The 2023 Academy Awards ceremony is Sunday night, and in the lead-up, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released a video where some of the nominees in the animated categories draw their main characters winning Oscars. It’s a full-on mercenary advertisement for the Oscars, it weaponizes cuteness to lure people in, and I do not care, because it’s adorable and wholesome af.
Seen in the video are Turning Red director Domee Shi, Puss In Boots: The Last Wish director Joel Crawford, The Sea Beast director Chris Williams, and Ice Merchants director João Gonzalez. Gonzalez is the only nominee in this video from the Best Animated Short category — the other three are all competing with each other for Best Animated Feature Film. (Also in this category but not in the video: Dean Fleischer Camp for Marcel the Shell With Shoes On and Guillermo del Toro for Pinocchio. Which is too bad, given del Toro’s views about his Pinocchio as a monster: That could have been a fun drawing.) All four of them talk a bit about their films and inspirations as they draw.
The drawings themselves are pretty entertaining — Shi has her cast of early-teen characters giggling over the Oscar statue’s butt, while Gonzalez uses his drawing to celebrate the family bond in Ice Merchants. But what’s really sweet about this video is the way the animators all feel mildly sheepish about how much of themselves they put into their work, how much they love their characters, and how much they want to win. It’s a pretty solid selling tactic for the individual movies, as well as the competition between them.
Turning Red is streaming on Disney Plus, The Sea Beast is on Netflix, and Puss In Boots: The Last Wish hits Peacock on March 10. You can watch the entirety of Ice Merchants below.