[#2018oscardeathrace] Dear Basketball (2017)

Director: Glen Keane

Cast: Kobe Bryant

Screenplay: Kobe Bryant

6 mins. Not Rated.

  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Animated Short Film [Pending]

 

Yes, Kobe Bryant (Daddy’s Home) is an Oscar nominee. So there you have it.

In this short film directed by Glen Keane and narrated by Bryant from a poem he wrote, we see important moments in Bryant’s past that led him to his love of the game, carried him through his career, and led him to his decision to walk away from it.

Bryant announced his retirement in 2015 with a poem entitled “Dear Basketball.” In this short, nothing is cut from the poem. It’s displayed in all its glory here. Even though the poem is great, though, had anyone else but Bryant read it, the short may not work. It is precisely because Kobe wrote it and reads it that the story works. Without him and the emotion flowing through him, the short doesn’t work nearly as well.

The animation is gorgeous, a flowing fever dream of past events led by the emotion from Bryant’s voice. It is stunning to watch. The sketching of the animation seems to work well with the memories coming out of Bryant’s poem.

I have to say something about the tremendous score from, yes, John Williams. His music here is inspirational and full of wonder.

Overall, Dear Basketball is an incredible short film, and incredibly worth your 6 minutes. Please check it out if you can find it.

 

5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

 

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