The Pixar film “Day & Night,” a new Roadrunner/Wile E. Coyote short from Warner Bros. and Bill Plympton’s “The Cow Who Wanted to be a Hamburger” are among the 10 films included on the Academy’s shortlist for the Oscars’ Animated Short category, which was revealed on Tuesday.
The shortlist also included films from Great Britain ("The Gruffalo"), Australia ("The Lost Thing"), France ("Madagasdcar," "The Silence Beneath the Bark") and Germany ("Urs").
The shortlist is chosen by volunteer members of the Short Films and Feature Animation branch, who viewed and scored al 33 eligible shorts. To qualify, a film must receive an average score of at least 7.5 on a scale of 6-to-10. The final three to five nominees will be chosen after a second round of judging, which is open to all branch members.
The shortlist for the Live-Action Short category was also announced by the Academy.
The animation shortlist, and the slate of nominees, is generally made up of a mixture of big-budget productions from major companies like Pixar, and smaller works from lesser-known animators.
Pixar has won three Oscars in this category – but since the company won its first Animated Feature Oscar for “Finding Nemo” in 2003, it has yet to win another Animated Short Oscar despite four subsequent nominations.
"Day & Night" (above), which was shown theatrically with "Toy Story 3" and appears on that film's DVD and Blu-Ray, makes extensive use of 3D, though it was likely not viewed in that format by most voters.
Plympton, who financed his own qualifying run by attaching his hand-drawn short (right) to public screenings of his animated feature “Idiots and Angels,” has been nominated for the Animated Short Oscar twice before, for “Your Face” in 1987 and “Guard Dog” in 2004.
Animated shorts can qualify for consideration in two ways. Films that screen at least twice a day for three consecutive days in Los Angeles County become eligible, provided they meet certain technical requirements. Films can also qualify by winning a best-in-category award at a competitive film festival approved by the Academy. Currently, 65 festivals from 20 different countries are on the list.
Winners of the Student Academy Awards also qualify.
Cartoon Brew has the full list of the 33 films that qualified for the award.
The shortlisted films:
“The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger,” Bill Plympton, director (Bill Plympton Studio)
“Coyote Falls,” Matthew O’Callaghan, director and Sam Register, executive producer (Warner Bros. Animation Inc.)
“Day & Night,” Teddy Newton, director (Pixar Animation Studios)
“The Gruffalo,” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang, directors (Magic Light Pictures)
“Let’s Pollute,” Geefwee Boedoe, story-design-animation (Geefwee Boedoe)
“The Lost Thing,” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann, directors (Passion Pictures Australia)
“Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage" ("Madagascar, a Journey Diary"), Bastien Dubois, director (Sacrebleu Productions)
“Sensology,” Michel Gagne, director-producer (GAGNE International LLC)
“The Silence beneath the Bark,” Joanna Lurie, director (Lardux Films)
“Urs,” Moritz Mayerhofer, director (Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg)