Former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant won Oscar on Sunday night for his short film that was nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the 90th Academy Awards in Hollywood (8 p.m. ET, ABC, ABC Live).
‘Dear Basketball’ was an animated film released in 2017 based on a poem written by Bryant for The Players Tribune in November 2015 in announcing his retirement after 20 years in the NBA. The film, directed by Glen Keane, is one of five nominees for Best Animated Short, along with ‘Garden Party’,‘Lou’,‘Negative Space’ and ‘Revolting Rhymes.’
Bryant’s film already took home one honor this week, winning the Best Animated Short Subject at the Annie Awards, given annually to the top achievers in the field of animation. Three of the last five winners of the short subject Annie Award have gone on to also win the Academy Award.
The five-minute ‘Dear Basketball’ was also narrated by Bryant and features music by John Williams, who was also nominated this year for an Academy Award for his work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the whopping 51st career Oscar nomination for the 86-year-old composer.
Academy Awards time, TV and streaming info
- What: The 90th annual Academy Awards
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- Location: Dolby Theater, Hollywood, Calif.
- TV: ABC
- Streaming: ABC Live
- Host: Jimmy Kimmel
2018 Oscars news & notes
From Kristopher Tapley’s Academy Awards predictions at Variety:
You might as well place a chip on hometown hero Kobe Bryant to take this one with animator Glen Keane for “Dear Basketball.” Pixar could steal it with “Lou” and “Garden Party” has a lot of fans, but this is Laker town.
Bryant and the longtime Disney artist Keane talked to the New York Times about the film:
Mr. Bryant deliberately chose an artist who didn’t know basketball: “Someone who’s been watching basketball their whole lives — and playing it — tends to miss the small moves, the details. When you come at it with fresh eyes, you look at every single thing because it’s all new.”
Mr. Keane said, “I’ve always believed animation can help an audience understand an action in deeper ways than live action.”