This year a record 69 animated short films vied for an Oscar nomination, with ten making the shortlist, and five final nominations.
For six years, Disney or Pixar has been nominated in the category every year, and won twice (“Paperman” and “Feast”). This year Pixar’s “Piper,” from Alan Barillaro (“WALL-E,” “Brave,” “Finding Nemo”), could mark a Pixar win for the first time since Ralph Eggleston’s “For the Birds” 15 years ago. That would give Pixar four Oscars (alongside Geri’s Game” and “Tin Toy”).
However, “Piper” faces stiff competition, particularly from Theodore Ushev’s much darker “Blind Vaysha” from the National Film Board of Canada, which has earned a dozen Oscars. The other three contenders range from Robert Valley’s bleak “Pear Cider and Cigarettes” (Vimeo’s first Oscar nom), the melancholy Western, “Borrowed Time” (made independently by Pixar’s Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj), and the introspective “Pearl” from Oscar winner Patrick Osborne (Disney’s “Feast”), the first VR nominee from Google Spotlight Stories.
Contenders (in order of likelihood to win)
1. “Piper,” Alan Barillaro, director, and Marc Sondheimer, producer (Pixar Animation Studios)
2. “Pearl,” Patrick Osborne, director (Google Spotlight Stories/Evil Eye Pictures)
3. “Pear Cider and Cigarettes,” Robert Valley, director, and Cara Speller, producer (Massive Swerve Studios and Passion Pictures Animation)
4. “Blind Vaysha,” Theodore Ushev, director (National Film Board of Canada)
5. “Borrowed Time,” Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj, directors (Quorum Films)