Ranked: 2017 Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films

Feb 23, 2017
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The 89th Annual Academy Awards ceremony will happen on Sunday, February 26th. As in years past, we've taken a look at this year's short film competitions. The Academy defines a short film as an original motion picture running 40 minutes or less, and excludes all advertisments, unaired or unsold television episodes, or credit sequences from feature-length films. Our critic, Shawn Hazelett, watched and ranked all of this year's Oscar-nominated shorts. Today, he looks at this year's animated category.  

Want to judge for yourself? Click here to find a list of theaters and showtimes for this year's Oscar-nominated shorts.

1

Directed by Patrick Osborne

Pearl

Taught, clever, and extremely charming, the defining years of a father/daughter relationship are charted from the perspective of the family car, which provides consistency to the many changes in their lives.

2

Directed by Robert Valley and Cara Speller

Pear Cider and Cigarettes

A lifelong-friendship diverges between Robert, a steady, aspiring writer, and Techno, who never grows out of his childhood love for thrills, which reaches a point of self-sabotage. This piece is driven by descriptive, textured voice-over covered by abstract imagery that builds effectively, despite being atypical of animated shorts.

3

Directed by Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj

Borrowed Time

A middle-aged cowboy is unable to cope with the memory of a childhood incident that left his father dead. While Borrowed Time’s inordinate amount of pathos might leave certain story elements wanting, the animation, pacing, and special attention to sound all build an incredibly tense experience.

4

Directed by Theodore Ushev

Blind Vaysha

A girl with different colored eyes sees two different versions of reality: one sees the future, the other the past. Surgery can ensure a singular vision, but which version of reality should she choose? This incredibly brainy idea as short-form often feels on the verge of brilliance, but always remains interesting, even if its full potential goes fully unrealized here.

5

Directed byAlan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

Piper

Pixar’s cute, to-the-point entry about a baby sandpiper learning to fend for itself works conceptually and visually, but is a cut below the ideas and wit of the other entries and Pixar’s own, more memorable work.

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