Thursday, February 3, 2022

Oscar Predictions: Best Animated Short

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, February 8th. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in all categories.

Last year’s nominees: Burrow, Genius Loci, If Anything Happens I Love You, Opera, Yes-People

I had the opportunity this year to screen all fifteen shortlisted films in this category. I’ll offer some brief thoughts on the contenders in my predictions, and links to watch if they are publicly available. Length doesn’t always matter, but sometimes the shortest ones can have a great impact even with a minimal run time. Among the most impactful is Only a Child, which runs less than seven minutes and features the words written by a twelve-year-old about the state of our planet (watch it on YouTube). Another brief but memorable entry, which is probably the most universal and kid-friendly but still appealing to adults, is Us Again, a fun ode to aging and good memories (watch it on Disney+). Netflix has a family film of its own that runs about half an hour called Robin Robin about a robin raised by mice that’s endearing (and available to watch on Netflix). The rest of the fare turns much more towards adult themes. Boxballet and Bad Seeds (watch on YouTube) find humor in the similar movements of people and plants, respectively. Step into the River, Flowing Home (watch on YouTube), and The Musician (watch on Paramount+) deal with the effects of political divisions and family separation in radically different places and eras. Mum is Pouring Rain feels like a traditional fairy tale that follows a young girl’s lackluster attitude towards spending time with her grandmother. Namoo comes from Erick Oh, who directed last year’s nominated “Opera,” and looks at the intersection of art and loss. Angakusajaujuq: The Shaman’s Apprentice features an intense voyage deep into an underworld, while Affairs of the Art (watch via The New Yorker) uses creative imagery to explore one family’s relationship to taxidermy. The Windshield Wiper isn’t as narrative-based but looks at the meaning of love. Bestia (rent on Vimeo) and Souvenir Souvenir (rent on Vimeo) both incorporate violence in unexpected ways, with the former following a Chilean spy and the latter looking at a relative’s wartime experiences. This category is always difficult to predict, but I’ll make my best guesses based on being more prepared than ever before thanks to having screened all of these finalists.

Predicted nominees: Namoo, Only a Child, Souvenir Souvenir, Us Again, The Windshield Wiper

Forecasted winner: I see If Anything Happens I Love You triumphing.

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