Oscar Possibilities

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Circulating amongst the animation blogs this past week was a very shortlist of possible nominees in the Animation Short Film category. Here’s what Academy members may be considering:

Even Pigeons Go To Heaven (Meme Les Pigeons Vont Au Paradis) (Samuel Tourneux) Animated in CG, tells the story of an elderly man who gets a sneak peak at the hereafter by a con-man minister. Funny. Link

How To Hook Up Your Home Theatre (Disney, Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton) Hilarious traditional hand drawn Goofy short. They nailed it! Link

I Met The Walrus (Josh Raskin) A 1969 recording of John Lennon animated with stream-of-consciousness graphics creates a powerful anti-war message, still painfully relevant. Link

Jeu (NFB, Georges Schwizgebel) A beautiful abstract moving painting. This one should be running continuously at the Museum of Modern Art. Link

Madame Tutli-Putli (NFB, Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski) Incredible stop-mo. A surreal head trip. Great filmmaking – how did they do those eyes? Link

My Love (Moya Lyubov) (Alexander Petrov) Magnificent painting on glass technique and a beautiful visualization of first love. Trailer

The Pearce Sisters (Aardman, Luis Cook) Dark, macabre humor with an incredible mix of 2D design and 3D animation. Link

Peter And The Wolf (Breakthru Films, Suzie Templeton) Charming, modern retelling of the Russian classic with edgy stop-mo puppets and realistic settings. Link

All seem Oscar-worthy to me. The final five nominees will be announced January 22nd. Good Luck to all!


  • Pedro Nakama

    Cool! I saw nothing about the Chubb Chubbs Saving Christmas. And that’s how it should be!

  • Steve Gattuso

    Didn’t Disney/Pixar submit “Your Friend, The Rat?” I would have thought it a shoo-in.

  • http://amymebberson.blogspot.com Amy Mebberson

    Steve: Maybe the Rat short didn’t get enough theatre screen time to qualify, it WAS mostly a DVD release.
    I agree that it’s brilliant and if it DOES narrowly qualify, it deserves a nomination.

  • robiscus

    my money is on ‘Peter And The Wolf’

  • Nacho

    Ark ? Grzegorz Jonkajtys Siggraph winner 2007 …

  • Clark

    re:Madame Tutli-Putli ; how did they do those eyes?….

    The puppet eye effects demonstrate a first in the field of animation: a seamless, unnerving integration of human and puppet performance. This innovative process, created by Walker for the film, required meticulous precision and involved the placement of real human eyes onto individual puppets. For each scene, the puppet’s animation was analyzed and corresponding human facial expressions were filmed in order to match the puppet’s motion. The eye performances required long rehearsal time, great patience and precise notes. Once the live-action eyes were filmed, Walker then individually positioned, digitally scaled, painted and re-timed the footage for nuance and believability of gesture. The extraordinary result of this process is a new kind of puppet: one with the soul and memories of a living being.

  • http://www.michaelspornanimation.com/splog/ Michael Sporn

    Jeu is the best of the films, though Madame Tutli-Putli is pretty great (despite the silly title).

  • Sean

    From an animation standpoint, Rat is amazing but the overall story is a dull history retelling and goes on way too long. I showed it to a few non animators who were pretty bored by it.

  • http://timrauch.blogspot.com Tim Rauch

    Definitely some good ones on there! Last year the IFC here in New York showed a program of the short list. Anyone know if they plan to do the same again this year?

  • Animation Pimp

    While Koji YAmamura’s brilliant film Kafka’s A Country Doctor isn’t there, that doesn’t surprise me. It requires too much thinking for Academy members.

    I can’t believe I’m gonna say it, but I’d take Goofy anyday over the fuggin’ Petrov piece of kitsch.

  • http://www.cartoonresearch.com Jerry Beck

    Tim – Yes, the Academy plans to distribute a theatrical compilation of nominated live and animated short films this year to independent art theaters, as they did last year.

    Pimp – I’ve seen the full list of animated shorts that entered and qualified for the Oscar. Yamamura’s Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor wasn’t there.

    SteveYour Friend The Rat was not entered as far as I know.

    NachoThe Ark was entered but didn’t make the final cut.

  • dan

    Check out the behind the scenes images on how they did the eyes on Madame Tutli-Putli.

    Real eyes and good compositing

    http://www.madametutliputli.com/putliprocess.html

  • http://segaltoons.com Steve Segal

    I agree this is a very strong year, they are all worthy of nominations. Madame Tutli-Putli is the one that stayed with me the most, but I hope that the other voters recognize what an achievement it was to recapture the spirit and fun of the classic Goofy How-to shorts; I kept feeling that Jack Kinney himself had blessed this. It would be nice to see I Met the Walrus get a nod; you said it perfectly, Jerry: still painfully relevant.

    It’s tragic to think that these brilliant film makers may not get the full attention that they deserve if the major artists boycott the Oscar ceremony.

    I saw the screening with several Pixar animators in attendance and they didn’t know why My Friend the Rat wasn’t submitted. It could have been an oversight (that happened with Geri’s Game, it won the following year). Or maybe since they assumed that Ratatouille would win, that another rat film was unnecessary.

  • http://www.madametutliputli.com Jason Walker

    Thank you Clark and Dan!!!
    I had no idea my ‘eye effect’ for Madame Tutli Putli would still be confusing people at this point but it seems to be.
    It took me four years to create this effect, and yet the press still seem to think it’s ALL puppet.
    Good and bad all at once!!

  • http://Incoherent-thought.blogspot.com Vincent

    I very much enjoyed The Pearce Sisters. A snack is where you find it.

    And Madame Tutli Putli as well.

  • Matthew

    Where can we watch the Goofy short? Not one link I’ve tried leads to the animation.

  • http://www.cartoonresearch.com Jerry Beck

    Matthew – You cannot see the Goofy short online. But you can see it at your local movie theater – it’s now playing with NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS.

  • JOhn

    Man, I hated Tutli Putli. I didn’t get it at all. Sure it was technically interesting. But beyond that? The thing was hard to watch. Unless of course you are having trouble sleeping.

    Peter and The Wolf was painful for me too. Pearce sisters was interesting but slow.

    I hope Goofy gets it.

  • Dave

    My money’s on Peter and the Wolf. Simply amazing animation with both humour and heart; the R2 DVD is out.

  • Brian D. Scott

    I am DYING to see Goofy’s short – I’m hoping Disney puts it on a Blu-ray disc that’ll have a real THX-type home theater setup on it, then have the short as an example of how not to! That’d be brilliant!

  • http://www.christianziebarth.com Christian

    “I am DYING to see Goofy’s short”

    See it with National Treasure or see it beginning Friday with 101 Dalmatians at the El Capitan. I’ve seen it twice so far. It’s good. Lots of Easter eggs.

  • http://www.myspace.com/brandontoons Brandon Pierce

    The Goofy short was very good IMO. But, as is the problem with most modern cartoon shorts…. it was WAY TOO SHORT. Maybe 5 minutes tops. Man, I wish we could get a 7 minute short one of these days.

    One of the major issues these days is, the credits eat up to much time and film, now that EVERYBODY who worked on the film gets credit as opposed to the classic era. Not that this is a bad thing, but it does come with it’s own set of casualies.

  • http://segaltoons.com Steve Segal

    Brandon Pierce: “The Goofy short was very good IMO. But, as is the problem with most modern cartoon shorts…. it was WAY TOO SHORT. Maybe 5 minutes tops.”

    According to the Motion Picture Academy the short is 7 minutes. There are a lot of credits, but I doubt they run more than 1 minute.

  • Blasko

    Why this continual stream of Petrov bashing? Is “My Love” really that bad, or is the AP still grinding that old axe. I swear, half of the essays in Robinson’s “Unsung Heroes of Animation” contain some form of anti-Petrov comments (I still liked that book, though).

    I haven’t seen “My Love,” but the trailer looks a lot better than “The Old Man and the Sea.” And I still think that “The Cow” is a beautiful, stirring work.

  • Nacho

    Jeu and Peter and the Wolf have Prokofiev music :) The year of Prokofiev in Animation short film category.

  • Rosie

    Tutli- Putli is a lovely film, but it isn’t the first short film to composite a hybrid puppet. There’s an award-winning dark UK short stop-frame animation which had a live actor’s head on a puppet body completed in 2002 that got there first!