Updated February 8: Leading the Oscar nominees is the first stop-motion musical, “Robin Robin,” from the legendary Aardman (going for its fourth short win), partnered with Netflix, which tries for its second consecutive win. The other four in this eclectic, international field include “Affairs of the Art (Canada/U.K.), “Bestia” (Chile), “Boxballet” (Russia), and “The Windshield Wiper” (U.S./Spain).
“Robin Robin” is a 30-minute holiday short about how our differences make us stronger, created and directed by Dan Ojari and Mikey Please (BAFTA winner for “The Eagleman Stag”). It’s surely the favorite, as the Academy obviously adores Aardman. It’s about a charmingly awkward bird with an identity crisis, who is adopted into a loving family of burglar mice, which plans an ambitious heist to bag an entire sandwich.
“The Windshield Wiper,” directed by Alberto Mielgo (the Emmy-winning short, “The Witness,” from “Love, Death & Robots”), concerns a middle-aged man who sits in a cafe and ponders the meaning of love. It experimentally combines CG characters with digitally painted backgrounds, which Mielgo started conceiving while working on the Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”
“Affairs of the Art” (NFB), from director Joanna Quinn (nominated for “Famous Fred”) continues her acclaimed series of 2D shorts about factory worker Beryl, who’s obsessed with drawing, and how it’s impacted the family’s DNA.
“Bestia” is a macabre stop-motion short by Hugo Covarrubias, inspired by real events in fascist Chile in the ’70s. It’s about a secret police agent in the military dictatorship, who trains dogs to torture prisoners of war. The short explores her confused mindscape via the relationship with her dog, her body, her fears, and frustrations.
“Boxballet” (from director Anton Dyakov) is an offbeat, 2D-animated romance between a delicate ballerina named Olya and a rough boxer Evgeny. The seemingly irreconcilable differences between their worlds and philosophies gives way to a hope for humanity.
Below are the nominees ranked in order of likelihood to win:
“The Windshield Wiper”
“Affairs of the Art”
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