And the best Animated Short is . . .

The ASIFA-Hollywood Annie Awards are going on as I write this (yeah, I missed it this year for the first time in a long time), and I’ve been struck by the lack of consensus among the various film organizations that give awards for animated features and short films. This is especially true in the short animated film category:

ASIFA-Hollywood nominees for Best Animated Short include the following five films:
Everything Will Be OK – Don Hertzfeldt, Bitter Films
How to Hook Up Your Home Theater – Walt Disney Feature Animation
Shorty McShorts’ Shorts “Mascot Prep” – Walt Disney TV Animation
The Chestnut Tree – Picnic Pictures
Your Friend the Rat – Pixar

This Sunday, Feb. 10th, the BAFTA awards will be held. For the shorts they’ve nominated:
The Pearce Sisters – Jo Allen/Luis Cook
Head Over Heels – Osbert Parker/Fiona Pitkin/Ian Gouldstone
The Crumblegiant – Pearse Moore/John McCloskey

Then it’s time for the Oscars, where the Academy has these animated shorts in the running:
I Met the Walrus – Josh Raskin
Even Pigeons Go To Heaven – Samuel Tourneux/Simon Vanesse
Madam Tutli Putli – Chris Lavis/Maciek Szczerbowski
My Love (Moya lyubov) – Aleksandr Petrov
Prokofiev’s Peter & the Wolf – Suzie Templeton/Hugh Welchman

That’s 13 different slots, and 13 different shorts. Not a single one of these shorts is being considered for two, much less all three, of these awards. That amazes me. I suppose there may be some differences in the qualifying rules among the organizations, but how can there not be a single bit of overlap? I still have to find and watch most of them before I can pick a favorite.

Things are a little more clear in the feature category, but not a whole lot more. The BAFTA nominations for the Best Animated Feature are:
Ratatouille – Pixar
Shrek The Third – DreamWorks
The Simpsons Movie – Fox

The ASIFA nominees for best feature are:
Bee Movie – DreamWorks
Persepolis – Sony Pictures Classics
Surf’s Up – Sony Pictures Animation
The Simpsons Movie

And the Oscars have these for Best Animated Feature:
Surf’s Up

Only Ratatouille is on all three lists, and it’s got to be the favorite for all three. I’m a touch disappointed that Tekkonkinkreet didn’t get on any of those lists.

What’s the lack of consensus mean? I don’t really know, but I think it’s good. There’s sufficient variety in animated films that there’s no easy consensus. It’s nice that such a large number of shorts and features are getting some recognition.

2 Responses to “And the best Animated Short is . . .”

  1. Juniper Says:

    I think all the organizations have different rules and qualifying periods for shorts and therefore may be drawing from different pools?

    BTW here’s a really good article about how shady the Annie Awards are with their award-granting. The best short in that category this year really got the shaft and I’m surprised there’s not more outrage about it:

  2. Kevin Says:

    You might be right about the differences in the rules for the various awards, but I’d be surprised if those rules were so completely different as to create three distinct candidate pools.

    Yeah, I read about the Annie’s snafu. It sucks, but I have to say, what ASIFA-Hollywood is now doing is a huge step forward. In the past, virtually everyone voted without seeing most of the nominees in most categories. There was just no way to see them, unless you were one of about 30 people who would go to both special ASIFA screenings/gatherings where everything like the shorts and storyboards and visual development work was shown. The Annies are still more a popularity contest than a real award, but it’s a lot better than it was. And really, is any entertainment award really more than a popularity contest?

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The animation and animation-related musings of Kevin Koch