The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the fifteen animated feature films that have been accepted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category at the 83rd Academy Awards. The list includes the obvious blockbusters such as Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon, and Shrek Forever After, as well as less traditional but no less critically praised fair such as My Dog Tulip, Summer Wars, and the French film The Illusionist.
Under Academy rules, any year in which 8 to 15 animated features are released, a maximum of 3 motion pictures may be nominated. If 16 or more animated features are submitted and accepted in the category, a maximum of 5 motion pictures may be nominated. Since the Academy only deemed 15 animated feature films from this year worthy of being considered, there will only be 3 nominations in the Best Animated Feature Film category at the Oscars in February. However, films submitted in the Animated Film category are also eligible for Academy Awards in other categories, such as Best Picture, so fear not Toy Story 3 fans, it’s still got a shot at the top prize. Hit the jump to check out the full list of films under consideration, as well as speculation as to which three films are most likely to be nominated.
- “Alpha and Omega”
- “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”
- “Despicable Me”
- “The Dreams of Jinsha”
- “How to Train Your Dragon”
- “Idiots and Angels”
- “The Illusionist”
- “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole”
- “My Dog Tulip”
- “Shrek Forever After”
- “Summer Wars”
- “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue”
- “Toy Story 3”
The press release notes that The Dreams of Jinsha, The Illusionist, Summer Wars, and Tangled have yet to have their qualifying theater run in Los Angeles, but they’re all scheduled to open before the year is out, which is the deadline.
Critically speaking, Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon are both locks to be nominated. In fact, according to Rotten Tomatoes, the three films with the highest RT score this year so far are Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon, and The Social Network, as numbers 1, 2, and 3 respectively. The film that will take the third nomination slot is a little trickier to predict. Shrek Forever After was a box office success, but received a lukewarm reception critically speaking (though it was a step up from the half-assed Shrek the Third). DreamWorks’ Megamind and Universal’s Despicable Me weren’t terribly received, but each was a far cry from the fantastic How to Train Your Dragon. Word is that Pixar-guru and Disney Animation Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter has been heavily involved in Tangled, though few have actually seen it yet. However, don’t count out the smaller independent films. They’re easy to push aside since few people in the general public have seen them, but often little-known gems come out of this pack (The Triplets of Belleville anyone?).
But let’s be honest, this category is really a dogfight between the emotional wrecking ball that is Toy Story 3 and one of the best films DreamWorks has put out in years: How to Train Your Dragon. Given that the Best Picture field has been increased to ten nominations, Toy Story 3 will more than likely get a Best Pic nod as well. Up was nominated in both categories last year and won Best Animated Film, but I think TS3 has a fairly decent shot at the main event. The flick was one of the best in Pixar’s library thus far, and was just about as perfect an ending to such a seminal trilogy as one could have dreamed. I think many will feel it not only deserves a nomination for Best Picture, but a win as well. We’ll find out for sure on February 27th, 2011 at the 83rd Academy Awards.