As we remind you every year, the key to winning the Oscar® pool is correctly selecting the winners in the Best Animated Short, Best Live Action Short and Best Short Documentary categories. Usually a careful examination of which of them deals with any of the following will yield the winners: AIDS, the Holocaust (also Rwanda, Cambodia), the American Civil Rights Movement, mental illness, the triumph of the disabled, raising 19 children. These topics are not as applicable to the Animated shorts, but some of the same principles apply — unless Aardman or Pixar are nominated, in which case see below.

Figuring out what the Animated short nominees were about used to be an arduous task of research but now, thanks to the internet, you can watch them all this minute! Thanks to Beat reader Dave Knott who collected these for us:

French Roast
Directed by Fabrice O. Joubert — a comedic French short involving a man, a cafe and a wallet. The Academy does not like the French or comedy, so we’d call this a long shot, thought Joubert has worked with Aardman.

Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty
Directed by Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell A Pixaresque old lady retells Sleeping Beauty in her special way. See above, but Academy loves Pixar.

The Lady And The Reaper
Directed by Javier Reco Garcia. Stylized but comedic take on mortality as an old woman ping pongs between life and death. Weighty themes of mortality beneath a light exterior? Oscar likes that. Call this a dark horse.

Directed by Nicolas Schmerkin. This one is kinda genius. A murder mystery unfolds in a world made from corporate logos. May be too existential for voters, but our pick.

Wallace and GRomit in A Matter Of Loaf And Death
Directed by Nick Park. Have you heard of these two new characters Wallace and Gromit? THEY ARE SO COOL! I’d love to see more of them. Okay all kidding aside, going up against Nick Park in this category is like taking on Shaun White in the halfpipe or Glenn Beck in the crying game. You can check this box on your ballet safe in the knowledge that you have scored a win.

Here’s a link to the nominated live-action short “Miracle Fish

BTW, as much as we who used to make a living making content demonize the internet it certainly has been a boon for short film makers. All these films deserve to be seen and more people can see them by clicking a link on their browser than ever could going to film festivals.


  1. “…or Glenn Beck in the crying game”

    Holy cats! Glenn Beck was in The Crying Game? I knew there was something about him that was…off.

    I’ll have to IMDB it to see if he’s credited as Glenn Beck, or Glynnis Beck. Whichever way, it explains a lot! :)

    And thanks for handicapping the animated shorts. Always hard to beat either Aardman or Pixar, although since Wallace and Grommit are basically superstars since the last time they won, maybe the Academy will go for more unknown animators/characters. But I haven’t seen any of them, so it will be a quick multiple guess on my part based on the 1.3 second clip they show of each nominee!

  2. I’m also picking Logorama.

    It was pure brilliant, though I agree with Heidi that it might go right over the heads of most Oscar voters. The use of 2500+ corporate logos to create a story akin to a typical Michael Bay Hollywood blockbuster is the type of satire and ironic bite that most might miss on first viewing. In short, (no pun intended) it might be too smart for the Oscars.

    I saw the new Wallace & Gromit, and while I totally love those characters and their stories I didn’t think “A Matter of Loaf and Death” was their strongest. That said, they have scored every time in this category, so if history is a judge and the voters go with familiarity then Nick Park could be a lock.

    But I’m hoping for Logorama.

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