×

Shorts list getting longer

Thirty-nine pix entered for this year's race

Despite concerns over the past decade about the health and future of the animated short subject category, Oscar’s shorts list is in its best health in years.

Thirty-nine animated shorts were entered for this year’s Oscar race and 37 were accepted, according to Jon Bloom, chair of the Academy’s short films and feature animation branch executive committee. That’s up 10 over last year, and six above 2002’s tally.

“We’re broadening our reach to festivals,” Bloom says. “That helps publicize the Academy competition, and maybe that’s helping bolster our numbers a little bit.”

Unlike the feature animation category, for which entries must have a qualifying run in Los Angeles, animated shorts can also hit the festival circuit in lieu of a three-day screening schedule.

“We have about 60 of the top worldwide festivals for shorts, or full festivals that honor shorts like Sundance and Cannes, and the winners of those are also eligible for Oscar consideration,” Bloom says.

Popular on Variety

During the heyday of the seven-minute cartoon, the animated shorts category was dominated by Hollywood product. But starting in the late 1960s, it became a far more international concern.

This year’s entries once again ran the global gamut. They include everything from Dutch animator Hisko Hulsing’s “Seventeen” to Warner Bros.’ homegrown “Daffy Duck for President,” a classically animated short based on the 1997 book by the late cartoon master Chuck Jones.

The committee has selected 10 semifinalists, though committee members and AMPAS brass are tightlipped as to what the titles are.

These 10 will be screened in January for review committee members in L.A., San Francisco and New York, and the final five nominees will be selected.

More Film

  • Film Review: 'Never Rarely Sometimes Always'

    'Never Rarely Sometimes Always': Film Review

    The basic plot of “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is easy enough to describe. A 17-year-old girl named Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) winds up pregnant in a small Pennsylvania town. Prevented from seeking an abortion by the state’s parental consent laws, she takes off for New York City with her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder), where what they’d [...]

  • Kathy Valentine, Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin,

    The Go-Go's on Sundance Doc: Neither 'America's Sweethearts' Nor 'Drug-Crazed Demons'

    Some people might come to a Go-Go’s documentary wanting a purely fun, bubbly experience, based on the effervescence the group projected at its breakthrough peak in the early ’80s. Others might want a sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll tell-all, if they’re aware of the tensions and bad habits that led the all-female band to [...]

  • 'The Dissident' Review: Powerful Look at

    'The Dissident': Film Review

    It’s become common, if not cliché, for a critic reviewing a documentary about a turbulent real-world event to write something like, “It exerts the power of a true-life thriller!” Well, make no mistake: “The Dissident” does. Directed by Bryan Fogel, who in 2017 made the Oscar-winning “Icarus” (about the Russian doping of Olympic athletes), the [...]

  • Cathy Yan, Chris Messina, Mary Elizabeth

    Margot Robbie, 'Birds of Prey' Co-Stars Justify the Movie’s R-Rating, Violence and Cussing

    Following the success of “Joker” last year, DC Films is continuing its gritty streak with “Birds of Prey,” a slam-bang adventure about Harley Quinn. Though DC Film’s 2016 tentpole “Suicide Squad” took a critical bashing at the time, filmgoers quickly took a liking to Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn. “Birds of Prey” gives the [...]

  • Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) has

    Film News Roundup: 'The Irishman,' 'Marriage Story' Added to Criterion Collection

    In today’s film news roundup, four Netflix titles have been added to the Criterion Collection, Slamdance and ArcLight are partnering, Steven Grayhm is starring in and directing a paranormal drama, and The Mammoth Film Festival sets its lineup. CRITERION COLLECTION Four Netflix titles will be released on Blu-ray through the Criterion Collection — Martin Scorsese’s [...]

  • Bong Joon Ho 'Parasite' Director

    Listen: Who Will Take Home the Oscars for Best Director and Picture?

    The Oscars are just two weeks away, so it’s time to start making final predictions about who is going to win. On this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, I invited the magazine’s deputy awards and features editor (and my “Pick of the Week” co-host) Jenelle Riley onto the show [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content