The short film categories can be somewhat frustrating in terms of availability. ShortsTV generally puts out a limited theatrical run the week before the Oscars, but even then it can be difficult to find depending on your area. As such, I must do my annual obligatory apology for not seeing every film. Daughter is the missing link this year, but it is not favored to win. So I will talk around the issue.
As for the others: Hair Love is on YouTube, Kitbull is on Disney+ and YouTube, Sister is on director Siki Song’s website, and Memorable is on Vimeo.
- Hair Love
Will Win: Hair Love
Could Win: Kitbull
Dark Horse: Sister
Three of the shorts nominated in this category are all stop motion animation, so their styles share minor similarities. Where the impressiveness of stop motion can give an edge to a nominee in this category, the films this year need to individuate themselves in some other way. Of the three, Sister is the likely upset pick. It deals with the emotional weight of a political act in a way that could grab voters’ attention.
But I think this ultimately comes down to the two high profile, high visibility options. Part of my leaning on Hair Love is hope that it will win, but it does pose a good shot against the biggest studio player, Kitbull. Pixar generally fairs pretty well in this category, but their name alone is not enough to solidify a win. However, Kitbull shares some narrative similarities (i.e. cute animals) with Pixar’s previous winners Piper and Feast.
On the other hand, there is also an interesting trend in which Pixar rarely wins this category in back-to-back years. They won the category last year with Bao, and this year they have fierce competition in Hair Love. So perhaps the equation is against Pixar’s favor this year.
As always, thanks for reading!
Like CineFiles on Facebook for updates on new articles and reviews
Check out my page on Letterboxd
—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)