The 2023 Academy Awards ceremony is Sunday night, and leading up to it, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released a video showing some of the nominees in the animation categories drawing their lead characters who win Oscars. It’s a full-blown mercenary commercial for the Oscars, it uses cuteness as a weapon to lure people in, and I don’t care because it’s cute and wholesome.
Can be seen in the video To blush 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 for Best Animated Short — the other three all vying 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 Pinocchio. Which is a shame, given Del Toro’s views on his Pinocchio as a monster: That could have been a fun drawing.) The four of them talk a bit about their movies and inspirations as they draw.
The drawings themselves are quite entertaining – Shi has her cast of early teen characters giggle over the butt of the Oscar statue, while Gonzalez uses his drawing to celebrate the family bond in Ice merchants. But what’s really fun about this video is the way the animators all feel a little 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 sales tactic for the individual films, as well as the competition between them.
To blush streams on Disney Plus, The sea beast is on Netflix, and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish hits Peacock on March 10. You can view the whole Ice merchants below.