Last year, Disney was widely expected to win Best Animated Short for “Get a Horse” but lost to “Mr. Hublot.” That would have been a bookend to its 2012 prize for “Paperman,” the studio’s first win in 43 years in a category it once owned. After taking 10 of the first 11 races beginning in 1932, it won just three more times with “Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom” (1953), “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day” (1968) and “It’s Tough to be a Bird” (1969).
The story follows one man’s love life as seen through the eyes of his best friend and dog, Winston, and revealed bite by bite through the meals they share.
This marks the first nomination for Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed. It is the overwhelming favorite of our editors, experts and users with 1/4 odds of winning.
Pros: As with “Paperman,” this film packs quite an emotional wallop, which “Get a Horse” did not have. It is also the film that most voters have probably seen since it was shown before “Big Hero 6.”
Cons: The visual style doesn’t stand out as much as the other nominees and Disney shorts haven’t done well here for decades. There’s a chance that “Paperman” win was an anomaly.
“The Dam Keeper“
A young pig encumbered with an important job, gets continually bullied and tormented at school until one day when a new student shows up in school and everything begins to change.
It’s the first nominations for both Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi and has 6/1 odds.
Pros: The visual style is stunning with its combination of hand-drawn animation and brushstroke art. The subject matter — a child being bullied by his classmates — make the film feel timely.
Cons: It might be a bit schmaltzy for some Oscar voters.
“Me and My Moulton“
After asking her parents for a bicycle, a girl growing up in Norway in the 1960s struggles with her sense that her family is a little out of sync with what she perceives as “normal.”
This marks the third bid for Torill Kove who was nominated for “My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts” in 1999 and won for “The Danish Poet” in 2006. It has 50/1 odds.
Pros: It has a good balance of humor and seriousness. And like this year’s Best Picture nominee, “Boyhood,” it delivers a viewpoint from a child’s perspective.
Cons: The animation style is very simplistic and those with more flashy styles could draw attention away from it.
See Oscar rankings when Experts’ predictions are combined
“The Bigger Picture“
Tensions grow between two brothers, who have taken very different paths in life, as their aging mother begins to require more constant care.
This is the first nominations for both Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees and has odds of 50/1.
Pros: This short has the most distinctive visual style of all the nominees. It combines traditional drawn animation with stop-motion. The subject matter — caring for an aging parent — could resonate with voters.
Cons: It is quite dark, lacking the humorous moments of most previous winners.
“A Single Life“
A woman about to enjoy a pizza receives a mysterious package containing a record that allows her to travel through her life as the record skips through playing.
The nomination is the first for Joris Oprins who has 100/1 odds of winning.
Pros: The short is very direct and the funniest of the nominees.
Cons: With a running time of just two minutes, it’s the shortest film in a category in which such brevity is rarely rewarded.
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