Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Best Animated Short 2016 - The Nominees

Well, it's that time of year again, the time that I have to get off of my sorry butt and start working on preparing for this year's Oscar nominations. Thankfully, with the NFB making Blind Vaysha available for purchase, I was actually able to see all of the nominees by the day of the nominations, something that hadn't been done since the 2009 Oscars. Unfortunately, I'm currently at work and won't have the time to actually do the reviews until I get off work, so I figure I might as well just post the nominations and some of my quick thoughts about the nominations for this year.
Here are the nominees for Best Animated Short 2016:

Blind Vaysha

Borrowed Time

Pear Cider and Cigarettes



I was able to predict three of the nominees. I got Borrowed Time, Pearl Cider and Cigarettes and Piper, which I thought were given. Of course, I also thought Inner Workings was a lock, but surprisingly they left it off, which was just as well because I found it too light and similar to Reason and Emotion. They added Pearl which I thought was decent but I thought the Google video aspect may have turned them off. And I went with The Head Vanishes instead of Blind Vaysha for the nominee I hadn't seen, especially since they snubbed Theodore Ushev three years ago with his Gloria Victoria.

Blind Vaysha is NFB's first nomination since Wild Life and Dimanche back in 2011, five years ago. Borrowed Time is similar to The Dam Keeper, nominated two years ago, in that it was made by former animators from large studios like Pixar. At almost 35 minutes, Pear Cider and Cigarettes is the longest nominee in this category, breaking the record for Peter & the Wolf, which was also the last nominee to be at least 30 minutes in length. Pearl is the second nomination for Patrick Osborne, who beat The Dam Keeper with his adorable short film Feast. And Piper is going to try to end Pixar's 15 years of futility for their first win in this category since For the Birds all the way back in 2001*.

*Films that have failed to win include Mike's New Car, Boundin', One Man Band, Lifted, Presto, Day & Night, La Luna, and Sanjay's Super Team.

Who will win? Well, Piper stands a pretty good chance, considering that it's good, it's adorable, and the animation is great. Of course, I also thought that Mike's New Car, Presto, and Day & Night would be winners, so you never know.

Some thoughts about the rest of the categories...

The big story is probably the presence of several films about the African American experiences getting into competition after the #OscarsSoWhite controversies in recent years. Fences, Hidden Figures, and Moonlight were all nominated for Best Picture, and Denzel Washington (Fences), Ruth Negga (Loving), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) getting acting nominations. Dev Patel also received an Oscar nomination for Lion. Of course, all that pales in comparison with La La Land and their record-tying 14 nominations. That probably stands as the clear front-runner. None of the other Best Picture nominees have more than 10, with Arrival and Moonlight tied for second most with 8 (mostly thanks to Amy Adams's Best Actress snub)

As far as the other animated category goes, Best Animated Feature features a list that includes Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, The Red Turtle and the front-runner Zootopia. Kubo was also nominated in the Best Visual Effects category (alongside the computer animated The Jungle Book). Moana was also nominated for Best Original Song for "How Far I'll Go," which Lin-Manuel Miranda is hoping can get him an EGOT, although he is facing stiff competition with La La Land's "City of Stars," which is picking up most of the accolades. My Life as a Zucchini was hoping to get into the Best Foreign Language Film list, which Waltz with Bashir did back in 2008, but it didn't quite make it. The animated documentary Tower was also left off the Best Documentary Feature nomination list, although the documentary Life Animated about a young boy with autism spectrum disorder and how he uses Disney animated films to connect with others. Of course the front-runner in that category would probably be the 467-minute O.J.: Made in America, which is the longest film to be nominated for an Oscar, breaking the 1966 version of War and Peace by 30 minutes. War and Peace is still the longest film to win an Oscar.

Anything else? I suppose that's it. I'll hope to get the reviews up later today. See you at the Oscars.

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