Apple Wins Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Apple’s Original Film The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse with the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, at the 95th Annual Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday.

“We are so proud of Charlie and the brilliant team who brought The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse to the screen and we sincerely thank the Academy for tonight’s recognition,” said Zack Van Amburg, Apple’s head of Worldwide Video. “This powerful story has deeply affected audiences around the world and has shown that no matter what age you are or where you live, it’s never too late to spread more compassion, empathy, and kindness in our daily lives. Congratulations to everyone involved, including our teams across the globe. We are all celebrating with you tonight.”

“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse shines a light on the magic of discovering connection in unexpected places, and we are honored that the Academy has awarded this beautifully moving film tonight,” said Jamie Erlicht, Apple’s head of Worldwide Video. “Bringing Charlie’s visually stunning world to such vibrant animated life, this short reinforces the strength that can be found in our common humanity and we toast the entire creative team on this uplifting cinematic achievement.”

Oscar winner The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, based on the beloved book by Charlie Mackesy, has been hailed as a “deep and stunning work of art” (Collider) “translating the exquisite illustrations into hand-drawn animation” (IndieWire), while telling a poignant “tale of love and hope” that is “half an hour of unmitigated joy” (The Independent). The acclaimed film was also recently honored with a BAFTA Film Award win, four Annie Awards including Best Special Production, and an NAACP Image Awards nomination for Outstanding Short Form (Animated) film.

Apple made history in 2022, landing three Academy Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for CODA, with the first-ever win by a streamer for Best Picture, alongside awards for Best Supporting Actor for Troy Kotsur, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Siân Heder. CODA was also the first motion picture starring a predominantly Deaf cast in leading roles to win Best Picture; Troy Kotsur, the first Deaf male actor to win Best Supporting Actor; and writer-director Siân Heder landed her first-ever Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

To date, Apple Original films, documentaries, and series have earned 345 wins and 1,421 award nominations and counting, including multi-Emmy Award-winning comedy Ted Lasso and Oscar Best Picture winner CODA.

The short film follows the unlikely friendship of a boy, a mole, a fox, and a horse traveling together in the boy’s search for home. The film, featuring Mackesy’s distinctive illustrations brought to life in full color with beautiful hand-drawn animation, stars Tom Hollander as The Mole, Idris Elba as The Fox, Gabriel Byrne as The Horse, and newcomer Jude Coward Nicoll as The Boy.

The Charlie Mackesy film is produced by Matthew Freud, Academy Award nominee Cara Speller (Pear Cider and Cigarettes) of NoneMore Productions, and J.J. Abrams and Hannah Minghella of Bad Robot Productions. Directed by Peter Baynton (The Tiger Who Came to Tea) and Mackesy, the film is adapted from the original book in collaboration with Jon Croker (Paddington 2). The film is executive produced by Jony Ive and Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). Original score is by composer Isobel Waller-Bridge, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and conducted by Geoff Alexander. The film is presented in partnership with the BBC.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is currently streaming on Apple TV+.