaign (even enlisting Granny to help) but with the other great CGI efforts this year it might prove difficult for it to sneak in, likewise The Lady And The Reaper. I've seen very little of Variete but to me, the bits that I did see looked slightly shaky and not quite as well polished as the other entries.

The Result

(Updated 2.07pm GMT)

OK, so Oscar revealed the full list of nominees just before 2.00pm GMT, you can find them all, including the major categories, here. The five films nominated for Best Animated Short Film 2010 were:

French Roast
Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty
The Lady And The Reaper
Logorama
Wallace & Gromit: A Matter Of Loaf And Death

Which means that the following films have missed out:

The Cat Piano
The Kinematograph
Variete
Runaway
Partly Cloudy

Analysis

So as ever, and linking back to my original post on this, politics played a big part. Oscar loves the claymation of Nick Park and despite the fact that his entry is a 30-minute long television episode (a completely different art form to a 10-minute long short film in my opinion) he's walked away with a nomination. For all the reasons outlined in my original post on the latest Wallace and Gromit, I think that borders on travesty, Oscar once again going for what it knows rather than rewarding the originality of, say, The Cat Piano.

Out of the five I only got two right which, lets be honest, any idiot with a pin and a dartboard could have done so shows what I know hey? Granny O' Grimm's inclusion and the Pixar film's exclusion must be counted as a bit of a shock but I suppose that's what a good campaign can do for you and Up has walked away with a Best Picture nom, so I'm sure they won't be too upset.

Open season for who wins it then? Could be any one of the five? Who am I kidding... it's Nick Parks for the taking.

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