Ranking the 2022 Oscar-Nominated Shorts Part 1
Every year, the Academy Awards nominates five films each in the three short categories, animated, live-action, and documentary. Traditionally, most of these films haven’t been seen by much of the general public, with the exception of the shorts that get shown before Pixar and Disney films, although none of those are nominated this year. Instead, the program is available, along with the other short nominees, in theaters between now and the Oscar ceremony.
In the animation category this year, the films come from all over the world and are in all sorts of animation styles. Other than Robin Robin, they’re not for children; three of the five have nudity.
A ranking of this year’s Oscar nominees in the Best Animated Short category. All of the films are around 15 minutes, with the exception of Robin Robin, which is twice as long.
Out of Russia, this film is a beauty-and-a-beast story of a boxer and a ballet dancer, both. Directed by Anton Dyakov, Boxballet is made in traditional 2D animation and doesn’t really do anything groundbreaking from an animation standpoint, but its storytelling is the best 0f the five films.
This one certainly wins on charm, and you haven’t been this enamored with a Russian boxer since Ivan Drago.
2. Robin Robin
The most crowd-pleasing of the five nominees, Robin Robin is a stop-motion short musical, possibly the first of its kind. The film comes from Aardman Animation (the Wallace and Gromit people) and is available to stream on Netflix. It even has some star power, with Gillian Anderson and Richard E. Grant among the voice cast, and its nearly 30-minute running time is twice that of most of its competitors.
Robin Robin, which can probably be called the favorite, is a sweet animal story that has a lot of the plot elements of the Pixar canon, even if it looks nothing like it. Directed by Dan Ojari and Mikey Please, the film follows a young robin who is raised by a family of mice.
3. The Windshield Wiper
This film out of Spain, directed by Alberto Mielgo, sports a unique look, as it follows a man pondering the meaning of love as he passes through various abstract images.
Mielgo worked on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and The Windshield Wiper will remind you of that in some ways, the way it plays with different visual signatures.
Another stop-motion effort, this time out of Chile, Hugo Covarrubias’ film follows the day-to-day life of a functionary in the Pinochet regime in that country. The character is based on a real-life Pinochet flunky Íngrid Olderöck.
We’re shown aspects of the protagonist’s day-to-day life, including torture, other war crimes, and also something unspeakable involving a dog (I’m not especially interested in discovering whether that part is based on real-life.) This is another animated film that’s not for the kids, and also doesn’t look like anything that would be.
5. Affairs of the Art
The one real dud of the five is Joanna Quinn’s film, made in traditional 2D animation. The story deals with Beryl, a character returning from previous films by the director, and her artistic ambitions.
The film can be watched in its entirety on The New Yorker’s YouTube channel.