Movie: #Oscars Dear Basketball (2017) #AnimatedShort

The short can be found here: Dear Basketball

But you can also find it all over YouTube with a split screen of Kobe taking the court to be honored in the last few moments.  Like: HERE

That version is great. Just because you can see Kobe’s face as he is watching the video being played for his fans as he walks out of the tunnel.  It is awesome in that context.

Synopsis: On the eve of his retirement from basketball, National Basketball Association (NBA) legend Kobe Bryant describes his love for the game, which began when he was a young child. From his youthful dreams of glory to his 20-year career, Bryant describes how he and basketball have given each other all they have.

The film is based on a letter Kobe Bryant wrote to The Player’s Tribune on November 29, 2015 announcing his retirement from basketball.  That can be found: HERE.

IMDB page for Dear Basketball

Release date: 23 April 2017

Run time: 6 minutes

My thoughts while watching:

  • I really like the pencil sketches. I love the black and white with intentional colors.
  • Kobe has a nice voice.
  • His Dad’s rolled up socks as a kid – I ALWAYS think about the parents of athletes (or people in the spotlight) and try to think of how they are feeling.  I feel like this is an homage to his Dad.  I know little about Kobe (or the sport of basketball) but that is my initial thought.
  • He is an inspirational man, good solid role model too.
  • Alex was not won over by the short. It must be noted he is not a sports person, not sure if that plays into this scenario.  He gives it a “Meh”.
  • The score for this piece was great too.

I thought it was a solid animation.  But maybe a bit too polite (for lack of a better word) in the greater scheme of things.  I am not sure this will win but it would be amazing for him to win an Oscar the year of his retirement.

There will be a separate blog once all of the shorts are watched in which I will rank (top to bottom) the five nominations and take a guess at this year’s winner.


UPDATE:  I want to include the NPR critique:

Dear Basketball  In 2015, Kobe Bryant announced his retirement from a 20-year NBA career by penning a letter to the game he loves. Now that he’s out of the game for good, that letter has become an Oscar-nominated short (aided, no doubt, by the number of Lakers fans in the Los Angeles voting bloc). Era-defining Disney animator Glen Keane props up Bryant’s own narration with patiently composed watercolor illustrations replicating his signature courtside moves, and none other than John Williams does the score, setting a record for most violins heard near a basketball.

By the way, if you were wondering which Oscar nominating committee this year was going to choose to ignore past accusations of sexual assault, surprise: It’s this one.


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