The Oscars 2020 shortlist has been announced, and while headlines swarm with world famous Hollywood stars, in the animation categories there is a group of creatives leading their field, and slowly shifting a genre away from CGI.
The Animated Feature Film category is noticeably devoid of huge hitters Frozen 2 and The Lion King, and in their place two genre-pushing films worth their place at centre stage. Klaus by Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh and Marisa Román is one of them – a 2D, ink-and-paint animated feature that uses a new method to make the final movie look like concept artwork (find out more in our feature about the film, where we travelled to Madrid to meet Pablos and his team). The other is I Lost My Body, a surprise entry from Jérémy Clapin and Marc du Pontavice about a disembodied hand on a journey to be reunited with its body. This also uses traditional 2D animated techniques, and though the rest of the category features the (still great, but) expected How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Missing Link (which won the Golden Globe) and Toy Story 4, it marks a big shift in discipline.
Elsewhere in the short film categories, there’s a host of incredible work to explore and creatives to keep an eye on. The Animated Short Film category features Daria Kashcheeva for Daughter – where the filmmaker animates the motions of the camera as well as the movements of the puppets, to simulate the aesthetic of hand-held footage. The brilliant Siqi Song is also nominated for her film Sister, a stop motion film she made (unbelievably) during her time studying at CalArts. Also featured on the shortlist are Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver for Hair Love, Rosana Sullivan and Kathryn Hendrickson for Kitbull, and Bruno Collet and Jean-François Le Corre for Memorable.
Meanwhile, in the Short Film (Live Action) category there’s plenty more talent to peruse, among them French director Yves Piat and Damien Megherbi’s comedy Nefta Football Club; Brotherhood by Meryam Joobeur and Maria Gracia Turgeon; The Neighbor’s Window by Marshall Curry; Saria by Bryan Buckley and Matt Lefebvre; and A Sister by Delphine Girard.
You can see the full list of nominations here.