The man with the most Oscars may be Walt Disney (22), who performed the voice of Mickey Mouse, but no animated short featuring this character has ever won an Academy Award. This year, he contends for the ninth time with the retro “Get a Horse” and is heavily favored to finally prevail according to our Experts, Editors, Top 24 Users and All Users with leading odds for Best Animated Short.
His eight losses in this race began with the inaugural one in 1932 when “Mickey’s Orphans” was bested by another Disney toon, “Flowers and Trees.” His unlucky seven other bids were: Building a Building” (1933), “Brave Little Tailor” (1938), “The Pointer” (1939), “Squatter’s Rights” (1946), “Mickey and the Seal” (1948), “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” (1983) and “Runaway Brain” (1995). Mickey did appear in the Oscar-winning “Lend a Paw” in 1941, but that toon was centered on his dog, Pluto.
Below, a closer look at Mickey’s entry as well as the other films in contention.
“Get a Horse”
This short is about Mickey and his friends enjoying a wagon ride. That is until Peg-Leg Pete shows up and attempts to ruin everyone’s good time. When he does Mickey and his friends literally break the fourth wall and the film goes from old-timey black and white into colored CGI madness.
The short by first time nominees Lauren MacMullen and Dorothy McKim currently has the backing of 19 experts and all six of our editors as well as over 80% of our users at Gold Derby; this support gives the film leading odds of 1/5.
Pros: The transformation between the two worlds of animation is dazzling to watch. While voters got sent screeners of all the nominees, this one is the most likely to have been seen already as it was shown in theaters with “Frozen.”
Cons: While it’s certainly fun to watch, it lacks the emotional heart we have seen in recent winners such as “Paperman” and “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.”
This short from first-time nominees Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares centers on an obsessive compulsive man who lives an isolated life until his life and organization abilities are turned upside down with the arrival of a rescued dog.
It has the backing of two of our experts and six percent of our users which translates into odds of 12/1.
Pros: It certainly packs an emotional punch as the title character comes to have a dog living in his apartment. The designs for the universe this short takes place in and the characters that inhabit it are also wildly imaginative.
Cons: The purpose of the title character’s obsessive nature might also be a mystery to those who see it.
“Room on the Broom“
This combination of CGI characters and actual sets tells the story of a generous witch who allows a dog, a bird and a frog to join her on her broom, much to the dismay of the witch’s cat. The film is based on the bestselling children’s book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. It stars several celebrities including Emmy winner Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files,” 1997), Simon Pegg and Sally Hawkins, a nominee this year for Best Supporting Actress (“Blue Jasmine”). It marks the first nomination for Jan Lachauer and the second for Max Lang who contended in this category for “The Gruffalo” in 2010.
With the backing of seven percent of users, it has odds of 25/1.
Pros: This one could pull off an upset. It has a great heart to it that might make it irresistible.The film aired on both the BBC and in the US on PBS Kids Sprout.
Cons: It doesn’t have the sentimental flavor of “Get a Horse.”
This 3D animated short rom first-time nominees Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden is about a wild boy who is found by a hunter and brought back to civilized society. Once there, the boy attempts to use what he learned in the wilderness to interact with others.
This entry has the backing of one expert and four percent of users and odds of 25/1.
Pros: The film is beautifully animated and does a magnificent job of telling this story without any dialogue.
Cons: The film’s subject material might be a bit hard to digest.
In this short by rookie nominee Shuhei Morita, a traveler seeks shelter in a rundown shrine during a storm but comes to find that the objects in the shrine come to life and take him to a whole different dimension.
With the backing of only one percent of our site’s users, it has odds of 100/1.
Pros: The film is beautifully animated and wildly imaginative with its subject matter. It takes the traditional anime style from Japan and adds amazing 3D layers to it.
Cons: The anime style may turn some voters off if they’re not familiar with it.
What do you think is going to win Best Animated Short? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Come back and change your predictions as often as you like till Oscar night, March 2.