Dear Basketball

Dear Basketball is a 2017 American animated short film written and narrated by Kobe Bryant and directed and animated by Glen Keane, with music by John Williams.[2] The film is based on a letter Bryant wrote for The Players' Tribune on November 29, 2015, announcing his retirement from basketball.[3][4]

Dear Basketball
Directed byGlen Keane
Produced byGennie Rim
Written byKobe Bryant
Narrated byKobe Bryant
Music byJohn Williams
  • Believe Entertainment Group
  • Kobe Inc.
  • Glen Keane Productions [1]
Release date
Running time
5 minutes
CountryUnited States

It was distributed online through go90.[5] The animation, which carries the same name as Kobe's retirement letter, was made in partnership with Granity Studios and Believe Entertainment Group.[6] The short film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 90th Academy Awards, marking the first Oscar win for any professional athlete, as well as the first Oscar win for Keane, a veteran Disney animator.[7]


Keane experimented with new techniques, like animating sweat. He laid a separate sheet over the drawing where a soft layer of graphite was added. By taking pictures with his iPhone and turn it into a negative, where the white turned black and vice versa, so it looked like sweat was running down the face. An eraser was then used to create highlights and reveal the skin underneath.[3][8]


On the eve of his retirement from the National Basketball Association (NBA), 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 basketball and he have given each other all they had while Bryant was in his prime.[9]


Critical receptionEdit

As of June 2020, the film holds a 69% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on thirteen reviews with an average rating of 6.6 out of 10.[10]


Award Date of ceremony Category Result
Academy Awards March 4, 2018 Best Animated Short Film Won[11][12]
Annie Award February 3, 2018 Best Animated Short Subject Won[13]
Sports Emmy Award May 9, 2018 Outstanding Post-Produced Graphic Design Won[14]

The short was included in The Animation Showcase world touring screening 2017.

Dear Basketball won Best Traditional Animation and Special Jury Award at the 2017 World Animation Celebration International Film Festival held at Sony Pictures Animation.[15] It was shown in Epcot at Walt Disney World in March 2018.


  1. ^ "Dear Basketball". The Webby Awards. Retrieved Jul 11, 2019.
  2. ^ "Dear Basketball". California Film Institute. January 25, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2020 – via Vimeo.
  3. ^ a b Wolff, Ellen. "Kobe Bryant Assembles His Animated Dream Team for 'Dear Basketball'". Variety. Variety Media, LLC. Archived from the original on 19 January 2018.
  4. ^ Bryant, Kobe. "Dear Basketball". The Players' Tribune. The Players' Tribune, Inc. Archived from the original on 19 January 2018.
  5. ^ Wagner, Gretchen. "'Dear Basketball,' Assembled by Legendary Team of Creators, Premieres on Verizon's go90". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved Jul 11, 2019.
  6. ^ "go90 Picks Up Kobe Bryant and Believe Entertainment's 'Dear Basketball'".
  7. ^ "90th Academy Award Animated Short Film Nominees". The Oscars 2018. Disney Enterprises, Inc. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Glen Keane Soars in 'Dear Basketball'". Animation World Network.
  9. ^ "Dear Basketball: Short Film (Animated) - Oscar Nominees 2018". The Oscars 2018. Disney Enterprises, Inc. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Dear Basketball (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  11. ^ "Kobe's 'Dear Basketball' wins Academy Award". March 5, 2018. Retrieved Jul 11, 2019.
  12. ^ "'Dear Basketball' wins Best Animated Short Film". April 17, 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2019 – via YouTube.
  13. ^ Annie Awards go to ‘Coco’ and Kobe Bryant’s ‘Dear Basketball,’ making them Oscar favorites - The Washington Post
  14. ^ "Nominees – 2018 Sports – Creative & Technical Crafts – The Emmys". Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  15. ^ "Dear Basketball". Retrieved 2018-09-14.

External linksEdit