Oscars 2023: Best Animated Short Film Predictions

“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” leads the field of indie and international contenders.


We’ll be updating all of our Oscar predictions throughout the season, so stay tuned to IndieWire for the latest news on the 2023 Oscar race. The nomination round of voting will run from January 12 to January 17, 2023, and the official Oscar nominations will be announced on January 24, 2023. The final vote will take place between March 2 and 7, 2023. Finally the 95. Oscar Award The telecast will air on Sunday, March 12 and air live on ABC at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT.

Check out our first thoughts on what to expect at the 95th Academy Awards.

State of the species

The exquisitely hand-drawn short “The Boy, the Mole, The Fox and the Horse” solidified its lead at the Academy Awards with four Annie wins on Feb. 25 at UCLA’s Royce Hall. This was followed by the BAFTA Award for Best British Animated Short on 19 February. British illustrator Charlie Mackesy’s tender tribute to the virtues of kindness (based on his bestselling picture book co-directed with Peter Baynton) won Best Special Production. Best Character Animation – TV/Media, Best Direction – TV/Media and Best Editing – TV/Media.

“The Boy” started as a TV special (produced by Matthew Freud with NoneMore and Bad Robot for Apple TV+ and the BBC) and has been extremely successful, marking Apple’s first Academy Award for Animated Short Film.

However, after winning the Annie for Best Short Subject, another beautifully hand-drawn short film – “Ice Merchants” – became the primary contender for the Oscar. Portuguese illustrator-director João Gonzalez’s short film explores the unspoken love of a father and son who live in isolation on the side of an icy mountainside, where they struggle daily to transport and sell ice. Produced by Bruno Caetano, COLA Animation & Wild Stream, “Ice Merchants” features a heartfelt story and colorful graphic design and dizzying camera movement. Additionally, the film is the most-acclaimed Academy Award-eligible short in history, with nine festival awards.

The other three Oscar nominees are “My Year of Dicks,” “The Flying Sailor” and “An Struct Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It.”

Annecy winner “My Year of Dicks” represents the adult animation competition. The psychedelic and hilarious mind-bender from director Sara Gunnarsdóttir and creator Pamela Ribon is loosely based on the experiences of a Houston teenager trying to lose her virginity in the early 90s. Originally produced for FX, the mixed-media production received unexpected global attention when Riz Ahmed’s reading of “An Ostrich Said The World Is False And I Think I Believe It,” by Riz Ahmed—another nominee for Best Animated Short—came into fits. Ahmed’s co-host Allison Williams and the audience laughed as the nominations were announced.

NFB Ottawa winner “The Flying Sailor,” directed by previous nominees Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, finds beauty in the devastating 1917 Halifax explosion through a combination of 2D and CG.

Ostrich, from Australian Academy Award winner Lachlan Pendragon, is a delightful stop-motion comedy about a young office worker who uses an ostrich to discover the flaws in his stop-motion universe.

Below is a list of the candidates ranked by probability of winning:

“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse”
“Ice Merchants”
“The Year of the Tail”
“The Flying Sailor”
“An ostrich told me the world is fake and I guess I believe it”

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