Best Animated Short has long been a category overlooked by audiences — maybe they’re too experimental, too niche, too idiosyncratic. But perhaps the largest reason they’re overlooked is because no one has seen them. Apart from Pixar and Disney animated shorts, which reach the highest audiences thanks to their placement in front of theatrical releases, Oscar-nominated animated shorts often suffer from engagement scarcity, nearly always kept offline even after the shortlist is announced. This was an exclusive strategy that hurt the directors, but also hurt the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which only alienates its audiences by presenting awards to films no one had seen.
But this year, we’re seeing a dramatic shift for the first time. This year, all the shorts on the Oscar animated shorts 2019 shortlist are available online for everyone to see. The filmmakers and studios have each released their films online, allowing audiences to finally see what the Academy is voting for — and maybe get a more accurate Oscar pool going this year.
Check out all the films (via CartoonBrew) below the jump.
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An underwater fantasy epic. A slice-of-life drama about a kid suffering from an egg allergy. An invisible man who becomes an unlikely hero. All three of these stories are segments from Studio Ponoc‘s Modest Heroes, an anthology film following up the animation studio’s highly anticipated inaugural feature film, Mary and the Witch’s Flower.
Modest Heroes comes to the U.S. (in theaters January 10 and January 12) amidst a sea of buzz, much like last year’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower, an enchanting and serene fantasy adventure directed by the director of The Secret World of Arrietty. Why so much buzz around a rookie animation studio? Because it’s made up of chiefly Studio Ghibli alumni.
It’s no surprise that Studio Ponoc is being informally positioned as the successor to Studio Ghibli in the wake of legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki‘s retirement (and subsequent return). The fledgling studio was founded by Yoshiaki Nishimura, the Oscar-nominated producer behind Isao Takahata’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya, and is staffed by the 150 Ghibli employees who were left without a workplace after Ghibli’s film division shuttered in 2014. But though many rising companies would shrink at the prospect of being compared to one of the greatest animation studios to ever exist, Nishimura is embracing it.
“At Studio Ponoc it was really our intention to carry on the Ghibli spirit,” Nishimura told /Film in an interview via translator. “That was our biggest personal challenge to meet that high bar.”
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Are you ready to cry? And if you’ve already seen Pixar’s heartwarming story of parental connection, are you ready to cry again? Bao, Pixar‘s acclaimed animated short that made history for being directed by the studio’s first female shorts director, is now available watch online — for one week only. So if you’re craving a good cry, or maybe just want to appreciate your parents more, watch Bao now.
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The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part may not be coming to theaters until next year, but Warner Bros. has an early Christmas present for us in the form of a new holiday short. The year 2018 and Bricksburg alike may be fiery hellscapes right now, but that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating the holidays. So get in the mood for some Christmas cheer with Emmet’s Holiday Party: A LEGO Movie Short.
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Long before he directed the best movie in the Star Wars saga, Rian Johnson was a student at Star Wars creator George Lucas’s old stomping grounds: the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.
In the mid-90s, Johnson made a short film called Evil Golf Ball From Hell!!!, and starting this Friday, that movie is coming to Gunpowder & Sky’s science fiction label DUST for a limited time. Learn more about the short and how you can see it below. Read More »
Both Jordan Vogt-Roberts and Nick Robinson have come a long way since their breakout hit The Kings of Summer, but the director and star are reuniting again for a short film. Joining Robinson is Kong: Skull Island actor Jason Mitchell and the short is based on the video game Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. Directed by Vogt-Robert, the short will remind you of the joys of playing the multiplayer shooter game that dominated 2017.
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Take a deep whiff of that crisp almost-December air. Are you as excited as I am? With good tidings and thoughts of Saint Nick comes my favorite cinematic obsession – CHRISTMAS HORROR MOVIES! All that “Joyeux Noël” spirit just with sharpened candy cane daggers, bomb-rigged presents, and even professional wrestler Bill Goldberg as a stark-raving-mad killer Santa. You can keep your white Christmases; I’ll take mine blood red.
This year, Glass Eye Pix and curator Beck Underwood have reanimated their “Creepy Christmas Film Festival” after a ten-year dormancy. The premise is simple. Underwood gathered a collective of ambitious genre filmmakers and asked them to create their own Christmas Horror themed short films. Every day until Christmas Day – we’re talking December 1st to 25th – a new Christmas horror short will premiere online as part of a digital advent calendar withholding cheery chaos (which you can find here). Bookmark it, check back during lunch or each morning or before bedtime, unwrap a new gift. Read More »
Earlier this week, we learned about a new animated endeavor called Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures that was specifically geared towards kids in an effort to introduce the classic themes, pivotal moments, and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga to the next generation of fans. Now the first animated shorts from the newly founded StarWarsKids.com have arrived online, and the animation is stylish and cool, adding some real flare to key Star Wars moments that we’re all familiar with.
Watch some of the Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures shorts below. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Before Mickey Mouse, there was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the very first major animated character created by Walt Disney who starred in as many as 27 short films. But misfortune struck the long-eared anthropomorphic animal in 1928 when Disney lost the rights to the character to a rival studio, eventually bringing about the creation of Mickey Mouse (rocking a very similar design but belonging wholly to Disney). Things went from bad to worse for poor Oswald, whose many short films ended up becoming lost in time. Only 19 of the original Oswald short films survived, but miraculously, a lost Disney cartoon starring Oswald has resurfaced in Japan 70 years later.
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If you want to partake of horror movie thrills this Halloween week, but are pressed for time, I’m here to help. Horror short films have become abundant online in recent years, many of which appear more professionally made than some big budget Hollywood movies. With that in mind, big studios frequently find themselves turning to horror short filmmakers to adapt their shorts into feature films. But few expanded features ever capture the efficiency of the original short films.
Below, I’ve gathered 10 scary short films you can watch right now to get yourself in the Halloween spirit. Some are very short – one only runs a minute long! And some are a bit longer – the longest being a little over 16 minutes. Overall, you should have enough time in your busy schedule to sit back and let these short films give you the creeps.
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