The Documentary and Animated Short categories, like the Live Action short category, once again offer up the Academy’s best representation of great filmmaking. Each of the doc shorts take us into the lives of ordinary people who either survive extraordinary things or do extraordinary things. Here are mine in order of preference.
In terms of what will win, there is just no way to tell. Your own preference might not match what those who do decide to vote for these. Since many members skip these categories, it’s impossible to tell year after year which of them will get selected. But you could do worse than predicting Edith+Eddie for its universality.
In terms of the animated shorts, I’ll not offer individual reviews of them, just a wee bit of analysis. I think by far the most accomplished is Garden Party about a group of frogs hanging around what appears to be the scene of the crime. It is so captivating, so charming, so real looking, so unique and so funny that I hope it wins. I suspect it won’t. Probably Dear Basketball will win, since it’s a poem written by Kobe Bryant who will likely attend the Oscars. I’m guessing voters would like to see him go on stage to win an Oscar – but the short itself is very very short. It’s good, for sure. Garden Party is better. Lou is every bit the level of quality and storytelling you would expect from Pixar. You’ve likely seen it. It could win – and might very well win simply because there are so many Pixar members voting. Negative Space and Revolting Rhymes are also very very good. My choice is Garden Party as the best, but at the moment I do not know which film will win. Probably Dear Basketball.