You probably assumed that you’d never get to see Pixar and Kobe Bryant going up against each other in any kind of competition. But that’s exactly what’s going to go down at the start of March.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the plot for a “Space Jam” and “Toy Story” crossover that pits the Los Angeles Lakers legend against Woody, Buzz, et al.
Instead, we have the equally bizarre scenario of the studio and the Basketball icon both being in the race for the 2018 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
While we’ve long become accustomed to Pixar not only claiming their obligatory nomination in this category, but also picking up the gong at the end of the night, too, Kobe Bryant is very much a newcomer to the Best Animated Short Film field. He's been kind of busy on the court.
That doesn’t mean that his film “Dear Basketball,” which was directed by Disney animator Glen Keane but was written and narrated by Bryant, should be taken lightly at all. Especially as the film picked up the Best Animated Short Subject at the Annie Awards earlier this year.
It will be quite the coup if “Dear Basketball” can pick up the prize, though. Because this year’s field in the Best Animated Short Film category is preposterously strong.
As well as “Dear Basketball” and Pixar’s latest addition to its short film oeuvre, which is right up there with one of their very best, too, there is also “Revolting Rhymes,” an adaptation of a classic Roald Dahl book that was released on the BBC and verges very close to a feature length running time.
Meanwhile the first of the French entries “Garden Party” is so utterly gorgeous to watch unfold, and becomes wonderfully morbid, that it is little surprise it has been selected for over 180 festivals, and even its national counterpart “Negative Space” would be a worthy winner, too.
I’d even go as far as to say that each of these films are just as good, maybe even better, than their feature length counterparts. Just much, much shorter. Which only adds to their appeal.
Audiences can now watch each of these films, as well as the 5 Live Action efforts, too, in one sitting, as the 2018 Oscar Nominated Short Films have just been released into cinemas nationwide.
If you want to know more about them, you can check out my thoughts on each of the Best Animated Short Films by clicking through the gallery above.