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Previewing Oscar’s Animated Shorts

It’s no longer a mystery category: footage from all of the shortlisted films is available here.

The problem with the Oscar short film categories used to be that it was impossible to see most of the films, so they were just titles on a piece of paper, tie-breakers in Oscar pools that often as not simply revealed who made the best guesses.

Now it’s a lot easier to find information, and even see the films.  All of the 10 films on the newly-announced shortlist for animated shorts, for example, are available online in one form or another.

So here’s a look at what’s in the running for the five slots.  At this ridiculously early stage, based on trailers and hunches and the Academy’s tastes over the past five years (in which emotion usually trumps everything else), I’m taking "The Kinematograph" for the win.

Thanks to Rope of Silicon for coming up with a couple that I was missing.

“The Cat Piano”
Directors: Eddie White and Ari Gibson
Production company: The People’s Republic of Animation
Country: Australia
Length: 8 minutes
Misc: Narrated by Nick Cave
Website
Entire film:

 

 

“French Roast”
Director: Fabrice O. Joubert
Production company: Pumpkin Factory/Bibo Films
Length: 8 minutes
Website 
Trailer:

 

 

“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty”
Director: Nicky Phelan
Producer: Darragh O’Connell
Production company: Brown Bag Films
Country: Ireland
Length: 6 minutes
Website
Excerpt:

 

 

“The Kinematograph”
Director/producer: Tomek Baginski
Production company: Platige Image
Country: Poland
Length: 12 minutes
Website
Trailer:

 

 

“The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)”
Director: Javier Recio Gracia
Production companies: Kandor Graphics and Green Moon
Country: Spain
Length: 8 minutes
Misc: Antonio Banderas is one of the producers
Website
Trailer:

 

 

“Logorama”
Producer: Nicolas Schmerkin
Production company: Autour de Minuit
Country: France
Length: 18 minutes
Misc: Created entirely from familiar logos; features killer Ronald McDonald pursued by Michelin Men police.
Production company website
Trailer: 

 

“A Matter of Loaf and Death”
Director: Nick Park
Production company: Aardman Animations Ltd.
Country: UK
Length: 30 minutes
Website
Trailer:

 

 

“Partly Cloudy”
Director: Peter Sohn
Production company: Pixar Animation Studios
Country: USA
Length: 6 minutes
Misc: It’s on the "Up" DVD, and available on iTunes for $1.99
Website
Short:

 

“Runaway”
Director: Cordell Barker
Production company: National Film Board of Canada
Country: Canada
Length: 9 minutes
Teaser:

 

 

“Variete”
Director: Roelof van den Bergh
Production company: il Luster Productions
Country: the Netherlands
Length: 5 minutes
Website
Short clip: