This year’s shortlist for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film is an esoteric bunch, as always. The spread is international, including work from Japan, France, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom, alongside domestic productions. A number of the directors are relative newcomers, some of them selected for their graduation films. On the other end of the spectrum, a few of these animators have worked on Oscar-nominated films in the past and are veterans of the industry. There’s the usual mix of hand-drawn, CG and stop motion styles, and at least one film that tries blending two of these forms together. If not fully representative of everything going on in the world of animation, the Academy definitely highlights some of the more exciting projects.