Best Guesses for the Animation Oscar Races
1) Partly Cloudy, Peter Sohn, director (Pixar Animation Studios)
Can Pixar take a year off and give someone else a chance? While it's nowhere near a leader for the win as Up is in the feature category, I'd say it's a sure bet for a nomination. Then again this is the Oscar Best Short Animation category where educated guesses go to die.
2) A Matter of Loaf and Death, Nick Park, director (Aardman Animations Ltd.)
It's a new Wallace and Gromit short. What do you think its chances of a nomination are? Even a weak Wallace and Gromit short is a contender.
3) Runaway, Cordell Barker, director (National Film Board of Canada)
It's a new NFB short. What do you think its chances of a nomination are? It's also a very good, topical, NFB short from a director whose previous shorts The Cat Came Back and Strange Invaders were both Oscar nominated. He's in the #3 spot for his chances to go three for three. Now how cute is that?
4) The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte), Javier Recio Gracia, director (Kandor Graphics and Green Moon)
Antonio Banderas is behind Green Moon and Kandor Graphics has The Missing Linx up for Best Animated Feature as well. This is where the Spanish firm has its best shot. A bit morbid, a bit sentimental and funny at the same time, the story follows an old woman who wants to join her husband in heaven but is constantly thwarted by an eager young doctor's battle with the Grim Reaper. It's also in 3-D!
5) The Kinematograph, Tomek Baginski, director-producer (Platige Image)
Platige Image and Baginski have been to the Big Dance before with The Cathedral and Baginski received great admiration for his second short Fallen Art. The message about neglecting one's loved one in the pursuit of making a film might hit Academy members right in the heart. Could be the sentimental choice of the year.
6) Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty, Nicky Phelan, director, and Darragh O’Connell, producer (Brown Bag Films)
As they say — to get an Oscar nomination in this category you have to have heart, or humor. This short is really funny. A dramatic grandma tells the tale of Sleeping Beauty's christening party to her scared grandchild. It plays really well with an audience. But with so many other funny shorts, it might be the one left out.
7) The Cat Piano, Eddie White and Ari Gibson, directors (The People’s Republic of Animation)
This Australian short narrated by Nick Cave has a lot of fans. The dark tale with its anime style and poetic voice over would be the cool pick of the year. But it could be overshadowed for belly-laugh shorts and the voice over doesn't emotional engage like some of the others.