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2024 Oscars: Best Animated Short Predictions

Nominations voting is from January 11–16, 2024, with official Oscar nominations announced on January 23, 2024. Final voting is February 22–27, 2024. And finally, the 96th Oscars telecast will be broadcast on Sunday, March 10, and air live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT. We update predictions throughout awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all our 2024 Oscar picks.

The State of the Race

The animated short Oscar nominees are all acclaimed indies that explore such heady themes as the Holocaust, war, gender restrictions, incest, and mortality. They hail from the U.S., France, Israel, and Iran and embrace CG, 2D, stop-motion, and mixed media.

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The field is led by the timely “War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko” (U.S., CG), about a chess game played across enemy lines of an alternative World War I, with the help of a heroic carrier pigeon. It was specifically inspired by John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s popular protest song, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” and was executive produced by Yoko and Sean Ono Lennon and directed by Pixar alum Dave Mullins (“Lou”) through his L.A.-based ElectroLeague real-time animation studio. Peter Jackson partnered with his Wētā FX Limited, which did the animation primarily with the Unreal game engine, with financial support from Epic Games. The 2D look was inspired by illustrators Norman Rockwell and J.C. Leyendecker and contains strong graphic outlines.

“Letter to a Pig” (France, Israel, 2D/live action), from Tal Kantor and winner of the Animation Is Film Festival Grand Prize, uses heavy line drawings to explore a Holocaust survivor who tells a classroom about the thank you letter he wrote to the pig that saved his life, and the dark vision it unleashes in a girl. The technique, combined with the collective outrage, is very compelling.

“Pachyderme” (France, CG/2D), directed by Stephanié Clement, is a darkly poetic short with the look of a fairy tale book about a young girl who feels trapped and afraid of spending the holidays with her grandparents in the countryside, where it snows at the height of summer, and where she must confront the nightmare of monstrous behavior. This is, arguably, the most beautiful and unsettling short.

“Ninety-Five Senses” (U.S., 2D), directed by Jared Hess (“Minecraft,” “Napoleon Dynamite”) and Jerusha Hess, is an ode to the body’s five senses, delivered by an elderly man (Tim Blake Nelson), who has spent most of his life in prison and is about to be executed for a heinous crime. Now he ponders fond memories devoted to each sense, conveyed through a different hand-drawn style.

“Our Uniform” (Iran, stop-motion/2D), from Yegane Moghaddam, is about clothing conventions imposed on young Iranian girls and uses projections on real fabric as an evocative technique. The protagonist unfolds her school memories through the wrinkles of her old uniform. This provides Moghaddam the opportunity to explore how our relationship to clothes changes as we get older, which she expresses through different patterns or silhouettes.

Nominees are listed below in order of likelihood they will win.

Contenders

“War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko” (Dave Mullins and Brad Booker)
“Letter to a Pig” (Tal Kantor and Amit R. Gicelter)
“Pachyderme” (Stéphanie Clément and Marc Rius)
“Ninety-Five Senses” (Jared Hess and Jerusha Hess
“Our Uniform” (Yegane Moghaddam)

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