Ten Animated Shorts Make the Oscar Shortlist Ten Animated Shorts Make the Oscar Shortlist

Ten Animated Shorts Make the Oscar Shortlist

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this morning the shortlist of ten animated shorts for the 2010 Best Animated Short category. Members of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch will now vote one more time to narrow it down to five nominees. The final vote, which determines the winner, is open to all Academy members provided that they have watched every nominated short.

We published the list of 33 qualifying shorts a few weeks ago on Cartoon Brew. The ten shorts that were voted to move forward are below. Did your favorites make the cut?

Coyote Falls
Director: Matthew O’Callaghan
United States, 2010, 3 min
Link to filmmaker website

Day & Night
Director: Teddy Newton
United States, 2010, 6 min
Link to filmmaker website

Let’s Pollute
Director: Geefwee Boedoe
United States, 2010, 7 min
Link to filmmaker website

Madagascar, A Journey Diary (Madagascar, carnet de voyage)
Director: Bastien Dubois
France, 2009, 11:30 min
Link to filmmaker website

Director: Michel Gagné
United States, 2010, 6 min
Link to filmmaker website

The Cow Who Wanted To Be A Hamburger
Director: Bill Plympton
United States, 2010, 6 min
Link to filmmaker website

The Gruffalo
Directors: Jakob Schuh, Max Lang
Great Britain, 2010, 27 min
Link to filmmaker website

The Lost Thing
Directors: Andrew Ruhemann, Shaun Tan
Australia, 2010, 15 min
Link to filmmaker website

Silence Beneath the Bark
The Silence Beneath the Bark (Le Silence Sous L’ecorce)
Director: Joanna Lurie
France, 2009, 11 min
Link to filmmaker website

Director: Moritz Mayerhofer
Germany, 2009 10 min
Link to filmmaker website

  • That’s awesome news! ;)

    • Steve Gattuso

      Good luck!

  • Bennett Prosser

    I hope the final five are:

    Day and Night
    The Silence Beneath the Bark
    The Gruffalo

  • Only three of my choices made the short list. Though i’ll say it again, it’s still something to see the Looney Tunes of today’s generation compete with Bill Plympton and Pixar!

  • Yvette Kaplan

    All are wonderful! I’ll be rooting for The Lost Thing to be among the final 5. It charmed and warmed my heart. : ) The Silence Beneath the Bark is breathtakingly beautiful too. Congrats to all!!!!

  • Rob T.

    Seen two so far, “Day & Night” (which I purchased on iTunes before seeing in the theater) and “Sensology” (which Michel Gagné made available online after its qualifying theatrical run). Of the 23 titles on the long list that didn’t make it here, I’m most curious about “The American Dream” and “Zero”, but the short list mostly looks pretty interesting too. (Isn’t the Road Runner/Coyote short showing before the “Yogi Bear” movie?)

  • Bruce Wright

    Great list. STRONG stuff. Great to see Matt O’Callaghan directed Coyote. Love your film too Michel, CONGRATS!

  • Felipe Robles

    no stop-motion short, the guys at semafor must be sad for “Danny Boy” by Marek Skrobecki, i know i am.

  • no stop-motion short, the guys at semafor, mus be sad about “Danny Boy” by Marek Skrobecki, i know i am.

  • Personally, I’m shooting for Madagascar. I saw it at Ottawa two festivals back, and it was astonishing. And, well, anything by Plympton is fine by me.

    The other three, I’m not fussy.

  • elle

    Madagascar is AMAZING. I really hope it makes the final 5.

  • Paul N

    Terrific list. Seen a number of them, not sure which to root for! Good luck to all.

  • “Madagascar” is breathtaking and I hope it moves forward.

    If “Silence Beneath The Bark” even manages a nomination that’ll be a blow for the Pictoplasma school of cute, where no one need be original with their character design as long as they set the eyes far enough apart and stick in an awkward tooth “just-so” along the gum line. If that works, I’ve got a video of a hamster playing with popcorn I’d like to see nominated…

    • we’d be interested in seeing your hamster playing with popcorn!

      • joanna

        me too!

  • I’m torn between Day and Night and Coyote Falls.

    Day and Night really is a good short. Although a part of me thinks it’d be nice to see a WB short win the Oscar again.

  • GhaleonQ

    There’s nothing so obvious this year as to be an injustice (was Midori-Ko not screened?), but I definitely wouldn’t have chosen those. I always love a Priit Parn short, for instance, and don’t think Pixar and Warner Brothers should be nominated out of obligation (though I’m admittedly not a Pixar fan). I only expect them to pick a good winner, though, so good luck to all and The Lost Thing, especially.

  • Bruce Wright

    Just saw Silence and The Lost Thing as well as Coyote Falls at the Animation Show of Shows today.

    And Plympton’s film too.

    Hard choice. For me it might be Sensology, but only by a hair. Great work all around.

  • Bob

    Maybe if Pixar takes the short animated category throwing away the best picture one won’t smart so much.

  • Spencer

    PLYMPTON. It’ll be his third nomination for Lord’s sake!!!

    If not him, Day or Night for the cake, though i wasn’t crazy on the ending.

  • Quite a list. Have seen Coyote Falls, Day and Night, Madagascar, The Gruffalo and The Lost Thing and they’re all quite good in their own way, but my vote goes for The Gruffalo. Absolutely beautiful adaptation of the book.

  • Ben K.

    Madagascar is an amazingly beautiful short. Really rooting for it!

  • This list is a lot more impressive than what we saw last year. I’m still grinding my teeth over “Logorama.” Ugh.

    • Spencer

      Logorama was amazing! Serioiusly?

  • Karen

    Day and Night is top of my list. Bottom would be that Sensology thing–I hope I don’t have to sit through that one again–UGH! Bill Plympton’s short is really funny, but not my favorite of all of his films.

  • Seen 6 of the 10, having missed Let’s Pollute, The Gruffalo, Plympton’s, and Urs. I would probably favor Madagscar, as I’m partial to the indie stuff, but even knowing my prejudice I’m kind of surprised by Coyote Falls and Day and Night making the cut, as I found them underwhelming.

    If you want to catch some of the films, Sensology is online on YouTube. I did a brief writeup of Silence Beneath the Bark at my blog http://bit.ly/b73MfI . If you follow the link in the post you can watch both it and Madagascar.

  • reza

    really don’t think plympton’s film should be on the list, love his stuff, but this short doesn’t compete with the other selections or his previously nominated shorts at all.

  • Exie

    I’m surprised and happy to see “The Cow Who Wanted to be a Hamburger” up here.

    I saw this short, of all places, at Dragon*Con in Atlanta in September and it was the only one out of the group shown that really stuck with me. The story is engaging, the animation is downright fun and I have ALWAYS been a fan of animation where the score is a vital component of the whole piece, and not just something played in the background.

    I hope this short and “Night and Day” end up in the final cut. I’ll be waiting anxiously in the wings.

    • Spencer

      Martin Scorsese’s best wasn’t The Departed, but that’s what he won for. It’s an honorary Oscar. Maybe that’s Plympton’s disposition.

  • Ryoku

    That 6th one features Heffer, but I bet the RoadRunner short got to where it is thanks to using popular characters, a factor that should be taken into account with the voting.

  • Caresse

    I actually really liked Coyote Falls.

    The Silence Beneath the Bark was very sweet and cleverly crafted.

    Plympton’s – awesome as usual, although I’ve seen it way too many times by now.

    The Lost Thing was beautifully made but way too long for me.

    The rest I missed, but from the stills, this looks like a tough choice!

  • The Gee

    Normally, I wouldn’t do this but, I re-read what Karen wrote and….sorry if this is redundant to anyone.

    One of the coolest things about cartoons, static or animated, is the ability to show things which don’t exist nor could happen. To me, if I were to compare making them to making something photorealistic or shooting pictures or video, I’d have to say that with cartoons, more often than not I’m much closer to reproducing what I have in my head. You can come close to that essence without monumental compromise. And, like its been said, once it leaves your head, the idea is always compromised. Its always less than perfect.

    The reason I write this is because, to me, what Gagne does in “Sensology” is what I’d like to see in my head if I just heard that music for the first time or anytime. I’d also like to think that he made what he saw in his head and did a good job at sharing it.
    He described it as toying around with the notion of Synesthesia, a condition involving mixed-up senses where one sense evokes another. For instance, tasting something and “seeing” colors; seeing colors and “tasting” something; hearing something and “feeling” textures, etc.

    I can dig that because I’ve toyed around with that idea for years in stuff I’ve done. Unlike me, he finished the project and is getting recognition for it. ha ha. Cartoons and Film are two of the easiest ays to explore that concept/condition. True, prose can capture it but in addition to great writing you still need to rely on the reader’s understanding, too.

    Anyhow, I realize the short isn’t character animation and that I probably wouldn’t call it a cartoon. But, it is animation, done well.

    Also, to me, it says a lot that this isn’t the only type of animation Gagne has done or will do. So, the fact that he felt the need to experiment is a positive.

    Again, I find it hard to see it winning and tough to think it might get nominated. That mentioned, I don’t see why it should not get nominated…. unless the others are just that good it is the odd film out (so to write).

    • Jack Sprat

      Yeah, but “seeing music” has already been done, to much greater effect, in “Fantasia” and countless other experimental shorts over the years. I too saw nothing special in “Sensology.” It just doesn’t work as an experimental film because it’s not actually very groundbreaking at all. It’s just a lot of very pleasant animation, ultimately boring because it’s meaningless.

      • jon Hooper

        Really? “seeing music” has already been done, to much greater effect, in “Fantasia” and countless other experimental shorts over the years. ”

        Have you actually looked at any of those other countless shorts or taken a gander at the “abstract” animation in Fantasia lately. I have to say Michel has done something new here, he has actually brought some real animation chops to this brand of animation. I would say that anything in this vein up until now looks amateurish compared to “Sensology”.

        If your standard is that something be groundbreaking, I would have to say that none of the nominated shorts meets that criteria. That being said, I think “Sensology” elevates 2D abstract animation to a new level which is quite an accomplishment in itself.

        I found the film far from boring. It was a tour de force of hand drawn animation, by someone who actually animates at the highest feature level. Every frame is a precisely where it should be (placed there by hand). All the principles are there, this is not lazy rotoscoping of 3D animation or some lame particle system plug-in manipulation. This is real animation frame by frame from Michel’s hand to your eyes. You just aren’t going to get a better hand drawn abstract film ever. This is like Yo-Yo Ma giving a virtuoso performance. Do we denigrate his performance because we have heard some inferior cellist play the same thing. No we celebrate the joy of a great performance.

        As for meaningless. I guess all art is ultimately meaningless, especially to easily bored cynics.

  • The Gee

    Is that the criteria for being nominated for an award:

    if experimental=must be innovative?

    I realize that being groundbreaking and on the cutting edge are still wants for a lot of productions. Well, for a lot of products. I can’t disagree with that. I certainly would wish for anyone who gets to work on a short can end up doing something different that they are used to doing. That’s a nice bonus.

    Jack, if you didn’t like it much, there’s nothing wrong with that. I did mention that it probably won’t get nominated. I’m just saying that I hope it does and that I like the way it turned out. But, I’m a fan of his effects animation, and him as an animator. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of others who I find inspirational who were on the long list and some who’ve made this short list. I’m just hoping Mr. Gagne gets included in the final list for this short. That’s all.

    Your criteria for not liking it, not being impressed by it, I guess, is fine. If you are only entertained by experimental animation because it puts you on the cusp of something new then that’s fine, too. I just hope you don’t dismiss it because it isn’t something which you would wanted to work on( and it isn’t inspiring to you) or because the only animation you watch are cartoons with characters. But, even if either or both of those is true, that’s fine.

    If you’ve seen the others and can spot five deserving of getting the nod, nod on!

  • The Gee

    I’m glad I looked at this again.
    Thanks, Jon.

    I swear I know of too many people who can better articulate themselves than I can. I just wish they’d chime in more often. So, thanks. I hope he or anyone else sees what you wrote. I agree wholeheartedly.

    But, I still admit that whatever Jack Sprat or some dumb kid who posted on that Oprah Juice topic likes is okay but for Goodness’ sake know the difference between:
    good and bad,
    great and horrible,
    appropriate and non-appropriate,
    and, finally, smart criticism and grasping at hot air.

  • Johnny Knox

    Congrats to Reel FX on Coyote Falls!

    Granted it was done for WB, but the short was actually done at Reel FX. I thought it was great!

    Day and Night in all likely-hood will win, but Madagascar was amazing!