Oscars 2021: Animated Short Film Nominees Ranked!

very year, the Academy Awards honor the best short films to come out throughout the year. And while 2020 wasn't a great year for feature-length films, there were many great short films.

Starting on April 2, 2021, ShortsTV will present the Oscar-nominated short films in theatrical and virtual cinemas. And to celebrate the occasion, I decided to share my ranking of the five animated short films nominated for Best Animated Short at this year’s Oscars.

Here we go.

5. Yes-People

At the bottom of the list is this bizarre short film about a bunch of people living in the same building, and the only thing they say is “yes.” The pacing is a bit off, and the humor really isn’t there. As a short film, it isn’t funny or deep enough to engage its audience.

The animation feels very dull. While the situations are a bit relatable, there is nothing that would make its viewers recommend the film due to how uninvolving the narrative is.

4. Genius Loci

A common misconception is that animation is just for kids. However, this short film is definitely not for kids or even many adults, for that matter. It’s a surreal, bizarre film that is incredibly out there. It’s so unconventional that it may not click with all audience members.

However, the animation style is gorgeous. We have all of these fantastic-looking watercolors edited together to make such a unique animation style that really works. It’s a special film even though it may leave many scratching their heads.

3. Opera

Yet another very unique film, this short is unique as it doesn’t have a protagonist or an actual narrative. It simply depicts events that go on in a pyramid, as we see how differently people at the bottom live as opposed to people at the top.

It’s a short that deals with class struggles and war, and it is intentionally repetitive to say a lot about humanity and the difficulties we face. There’s a ton going on at once, and as a result, there’s no other short film like it.

2. Burrow

This 2D-animated short film from the Pixar SparkShorts program was initially supposed to be released in theaters with Soul, but due to the pandemic, it was released on Disney+ on the same day, and it’s a shame, as this is quite a charming piece of hand-drawn animation.

It has an interesting story with a very well-animated rabbit with unique facial expressions that are both funny and sad. It’s a delightful film that doesn’t quite have the heavy themes of other Pixar films but is a warm love letter to those who love this animation style.

1. If Anything Happens I Love You

One of the most poignant animated films ever shines a light on a very dark issue facing society, especially in the United States. It’s a film about grief and how that affects a couple who has lost their daughter. The short can be hard to watch at times with how heavy and emotional it is.

But that’s exactly what this film’s intent is. It’s heartwrenching to watch, and it’s also a compelling film that many can connect with. The message is beautiful, and it’s a small story that combines fantastical elements with real-life trauma.

Thank you so much for reading!

Once again, ShortsTV will present the Oscar® Nominated Short Films releases globally in theatrical and virtual cinemas starting on April 2, 2021.

To learn more about the participating theaters (in-person and virtually) and how to purchase tickets, please visit https://tickets.oscar-shorts.com/.

Film critic. Lover of Pixar, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Back to the Future, and Lord of the Rings. For business inquiries: jonathansim6703@gmail.com

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