The Academy (Shorts) Short-List

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today its short-list of the 10 animated short films that will vie for nomination slots for this years Academy Awards. Thirty-seven shorts had originally qualified in this category and were screened last weekend for members of the shorts branch. The short-list includes Nick Park’s latest Wallace and Gromit short, Pixar’s Partly Cloudy and Cordell Barker’s Runaway.

The 10 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production company and a link to their website:

The Cat Piano – Eddie White and Ari Gibson, directors (The People’s Republic of Animation). A Cat Writer tells about a fiendish piano made of cats. When the keyboard is struck, spikes go through the cats’s tales, making them “sing”.

French Roast – Fabrice O. Joubert, director (Pumpkin Factory/Bibo Films). A man in a French Restaurant loses his wallet. He sits at the table drinking coffee after coffee until a homeless man kindly pays his check. There is a subplot about a bank robber who is really an old lady wearing a mask.

Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty – Nicky Phelan, director, and Darragh O’Connell, producer (Brown Bag Films) – see clip above! An old lady tells her frightened grand daughter of not being invited to Sleeping Beauty’s christening party.

The Kinematograph – Tomek Baginski, director-producer (Platige Image). The “inventor” of cinema has his own camera made of wood, stereo sound with two Victrolas, and a two-layer color process before the Lumiere brothers experiments, however, his beloved wife dies of consumption and he abandons his apparatus, just as the Lumiere’s breakthrough is being announced in the street by newsboys.

The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte) – Javier Recio Gracia, director (Kandor Graphics and Green Moon). The Grim Reaper keeps trying to collect the soul of an old woman. She is brought back to the living numerous times by her well-meaning young doctor. The old woman really wants to die and join her beloved husband however, so she electrocutes herself towards the end of the film.

Logorama – Nicolas Schmerkin, producer (Autour de Minuit). Mo-Cap. Imagine a world made up entirely of advertising characters, such as the Michelin tire guys, Bob’s Big Boy, Esso Oil Drop and an evil Ronald MacDonald who shoots everybody with a machine gun.

A Matter of Loaf and Death – Nick Park, director (Aardman Animations Ltd.) Wallace, the baker, meets his dream girl, the Lite Dough Girl, who has put on a bit of weight since her days as an advertising model for flour. She has killed twelve baker husbands and wants to make Wallace the 13th. Of course Gromit sees through her flirtatious act and manages to stop her from killing Wallace. Gromit has a romance with the Dough Girl’s French Poodle into the bargain.

Partly Cloudy – Peter Sohn, director (Pixar Animation Studios). Clouds make the babies out of bits of water vapor and give the infants to embattled storks who deliver the kids to their parents. One cloud gets stuck with making the “prickly” critters, such as crocks, porcupines, sharks, etc.

Runaway – Cordell Barker, director (National Film Board of Canada). A passenger train has a hard time scaling a mountain and runs out of coal, the passengers throw all their clothes in the firebox and half the passenger cars to get steam up.

Variete – Roelof van den Bergh, director (il Luster Productions). A man juggles plates on poles with the various elements of his life on top of the plates, such as girlfriend, school teacher, best buds, parents, wife, children, etc. Eventually he can’t sustain the numerous spinning plates and all collapse, clearing the way for the next generation.


  • http://www.rauchbrothers.com Tim Rauch

    Some very good films on that list but I have to say, after my first year of spending much time at festivals, I’m beginning to understand why the Oscar is not necessarily as highly regarded in the international animation community as I might have previously expected.

    Please Say Something, DaVinci TimeCode, The Man in the Blue Gordini, Bellow’s March… I can think of a lot of really great films which aren’t on this list. The films here are mostly CG, mostly follow a traditional, straightforward narrative arc.

    Well, it’s all subjective isn’t it? Congrats to those on the list, I especially like “Runaway” and hope Cordell “takes it to the house”! That thing’s a show-stopper and deserves a bushel of awards.

  • http://www.tresswygert.blogspot.com Tres Swygert

    The Cat Piano was a wonderful piece. If it wins, I know it deserves it. As always, congrats to the nominees this year!

  • Graham

    When do the student short submissions open up?

  • vero

    “Kinematograph” looks great. If doesn’t win , it’ll be very disappointing

  • jay

    Tim – David O Reilly deliberately didn’t enter PSS even though it was eligible
    http://www.davidoreilly.com/2009/11/under-a-rock
    in the original post he said it’s because too many great animators are remembered for their oscar nomination and not for the work that came after.

  • http://www.sitasingstheblues.com/ Nina Paley

    I want Logorama to win, so it probably won’t. Actually there are many very good films on that list, and only one truly dreadful one. I agree with Mike that “Runaway” is delightful, and I liked “Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty.” Really I liked quite a lot of them. But Logorama stood out for me.

    And yes, many great and probably more deserving films don’t make it to this list, but that’s the nature of awards, especially the Academy Awards.

  • http://fluidtoons.com Brett W. Thompson

    Ooo, Nina and Tim bring up good points! I loved Logorama too. It was scary how many of those logos my brain recognized (nearly all). I have to wonder how they avoided lawsuit(s). Awesome film!

    I think I’d vote for Logorama though I really love Runaway and Cat Piano too. I saw Runaway when it played right after a really somber, serious film at Annecy, and I think we were all relieved to have a change of pace.

    I’m surprised not to see Gordini on there too. It was such a big hit at Annecy. We nearly showed it at Animation Attack! here in Atlanta but didn’t have the budget to pay for the screening rights unfortunately.

  • andreas Wessel-Therhorn

    tim, the movies you mentioned were not submitted and i agree, logorama was great

  • http://www.brownblogfilms.com Brown Bag Films

    The full film of Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty has just gone up on Granny’s website at http://www.grannyogrimm.com, and on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIDv1jJhoxY. Hope you enjoy!