When the initial announcement was made that eight categories would be pre-taped and then edited into the 2022 Oscars broadcast, we all knew the short film categories — Best Animated Short, Best Documentary Short and Best Live Action Short — would be the first on the chopping block. While these projects are the least seen of all the Oscar nominees, the categories have given us some amazing moments over the years. So rather than wallow in our sadness about not seeing these doled out live, let’s take a look back at four of the best speeches from past Best Animated Short winners. Hopefully the academy realizes soon that the short categories are something special and should be left alone.
The five Oscar nominees in contention for this year’s Best Animated Short prize are the following: “Affairs of the Art” (Joanna Quinn and Les Mills), “Bestia” (Hugo Covarrubias and Tevo Díaz), “Boxballet” (Anton Dyakov), “Robin Robin” (Dan Ojari and Mikey Please) and “The Windshield Wiper” (Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez).
Great moments don’t have to be ones where many words are said. In 2008, Japanese filmmaker Kunio Kato used his limited English to full effect when he won for “La Maison en Petits Cubes.” He simply thanked his supporters, staff, pencil, the academy and his company, Robot. This led to him closing his speech by saying, “Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.”
Some of the best moments from Best Animated Short came just within the past five years. This category made an Oscar winner out of Kobe Bryant for “Dear Basketball” in 2017. Bryant declared, “As basketball players we’re really supposed to ‘shut up and dribble.’ But I’m glad we do a little bit more than that.” Sadly, Bryant died in 2020 in a helicopter crash.
The following year, when Domee Shi won for “Bao” (2018), she proclaimed, “To all of the nerdy girls out there who hide behind their sketchbooks, don’t be afraid to tell your stories to the world.”
When “Hair Love” won the prize in 2019, both recipients movingly talked about why it was important to see Black representation in cartoons. Karen Rupert Toliver stated, “In cartoons that’s when we first see our movies, and it’s how we shape our lives and think about how we see the world.” Matthew A. Cherry followed that up by recognizing their guest, DeAndre Arnold, who had been told he could not attend his high school graduation unless he cut off his dreadlocks.
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