I’ve now entered ScreenPicks.com’s Road to the Oscars series, analyzing that other possible Oscar pool-breaking category of Best Animated Short Film. Here they are:
 

Adam and Dog
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Who: Written and directed by Minkyu Lee

What: This gorgeous short follows the first playful dog, exploring the newly created world of Eden. When he comes upon the first man, Adam, the term “man’s best friend” comes to life.
 

Fresh Guacamole

Who: Written and directed by PES

What: In the betting mood? This short is for you. An unseen cook uses a series of unusual ingredients, like dice and hand grenades, to prepare a bowl of special guacamole. Check it out!
 

Head over Heels
head2
Who: Written and directed by Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly

What: In this clay-animated short, the emotional distance between a long-married husband and wife has resulted in an unusual living arrangement. Think upside down.
 

Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”
maggie2
Who: Written and directed by David Silverman

What: Poor Maggie. She is sent to the Ayn Rand Daycare Center, makes a friend with a caterpillar but must fight off a mean kid who likes to kill butterflies. Gotta love “The Simpsons.”
 

Paperman

Who: Written and directed by John Kahrs

What: A bored, young office paper pusher tries desperately to attract the attention of a girl, who he encounters briefly on the train, as she enters a building across the street. His strategy? He makes paper airplanes and tries to aim them in her direction. Watch the trailer!
 

The Longest Daycare is really hilarious but maybe not inventive enough for the Oscar, while Paperman is beautifully drawn and poignant but in black and white, it’s not as visual. My pick is Adam and Dog for its amazing watercolor tableaus, mini paintings in their own right, and the heart-tugging subject matter. Plus, everyone loves dogs.

 
Road to the Oscars Series

January 14: Best Visual Effects – Ian Murphy

January 16: Best Sound Editing – Ian Murphy

January 18: Best Sound Mixing – Michael Benedict

January 21: Best Cinematography – Scott Youngbauer

January 23: Best Costume Design – Ian Murphy

January 25: Best Makeup and Hairstyling – Rebecca Susmarski

January 28: Best Film Editing – Dan Schindel

January 30: Best Production Design – Scott Youngbauer

February 1: Best Animated Feature – Carlos Aguilar

February 4: Best Documentary Feature – Dan Schindel

February 7: Best Documentary Short Subject – Dan Schindel

February 8: Best Live Action Short – Carlos Aguilar

February 9: Best Animated Short – Kit Bowen

February 10: Best Foreign Language Film – Carlos Aguilar

February 11: Best Original Score – Adam Spunberg

February 12: Best Original Song – Adam Spunberg

February 13: Best Original Screenplay – Dan Schindel

February 14: Best Adapted Screenplay – Jeremy Martin

February 16: Best Supporting Actor – Angela Stern

February 17: Best Supporting Actress – Hiko Mitsuzuka

February 18: Best Actress – Andrew Payne

February 19: Best Actor – Kit Bowen

February 20: Best Director – Andrew Payne

February 21: Best Picture – Kit Bowen

February 24: 85th Annual Academy Awards