In comparison to previous years, this year’s batch of Oscar-nominated animated shorts doesn’t seem to have a clear favorite. What it does have, however, is a deep pool of nominees with unique stories and animation styles that’s sure to satisfy, regardless of winner.

Dcera (Daughter)

Dcera (Daughter)

Dcera (Daughter)

From Czech director Daria Kashcheeva, ‘Dcera’ tells the story of a father and daughter, whose relationship is forever jeopardized by hurt feelings and the pair’s inability to overcome them.

★★★ of ★★★★★

Hair Love

Hair Love

Hair Love

Directors Matthew A. Cherry & Karen Rupert Toliver tell the story of a young African American girl who wants nothing more than the perfect hairdo for a special event. Unable to do it herself, she enlists the help of her father for the very first time.

★★★★ of ★★★★★

Kitbull

Kitbull

Kitbull

A hungry and orphaned kitten takes refuge in a cardboard box behind a sketchy looking building. Soon after, a young pit bull is chained up behind the building. The unlikely neighbors are forced to make the best of their situation. (Directors: Kathryn Hendrickson & Rosana Sullivan)

★★★★ of ★★★★★

Memorable

Memorable

Memorable

An aging painter and his wife struggle with abnormalities that start cropping up in their day-to-day lives. What’s real? What isn’t? Can they figure it out before it’s too late and the world they’ve built together disappears completely? (Directors: Bruno Collet & Jean-François Le Corre)

★★★★ of ★★★★★

Sister

Sister

Sister

A young Chinese man (director Siqi Song) reflects back on life with his younger sister – their fights, their shenanigans – and how different his life might be if just one or two things turned out differently in the past.

★★★½ of ★★★★★

From top to bottom, this is a very strong category, with my two favorites being ‘Hair Love’ and ‘Memorable.’ While I think the latter is the stronger, more emotional story, its unorthodox animation style may not be fore everyone. Add that to an adorable, relatable story about a father and daughter, and I think it will be hard to overcome.

Will win: Hair Love

Should win: Memorable

Could win: Kitbull (never count out Pixar)

Locally, this collection of shorts (along with 4 others that weren’t nominated) is showing this week at Landmark Lagoon in Minneapolis.

More info: https://tickets.oscar-shorts.com/

Jared Huizenga is a freelance film critic and the owner of www.ManVersusMovie.com.

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