Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Best Animated Short 2015 Possible Contenders

Yes, I know I haven't written a post in...three months. (It's been that long already?) That doesn't mean I've gone MIA. I've just been busy with other things. I had some other non-Oscar related animation posts in mind, but I just hadn't had much time to work on it. As a result, I'm afraid I've probably lost whatever readers I did have during this lengthy hiatus. But oh well. It's time to look ahead to the Best Animated Short race for this year.

We're getting to the time when the Academy screens all of the qualified shorts for its voting members to whittle down to the shortlist. Back in 2012 we had the entire list of qualified films as obtained by voter Michael Sporn. Unfortunately, Sporn's tragic passing means we won't have easy access to this list like we did in 2010-2012. Still, the cycle of Best Animated Short will continue, and there will be films in competition for the shortlist.

Luckily for us, we have other animation historians hard at work looking at animation news, including the fellows at Cartoon Brew, where we obtained the longlist from 2010-2012. We don't have the complete list, but editor in chief Amid Amidi has compiled a list of some of the stronger contenders for the award. It's not going to be the complete list, and some on this list may not actually qualify, and I don't necessarily agree with some of his statements in the intro, such as "the category remains among the most obscure of the Oscar categories" or "this is the first-ever attempt by any animation media outlet to highlight the contenders in this Oscar category" (unless he meant this year), but this is the best we have to take a look at the films that we may be focusing on in the next three months.

Get the complete list here, or look at the individual films after the break. (Most are trailers. Some are interviews with the directors. A handful are complete films. Then there's Konstantin Bronzit's We Can't Live Without Cosmos, where we can find nothing as far as videos go.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Best Animated Short Make-Up Review: O Misto na Slunci... (1960)


Yes, it has been over a month since I wrote a post. I bet all of the readers that I had obtained had fallen away. I apologize for the lack of posts, but I underestimated how hard to compare over 300 different films by how much I like them, no matter how subjective the idea seems. I've gotten the top 100 done, but that took hours of watching one film and comparing it with the other, just because there's so much that I kind of forget, and I frankly don't have the time to watch these films over and over again. So yeah, I guess until I find some time to make the rankings, the only posts I would be able to write are certain lists, or with make-up reviews of films that I was missing. And to my surprise, one of them has just become available.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Randy Johnson's 300th Win - 5th Anniversary

Yes, I know I've been away, but just know that I've been working on my subjective rankings of the animated short films. Meanwhile, it's June 4 again, and it's time to celebrate the anniversary a milestone: Randy Johnson's 300th win! Yes, it's been five years since the last time any pitcher hit the 300 win milestone, and it'll be at least another five years before anybody else will challenge it. (Mark Buehrle has been pitching well, and he can get to 300 wins easily if he chooses to keep it up, although it won't be until 2020-2021.) Meanwhile Randy probably isn't celebrating it considering he's currently halfway around the world in Vietnam, but let us celebrate it our way...with tl;dr-length posts!

Part One: The Introduction
Part Two: The Player
Part Three: The Set-Up
Part Four: The Rainout
Part Five: The Game
Part Six: The Aftermath

Third Anniversary Special

Fourth Anniversary Special (300 Game Winners and Their Graves)

Fifth Anniversary Special

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Best Documentary Short Highlights - Man Alive! (1952)

Well, well. Who knew that I still have stuff to review that didn't require me to travel all the way to Miami? As you know there have been a handful of animated shorts that competed in the Best Documentary Short category instead of the more traditional Best Animated Short category that I've spent the past two years reviewing. I've really tried to pick out the ones that were animated, but it's been a challenge since the Best Documentary Short is the ugly stepsister of the short categories, and most of the nominees fade away to obscurity. I've tried searching which of the nominated films had been animated, but there's just been such a dearth of information about each nominee that I really have no idea which ones are animated or not.

Well, as it turned out there was one animated documentary out there. And it was none other than Steve Segal, my old History of Animation professor, that clued me in about it.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Best Animated Short Make-Up Review: This Changing World Volume I Chapter I (aka How War Came) (1941)

So the longtime readers of my blog (all two of you) have probably heard of me talking about the Missing Seven, the seven Oscar nominated films I haven't seen yet. Of course, it hasn't always been the Missing Seven. It was the Missing Two Hundred when I first started trying to watch all of the nominated films back in 2007. Since then I whittled it down to the Missing Ten by the beginning of 2012. Then I watched The Further Adventures of Uncle Sam on February 27, 2012 and it became the Missing Nine. Then the UPA Jolly Frolics DVD came out in late March 2012 and I was able to watch Trees and Jamaica Daddy on March 22, 2012 and it became the Missing Eight. And finally on May 21, 2012, Steve Moore was finally able to release a copy of his infamous film Redux Riding Hood online and it became the Missing Seven. That was almost two whole years ago. And while I was able to locate two of the Missing Seven, I haven't had a chance to acquire a 16mm projector and make a trip down to Miami to watch Hypothese Beta and The Shepherd. I had no idea where to find the other five films, so I was seriously thinking that I may never be get the Missing Seven down to a smaller number. At least...until today.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


All the top 10 films (by preference) in all eight decades. Now the job is to rank them.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

2013 Oscars Live Blog


Yes, once again I'm going to be live blogging the Oscars, which means another year of dicking around trying to find a working stream while the red carpet show goes on. I would have gone to watch it with somebody that actually has a working TV, but I have to stay home because I'm going to have to get up at 5 tomorrow to see my five patients...and I'm on call tomorrow. *sigh* I liked my original schedule where I would have had tomorrow off.

Oh well. If you need a refresher of the nominees in the most underrated category, you can check here. Of course the one I'm really rooting for the most is for "Let It Go" winning Best Original Song. I would have liked to see Kaze Tachinu win for Best Animated Feature, but clearly that's not going to happen. Oh well. At least Spirited Away won in 2002.

Previous Live Blogs: 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007