Oscars 2021: Netflix reveals 3 different animated shorts with social action

Netflix acquired its first animated shorts for Oscar consideration. There are three: “If something happens, I love you,” an elegy about grief after a school shoot, directed by Will McCormack (who wrote the original “Toy Story 4” script with Rashida Jones) and Michael Govier (“Conan “); “Canvas” about a black painter who wants to revive his artistic passion after the death of his wife, directed by the former Pixar animator Frank E. Abney III (“Soul”); and “Cops and Robbers,” directed by Arnon Manor (vice president of visual effects at Sony Pictures) and Timothy Ware-Hill (“Kinky Boots”), inspired by Ware-Hill’s poem about the racially motivated murder of Ahmaud Arbery earlier this year in Georgia.

“Our goal is to bring top quality animation to our members in all kinds of formats – features, series, adult animation, anime and short form,” said Gregg Taylor, director of animated features at Netflix. “Animated storytelling is most compelling when it can transport, entertain, and start conversation. and all three of these short films are fine examples of this. While each film is very personal and uses very different animation styles, they are all equally strong. ”

In “When Something Happens I Love You” a grieving mother and a grieving father are visited by shadows of themselves and their deceased little daughter. The monochromatic, hand-drawn short film features an illustrated style that depicts haunting memories and is supported by an all-female animation team led by CalArts graduate Youngran Nho. Laura Dern Executive produced the short film, which was produced by Maryann Garger (“The LEGO Ninjago Movie”), Gary Gilbert (“La La Land”), Gerald Chamales (“The Irishman”) and Govier.





“‘When something happens, I love you’ was created for the lost and the left behind,” said McCormack and Govier.

Canvas was a five-year passion project for Abney III that also dealt with the subject of grief. The grandfather, sitting in a wheelchair, loses his inspiration for painting, but finds inspiration years later to rethink his craft. “Canvas” was produced by Paige Johnstone (production coordinator at “Soul”) and made by a team of artists who work by the hour and on three continents. Black’s executive team focused on creating a multicultural production that took on the challenge of producing both CG and 2D animated sequences at the same time.

“We owe it to ourselves and our ancestors to use our gifts to uplift and inspire the people around us,” said Abney III, who also participated in “Toy Story 4”, “Coco”, “The Boss Baby” and “Frozen” worked. ”“ ‘Canvas’ is my message to those who have suffered losses and are looking for a way. In a world where my community often has to ignore the processing of its own tragedies, this film shows that we don’t have to do it alone. “

Police and robbers

Police and robbers

“Police and Robbers”


“Cops and Robbers,” performed by Ware-Hill, used a variety of animated techniques from more than 30 individual artists, students, and VFX companies from around the world (more than half of the artists were blacks), each with a short segment of the poem. It was produced by Lawrence Bender (“Pulp Fiction”), Manor and Ware-Hill, and produced by Jada Pinkett Smith (“The Matrix 4”), Neishaw Ali (SPINVFX President) and Janet Jeffries (Bender script consultant). .

The short also includes part of the Negro Spiritual “Soon I Will Be Done,” performed by Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes.

Ware-Hill and Manor said they made this short film “for all black men, women and children who have been victims of racial profiles, police violence, deaths and other injustices simply because they are themselves”.

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