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Oscars 2014: Best Animated Short Film Contenders


Generally between forty to sixty animated shorts qualify annually for the Best Animated Short Film category of the Academy Awards. This month the Academy will begin to winnow down those films into what will become a shortlist of ten films, and then finally, five nominees.

Despite the public’s growing interest in short-form animation, the category remains among the most obscure of the Oscar categories. To inspire a better understanding of who the contenders are for this award, we’ve been tracking the animated shorts that have performed strongly at domestic and international film festivals throughout the year, and we’ve combined that data with the Academy’s own list of qualifying film festival awards (download the PDF) to come up with the following list of 30 likely contenders in the Best Animated Short Film category.

Just to be clear: we don’t know whether all of the films on this list have officially qualified for Academy consideration. Also, there will be other films that qualify which aren’t on this list. Having said that, this is the first-ever attempt by any animation media outlet to highlight the contenders in this Oscar category, and you can be certain that at least some of the films on the list will be nominated this year.

Absent Minded
dir. Roberto Catani, Italy
dir. Tomek Ducki, Poland
The Bigger Picture
dir. Daisy Jacobs, UK
Bus Stories
dir. Tali, Canada
dir. Alan Holly, Ireland
The Dam Keeper
dir. Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, USA
dir. Glen Keane, USA
dir. Patrick Osborne, USA
dir. Bill Plympton, USA
dir. Yoriko Mizushiri, Japan
dir. Reda Bartkute, Lithuania
dir. Delphine Hermans, Belgium
Hasta Santiago
dir. Mauro Carraro, Switzerland/France
dir. Piotr Dumala, Poland
dir. James Ford Murphy, USA
Love Games
dir. Yumi Joung, South Korea
Mademoiselle Kiki et les Montparnos
dir. Amélie Harrault, France
Man on the Chair
dir. Dahee Jeong, France/Korea
Me and My Moulton
dir. Torill Kove, Canada/Norway
Me + Her
dir. Joseph Oxford, USA
No Fish Where to Go
dir. Nicola Lemay and Janice Nadeau, Canada
The Obvious Child
dir. Stephen Irwin, UK
dir. Santiago ‘Bou’ Grasso, France/Argentina
dir. Gerd Gockell, Germany/Switzerland
Rabbit and Deer
dir. Péter Vácz, Hungary
Sleeping with the Fishes
dir. Yousif Al-Khalifa, UK
Symphony no. 42
dir. Réka Bucsi, Hungary
Through the Hawthorn
dir. Anna Benner, Pia Borg and Gemma Burditt, UK
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
dir. Konstantin Bronzit, Russia
dir. Bernardo Britto, USA

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  • Lori

    I really hope that both Coda and We Can’t Live Without Cosmos make the cut. Two absolutely great films in very different ways.

  • Henry

    “We Can’t Live Without Cosmos” blew me away. Best of those that I have seen.

    • Debergerack

      Do you have a link, it looks really interesting.

      • Henry

        It’s not available online. I saw it at Ron Diamond’s Animation Show of Shows.

  • tt

    Wait, Lava? Isn’t it next year? With Inside Out???

    • AmidAmidi

      Hollywood release dates have nothing to do with qualifying a short for Oscar consideration. Pixar may elect to qualify the film either this year or next year. My guess is this year, but it could be next year as well.

    • Paul N

      “Lava” was in this year’s Show of Shows, so it *could* go into the mix this year.

      • Tim Tran

        how was it?

  • 2525

    My bet is on BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story:)

  • Tony Ganem

    Padre!! A masterpiece!

  • Melissa

    Coda is incredible, very introspective and poignant. Completely deserving of a nomination!

  • Tim Tran

    how were the 2 shorts?

    • Hankenshift

      I saw Show of Shows. Feast is cute, if a bit redundant. Looks as if it was colored by toon boom or something. Lava is just bland. I seriously doubt either would even make the short list for nomination considering all the other great films up for the award.

      • Hey Now

        I’ve also seen Lava. If you watch the 40-second preview above, you’ve pretty much seen the whole thing. Might be Pixar’s least inspired short.

  • Alex

    Nieta – An incoming storm helps to transform a young girl’s perspective of the world. Official Trailer>http://vimeo.com/93691608

    • James

      I saw this film at at Flickers, blew my mind away and it’s beautiful!…anyone knows where will it play next? …are all these playing somewhere together?

  • 2525

    *Just a quick update* BLANK: A Vinylmation Love Story premiered theatrically at the El Capitan Theater. To date the film has won 5 film festivals including LA Shorts Fest (Oscar qualifier) and is currently DOUBLE qualified and submitted to the 2015 Academy Awards in the Animated Shorts Category. The little story that could:) http://youtu.be/yJDXzszj-oU

  • Alex

    Immersed in Movies: Nicolas Villarreal Talks Oscar-Contending ‘Nieta’ Short


    Nieta – Screenings:

    USA Oct. 24 – Nov. 2, 2014 (Chicago Int’l Children’s Film Festival)
    USA Oct. 25 – Nov. 1, 2014 (Savannah Film Festival)
    Puerto Rico Nov. 13 – 15, 2014 (ENFOQUE – Int’l Film Festival )
    QATAR Dec. 1-6, 2014 (Ajyal Youth Film Festival 2014)

  • Ahmad

    What an amazing collection of shorts. Each with unique distinctive style and feel. very inspirational post. Thanks Amid

  • Mr Long

    Seen a majority of these. YEARBOOK is the best I think!!!