Animation Highlight: 91st Academy Awards Best Animated Short Nominees

Animation Highlight: 91st Academy Awards Best Animated Short Nominees

With the Academy Awards coming up I decided to watch all of the nominated animated short films as well as those that were submitted to the category and briefly review them all. I have provided a bit of information about each film as well as including the trailer for each. Which one did you enjoy the most?


Directed by Alison Snowden and David Fine


A group of five animals with emotional and psychological problems meets for therapy with compassionate canine Dr. Clement. Their group dynamic is rattled by a new member, Victor, a gorilla with anger management issues who believes that talking cannot change someone's innate tendencies. via OSCARS

This film had some pretty funny moments and cultural references that I enjoyed. The visual style and approach is a tv standard that we all are accustomed to. I also appreciated the dynamics between all of the characters and how the played off one another


Directed by Domee Shi and Becky Neiman-Cobb


A lonely Chinese mother suffering from empty nest syndrome is thrilled to become a parent again when one of her homemade dumplings comes to life. As Dumpling grows, however, the inevitable conflicts between parent and child arise and Mom must acknowledge that no one stays little forever. via OSCARS

Sweet story, standard Pixar tugging at your heart strings however it is not cheesy.


Directed by Louise Bagnall and Nuria González Blanco


Emily, an elderly lady with dementia, is increasingly alienated from the world around her. Whenever she sees her reflection, Emily wanders through memories of her childhood and young adulthood, and thereby attempts to use her past to reconnect with the present via OSCARS

Charming animation style and very sweet music. The characters are very appealing and the story was unexpected to me.


Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas


Bolstered by the unwavering support of her devoted father, a humble cobbler, Luna Chu grows up determined to become an astronaut. Although she is sometimes daunted by the obstacles she faces, Luna always shoots for the stars. via OSCARS

Read my animation highlight for One Small Step [here.]


Directed by Trevor Jimenez


After his parents split up, a young boy must adjust to living with his mother during the week and his father during the weekend. Their new routine is difficult on all of the family members, but is especially confusing to the youngster as his parents move on with their lives without each other. via OSCARS

I loved the illustrative animation style. I’ll say this time and time again, I am a fan of the unpolished approach as long as it is handled consistently and is not jarring. Overall I think this is an intriguing depiction of growing up with parents that are not together and what that is like for a child.

Image credits: National Film Board of Canada / Disney-Pixar / Cartoon Saloon / TAIKO Studios / Past Lives Productions

Here is a list of other shorts that were submitted to be nominees that I also watched.


Directed by Pierre Perifel, J.P. Sans, Liron Topaz


Set in the Australian outback, 'Bilby' follows the desert-dwelling marsupial Perry through the trials and tribulations of "parenthood" after he saves a defenseless chick from predators and inadvertently becomes her protector. via IMDB

I love the fur treatment of the characters. Visually it is an industry standard short. The story is sweet however it falls a bit flat.


Directed by William Salazar


A tale of a long-legged bird's journey of blissful joy, inescapable greed and the accidental discovery of the consequences when too much is not enough. via IMDB

Charming production awuality. Overall I thought the story was a bit predictable however that didn’t take away from the overall experience. I admire the simplicity in the camera and character staging.


Directed by: Lucrèce Andreae


On the windy and cloudy beach, Granny is praying, Mum is shouting, the sisters don't care, Lucas is alone. Grandpa was a weird guy, now he's dead. via IMDB

I found this film to be a little strange yet intriguing. It had a desaturated color palette which fit it’s narrative.


Directed by: Andrew Goldsmith, Bradley Slabe


A clumsy crochet dinosaur must unravel itself to save the love of its life. via IMDB

I love stop motion. This short film has very appealing characters and the story had an ending I was not prepared for.

I hope you enjoyed this list and the trailers for all of these short films. Some of them are available online and I’m pretty sure they all will be once the awards are over.

Side Steppin Practice

Side Steppin Practice

Valentine's Day Illustration Time-lapse

Valentine's Day Illustration Time-lapse