'Pinocchio', 'Marcel', 'My Year of Dicks' in the Oscar Animation Nominations 2023

'Pinocchio', 'Marcel', 'My Year of Dicks' in the Oscar Animation Nominations 2023

Oscar-nominated animation shorts 2023

It is a battle of stop-motion animation vs. 3D computer animation in the Best Animation Feature category of the 95th Academy Awards. Both Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pinocchio' and Dean Fleischer Camp's 'Marcel the Shell with Shoes On' got nominated for an Academy Award in the category.

The two indie features (but very different from each other) will have to compete with DreamWorks' 'Puss In Boots: The Last Wish',  Pixar's 'Turning Red', and Chris Williams' other Netflix production 'The Sea Beast'.

Both Henry Selick's 'Wendell & Wild' and Nora Twomey's 2D 'My Father's Dragon' failed to secure a place in the 5 final nominees.

If 'Pinocchio' (as the most likable candidate here) wins at the Academy Awards, it would be the first stop-motion feature film to have won in this category since the 2005 Aardman's 'Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Wererabbit' - in a category dominated by Disney/Pixar 3D computer animation.

Guillermo Del Toro has won an Academy Award before (with the live-action 'The Shape of Water'). But still 'Pinocchio' is a big group effort that has multiply been acclaimed (and viewed respectively via its Netflix audience).

The 5 nominees for Best Animation Feature:

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (Netflix)
Marcel the Shell With Shoes On (A24)
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Universal Pictures)
The Sea Beast
Turning Red (Walt Disney)

In the short animation category (as always) more risqué choices were left out. Many capable women (and men) like Lizzy Hobbs,  Špela Čadež, Sander Joon did not secure the final nominee slot.

The 5 films selected are a mix of the family-friendly and the unexpected. We are glad to see the hilarious (and warm) 'My Year of Dicks' by  Sara Gunnarsdóttir, as well as the uneasy family bonding in the Portuguese film 'Ice Merchants' by João Gonzalez. Canadians Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby have secured their third Oscar nomination with 'The Flying Sailor' (after 'When the Day Breaks' and 'Wild Life').

A more conventional family film from the UK, 'The Boy, the Mol, the Fox and the Horse' by Peter Baynton and Charlie Mackesy is nominated; the working-conditions parody 'An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It by Lachlan Pendragon is the only stop-motion film competing in the category.

The 5 nominees for Best Animation Short:

An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It, Lachlan Pendragon
Synopsis: A young office worker uncovers the flaws in his stop-motion universe with the help of a mysterious talking ostrich. Synopsis: Every day, a father and his son jump with a parachute from their vertiginous cold house, attached to a cliff, to go to the village on the ground, far away where they sell the ice they produce daily.

 Ice Merchants, João Gonzalez
Synopsis: Every day, a father and his son jump with a parachute from their vertiginous cold house, attached to a cliff, to go to the village on the ground, far away where they sell the ice they produce daily.

My Year of Dicks,  Sara Gunnarsdóttir
Synopsis: Pam tries very hard to lose her virginity and always searches for "the one". She's not alone, her best friends are with her.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse,  Peter Baynton & Charlie Mackesy
Synopsis: Follows a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse, as they create an unexpected friendship and travel together in the boy's search for home.

 The Flying Sailor, Amanda Forbis & Wendy Tilby
Synopsis: Two ships collide in a harbour, an explosion shatters a city, and a sailor is blasted skyward. With ears ringing, blood pulsing and guts heaving, he soars high above the mayhem and towards the great unknown

In the absence of any US studio-backed-up animation effort, all predictions in this category are quite open

Check Also: Our ranking of the 15 Oscar-shortlisted animation shorts

The 95th Academy Awards ceremony will take place on 12 March 2023.

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Zippy Frames is the premier online animation journal promoting European and Independent Animation animation since 2011

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