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  • Jared Huizenga

Oscar Preview: Best Animated Short

In comparison to previous years, this year’s batch of Oscar-nominated animated shorts doesn’t seem to have a clear favorite. What it does have, however, is a deep pool of nominees with unique stories and animation styles that’s sure to satisfy, regardless of winner.


Dcera (Daughter)

From Czech director Daria Kashcheeva, ‘Dcera’ tells the story of a father and daughter, whose relationship is forever jeopardized by hurt feelings and the pair’s inability to overcome them.

★★★ of ★★★★★


Hair Love

Directors Matthew A. Cherry & Karen Rupert Toliver tell the story of a young African American girl who wants nothing more than the perfect hairdo for a special event. Unable to do it herself, she enlists the help of her father for the very first time.

★★★★ of ★★★★★



A hungry and orphaned kitten takes refuge in a cardboard box behind a sketchy looking building. Soon after, a young pit bull is chained up behind the building. The unlikely neighbors are forced to make the best of their situation. (Directors: Kathryn Hendrickson & Rosana Sullivan)

★★★★ of ★★★★★



An aging painter and his wife struggle with abnormalities that start cropping up in their day-to-day lives. What’s real? What isn’t? Can they figure it out before it’s too late and the world they’ve built together disappears completely? (Directors: Bruno Collet & Jean-François Le Corre)

★★★★ of ★★★★★



A young Chinese man (director Siqi Song) reflects back on life with his younger sister – their fights, their shenanigans – and how different his life might be if just one or two things turned out differently in the past.

★★★½ of ★★★★★


From top to bottom, this is a very strong category, with my two favorites being ‘Hair Love’ and ‘Memorable.’ While I think the latter is the stronger, more emotional story, its unorthodox animation style may not be fore everyone. Add that to an adorable, relatable story about a father and daughter, and I think it will be hard to overcome.

Will win: Hair Love

Should win: Memorable

Could win: Kitbull (never count out Pixar)

Locally, this collection of shorts (along with 4 others that weren’t nominated) is showing this week at Landmark Lagoon in Minneapolis.

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