With 2/7 odds from our 25 movie Experts, “Piper” is predicted to win Best Animated Short at Sunday’s Academy Awards. It was produced by computer-animation giant Pixar and is directed by Alan Barillaro. This is Barillaro’s first nomination, but it’s the 13th for Pixar, which despite its usual dominance in the Best Animated Feature category has lost Best Short in its last eight attempts. The last of Pixar’s three overall victories in this category was for “For the Birds” (2001) — 15 years ago. But “Piper” did just win Best Animated Short at the Annie Awards, so perhaps Pixar is about to break that losing streak. The 2017 Oscars air live Sunday on ABC and are hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
Twenty-one of our 25 Experts are predicting a “Piper” victory: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Edward Douglas (Weekend Warrior), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Bonnie Fuller (Hollywood Life), Tim Gray (Variety), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), Michael Musto (Out.com), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Christopher Rosen (Entertainment Weekly), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Nicole Sperling (Entertainment Weekly), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Brian Truitt (USA Today), Glenn Whipp (LA Times) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).
In second place is “Blind Vaysha” with 10/1 odds; the two Experts picking that short to win are Erik Davis (Fandango) and Eric Deggans (NPR). It’s directed by Theodore Ushev for the National Film Board of Canada. This is the first Oscar nomination for Ushev, but the Canadian film board has earned 35 nominations and six wins, most recently for “The Danish Poet” (2006).
“Borrowed Time” also has 10/1 odds based on support from two Experts: Keith Simanton (IMDb) and Adnan Virk (ESPN). It comes from Quorum Films and directors Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj. This is the first nomination for that filmmaking duo, and it’s also the first for Quorum.
Much further behind are “Pearl” (directed by Patrick Osborne) with 66/1 odds and “Pear Cider and Cigarettes” (directed by Robert Valley) with 66/1 odds. Both of those films are from Passion Pictures Animation, which produced a previous winner in this category, “The Lost Thing” (2010). “Pear Cider’s” Valley is a first-time nominee, but “Pearl’s” Obsorne won this category two years ago for “Feast” (2014). Additionally, “Pearl” won three Annie Awards including Best TV/Broadcast Directing for Osborne, so perhaps our Experts are underestimating that film.
According to our overall combined odds featuring the predictions of all Experts, Editors, Top 24 Users (those who did the best at their winner picks last year), All-Star Top 24 (who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years’ Oscars) and All Users, the rankings are nearly same. The favored pick of over 2,300 people is “Piper” with 3/10 odds over “Blind Vaysha” with 9/1 odds. “Borrowed Time” follows with 14/1 odds, and then “Pear Cider and Cigarettes” at 28/1 and “Pearl” at 50/1.
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.