2017 Oscars: Animated Short Contenders

Award season is slowly approaching for the Academy Awards. This year the Academy’s Short Films and Feature Animation branch has deemed eligible a record 70 animated shorts. There are ten shortlist animations followed by the final five nominations for the Oscars. Last year had 60 total animated shorts.  Previous years included 33 in 2010 to 58 in 2014. The Academy has yet to release the contenders but here is a list of contenders I believe that will make the cut for this years shortlist. The contenders are a varied lot shot in many styles, from the shortest, BAFTA-winner Ainslie Henderson’s “Stems” (Scotland), to the longest, Rob Valley’s “Pear Cider and Cigarettes” (Canada) at 35 minutes, just under the 40-minute mark. Disney has also been pushing two shorts this year, Alan Barillaro’s “Piper” and Leo Matsuda’s “Inner Workings.” Pixar has recently released a captivating independent short, “Borrowed Time.” I expect to Pixar to mean a strong contender for this year but I do hope a lot of the international films get recognized as well. The five nominees will be announced January 24, 2017.

1. Ainslie Henderson’s, “Stems” (Scotland)

Trailer for a new very short, short film about making puppet making make music. featuring the music of Poppy Ackroyd
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Made possible by Puppet Animation Scotland.

2. Rob Valley’s, “Pear Cider and Cigarettes” (Canada)

Drink and smoke…that’s what Techno Stypes really likes to do, and fight. He was in no condition to fight. He was sick, really sick. His disease had whittled him down to a shadow of his former self. He was crippled from a car accident when he was 17 but that’s not how he lost his big toe. He lost that in a motorbike accident, yeah he was broken alright… what the hell was he fighting for anyway and what was he still doing in China? His father had given me two clear instructions: 1. Get Techno to stop drinking long enough to receive the liver transplant, and 2. Get him back home to Vancouver. This was not going to be easy.

3. Georges Schwizgebel, “Erlking” (Switzerland)

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2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Animation

Here is a list of the few animations I believe that will make the top lists of Best Animation at the Oscars this year: Of course there is room for development.

Finding Dory (Pixar/Disney)
The film premiered at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on June 8, 2016, and was released in the United States on June 17, 2016. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $1 billion worldwide, becoming the second Pixar film to cross this mark following Toy Story 3 (2010). The film set numerous records, including the biggest animated opening of all time in North America, emerging as the biggest animated film of all time in the U.S. and has become the biggest Pixar film release in China.

One year after reuniting Nemo with his father, Marlin, Dory has become a helping hand in raising Nemo. One day during a lesson with Nemo’s class, Dory recalls through a childhood flashback that she has a family. She decides to look for them but finds her short-term memory loss to be an obstacle. The only thing she remembers is that they lived at the Jewel of Morro Bay.

Kimi no Na wa / Your name (Funimation)
Kimi no Na Wa has now surpassed Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo anime film, as well as James Cameron’s Avatar film. The only anime films to earn more are Ghibli and Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke . Kimi no Na Wa will be released by Funimation before 2017 to qualify for an Oscar. Your Name will run at Los Angeles’ Laemmle Music Hall for one week, Dec. 2 to 9, qualifying it for the 2016 Oscars. A film must run for a week in LA county in order to qualify. A wider theatrical release is planned for the first quarter of 2017.

The film, themed around “miracles and love,” follows the story of high school students Mitsuha and Taki. In dreams, they swap bodies. While a love story, Kimi no Na Wa features several more layers of complexity as the two protagonists search for the secret to their dream swapping. The story reportedly takes inspiration from Torikaebaya Monogatari, a 12th-century tale where two siblings display the mannerisms of the opposite sex.


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2016: Canterbury Anifest

Canterbury Anifest is an award-winning animation festival and the largest annual event of this kind in the South East. It’s a great community event that invites people of all ages to come and experience the magic of animation; allowing them to get involved with something out of the ordinary. With its range of workshops, masterclasses, talks and films, it has something for everyone. Anifest also caters for specialists and those in the industry, featuring national and international awards, and guest speakers from some of the biggest names in animation. The festival is from September 30 to October 2, 2016 in Canterbury, Kent.(United Kingdom)
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Founded in 2007 by Canterbury City Council, the festival has been programmed and delivered by a number of different teams over the years. Since the humble beginnings of that first festival, Anifest has grown dramatically, welcoming the likes of Aardman, Double Negative, DreamWorks, LAIKA, Pixar, and The Ray Harryhausen Foundation. We’ve also been fortunate to welcome individuals who have played leading roles in the production of films such as Avatar, Ghost in the Shell, and X-Men, to name but a few. In 2016, Canterbury Christ Church University took over ownership of the festival and handed the responsibility of delivering the next Anifest to a small team of media lecturers – who also happen to be huge animation enthusiasts.

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New Short Film With Finding Dory: Piper

This could be Disney Pixar’s cutest character creation yet. Meet Piper, the star of the animated short releasing theaterically with Finding Dory on June 17th. This new character is a bright eyed, little beach-dewlling bird named Piper. The short is about six minutes and was a inspiration from director Alan Barillaro. Alan Barillaro would run alongside the shore and notice birds in the ocean and on the beach. He wanted to portay a character that wants to venture out but might be to fearful of the adventures that lie ahead. The story is about a bird encountering a small hermit crab who teaches her the new way of the waves. It’s about a story of growing up and a child learning from a parent. The story took about 3 years to develop and with the same theme of talking animals on adventures such as with Finding Dory it was a perfect time to put the short on the big screen.
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43rd Annie Awards : Winners

Congratulations, to Inside Out for winning the  best animation category. The Boy and the World received best independent film.

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43rd Annie Awards Nominees

Honoring excellence in the field of animation, the 43rd Annual Annie Awards will be presented in 36 categories including animated feature, animated feature-independent, broadcast production(s), broadcast commercial, short subject, and student film, as well as the achievement and honorary awards
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The 43rd Annual Annie Awards will take place on February 6, 2016 at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles, California. You can watch the live showing here.

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Disney’s 2015 D23 Expo Movie Lineup

The movies announced at D23 this year are:

D23 EXPO 2015 - D23 EXPO, the ultimate Disney fan event, brings together all the past, present and future of Disney entertainment under one roof. Taking place August 14-16, this year marks the fourth D23 EXPO at the Anaheim Convention Center and promises to be the biggest and most spectacular yet. (Disney/Image Group LA)
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The Good DinosaurThanksgiving 
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Finding Dory (June 17,2016)
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