Thursday, November 6, 2014

Top Five Shortlisted, Non-Nominated Films 2009-2013

Earlier this week the Academy announced the shortlist for the animated short Oscar, and that marked the moment when the Best Animated Short race hits into high gear. The shortlist has ten films. Up to five of them will go into history as Oscar nominees, while the rest of the films will be forgotten by all but the most dedicated animation buffs, which is a major pity. I've been following the Best Animated Short race starting at the Shortlist stage since 2009, and there were plenty of films on the shortlist that missed out on a nomination that were worthy. I've already written about the shortlist in some previous posts, but in preparation for the announcement of this year's shortlist, I'm going to write about five films from the previous five shortlists that were most deserving of a nomination. There is going to be a lot of subjectivity, but I hope it will be a good look at some great films that were unfairly denied their chance of Oscar glory.

A note before we get started. I've seen only 24 of the 25 films on the shortlist, which I suppose is a decent total, but I did never did get to find Raul Garcia's The Fall of the House of Usher from the 2012 shortlist, which is a pity. The trailer sure makes it seem like an interesting film.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Best Animated Short - 2014: The Shortlist

Well, today marks an important milestone in the Best Animated Short race: the announcement of the shortlist for nomination. Each year films are qualified through festivals or qualifying runs, and the animation branch of the Academy sit through all of the films and rank them, and the ten highest ranked films make it to the shortlist for a larger branch to review. This year 58 films qualified, and today the Academy had released the ten films that will be moving on to a select screening in December. Eventually anywhere from three to five films would receive a coveted nomination.

Unfortunately, for the second straight year in a row we didn't get a full list of all of the qualifying films, but Cartoon Brew did preview some of the more highly regarded films from the festival circuit, which I previewed earlier. But even that was not foolproof, as two of the shortlisted films were not previewed in the earlier thread. But even still, these are the films that could end up with nominations this year. Let's sit back and preview all of them in more depth, just like what I did in 2012 and 2013.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

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.