Academy's animated shorts list includes Mickey Mouse, ninja lovers and... George Takei?
The Academy has announced this year's short list of Best Animated Short contenders, and as always, it's a varied crop of tone, form and style.
The list was whittled down from the 56 pictures that originally qualified for consideration in the category, all of which were viewed by the Academy's Short Films and Feature Animated Branch Review Committee at screenings held in New York and Los Angeles. From this list, three to five nominees will be chosen and revealed along with the rest of this year's Oscar crop at the nominations announcement on Jan. 16, 2014.
Looking across the net at materials for a number of the contenders, it seems to me that "Feral," "Gloria Victoria" and "Hollow Land" could be formidable. And of course, Disney looks to be in the driver's seat once again with the 3D Mickey Mouse romp "Get a Horse!" But as much of a media blitz as that film (which will play in front of the studio's feature release "Frozen" in theaters), it doesn't quite match some of the creativity that appears to be evident in a few of these other players. So maybe it's not so cut-and-dry after all.
Of the films that I've seen, I quite like "Gloria Victoria" and "Requiem for Romance." Those and a few others are available in full online (and embedded below). Meanwhile, none other than George Takei makes an appearance in the crop as narrator of "The Missing Scarf," as Simon Pegg, Gillian Anderson and Timothy Spall contributed their voices to "Room on the Broom." Could that pedigree and recognition give them a boost? Maybe.
Oh, and "Subconscious Password" looks positively zany. It also might be one to watch for as it won the award for Best Short at this year's Annecy International Animated Film Festival. "Gloria Victoria," meanwhile, won the FIPRESCI Prize there, while "Feral" picked up a trio of prizes. "Room on the Broom" won an Annecy award, too.
Finally, it's worth noting that Pixar's "The Blue Umbrella" was left off the list, which is a rarity for the studio. The short, which played in front of "Monsters University," was little more than a tech test and pretty groan-inducing on a "story" level for many, so I guess it's not shocking. But still, a rarity.
Check out the full short list below along. We hunted down trailers for most of them but a handful -- "Gloria Victoria," "Hollow Land," "Requiem for Romance," -- are available in full. Have a look and tell us what you think will happen in this always unpredictable race.
"Feral," Daniel Sousa, director, and Dan Golden, music and sound design (Daniel Sousa)
"Get a Horse!" Lauren MacMullan, director, and Dorothy McKim, producer (Walt Disney Feature Animation)
"Gloria Victoria," Theodore Ushev, director (National Film Board of Canada)
"Hollow Land," Uri Kranot and Michelle Kranot, directors (Dansk Tegnefilm, Les Films de l’Arlequin and the National Film Board of Canada)
"The Missing Scarf," Eoin Duffy, director, and Jamie Hogan, producer (Belly Creative Inc.)
"Mr. Hublot," Laurent Witz, director, and Alexandre Espigares, co-director (Zeilt Productions)
"Possessions," Shuhei Morita, director (Sunrise Inc.)
"Requiem for Romance," Jonathan Ng, director (Kungfu Romance Productions Inc.)
"Room on the Broom," Max Lang and Jan Lachauer, directors (Magic Light Pictures)
"Subconscious Password," Chris Landreth, director (National Film Board of Canada with the participation of Seneca College Animation Arts Centre and Copperheart Entertainment)
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
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