Academy Award-nominated short films analysis

Promotional image for 'Revolting Rhymes'

Promotional image for ‘Revolting Rhymes’

Animated and live-action shorts in the running this year

By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist


Though the Academy Awards aired on Sunday night, it’s worth discussing the films that made it to the final round. Here is my analysis of the short films that were nominated in the 2018 Oscars.

The short films up for Best Animated Short Film this year were Dear Basketball, Negative Space, Lou, Revolting Rhymes, and Garden Party.

Dear Basketball is made by Kobe Bryant’s studio Kobe Studios. The film shows Bryant writing a letter about his life, and it looks like something that you might see during the pre-show of an NBA game.

Negative Space is about a man reflecting on his father who passed away. It ends mid-scene, which might cause you to say, “That was it?”

Lou was shown in theatres before Cars 3. It features a bully stealing other kids’ stuff, and a playground creature trying to thwart him. The film shows what makes a bully a bully: By being bullied himself.

Revolting Rhymes is actually a special that aired on PBS last year and, because of nomination rules, had only the first half nominated for an Oscar. Based on a book by Roald Dahl, a wolf (Dominic West) tells a woman the actual story of Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood. Like the film Fantastic Mr. Fox, the animals in it look like humans.

Garden Party is a creepy film about a couple of frogs. As you watch it, you may be trying to figure out where the frogs are, and spoiler: You realize that they are in the mansion of a dead mafia leader.

The nominees for Best Live Action Short Film are DeKalb Elementary, The Silent Child, My Nephew Emmett, The Eleven O’Clock, and Watu WoteAll of Us.

DeKalb Elementary depicts what happened during an actual shooting at an elementary school in Atlanta and shows some common signs of what can lead to a shooting.

The Silent Child is about a tutor finding out that a girl who needed speech therapy can talk through sign language. The subtitles make this short film accessible for everyone.

My Nephew Emmett is based on the true story of an African American man’s nephew who was murdered by a white man after the nephew whistled at the man’s daughter.

The Eleven O’Clock is about a psychiatrist seeing a patient who has an illness that makes him think he is a psychiatrist, and it plays with your mind as you try to figure out who the real doctor actually is.

Watu Wote/All of Us is about a bus being held hostage by jihadist group Al-Shabaab.

By the time you are reading this, two of these short films will have won Academy Awards. If my predictions are correct, Revolting Rhymes won Best Animated Short Film because it is another great adaptation of a Roald Dahl book, and The Eleven O’Clock won Best Live Action Short Film because I simply have not seen a short film like this before.


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