Oscar Beat: 19 Animated Features Submitted for 86th Academy Awards

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19 animated feature films have been submitted for consideration for the 86th Annual Academy Awards, and it’s clear that this is a very thin year for the Best Animated Feature race.  Monsters University and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 feel like the biggest standouts, and while MU is certainly a strong effort from Pixar, it’s tough to imagine those two rousing the same kind of passion that previous nominees like How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story 3, or even ParaNorman instilled.  DreamWorks Animation has two contenders in the bunch with The Croods and Turbo, while Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 2, Blue Sky’s Epic, and Disney’s Planes and Frozen are also eligible for nominations.  Hayao Miyazaki’s latest feature The Wind Rises is also among the submitted films.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of submitted features and for my early thoughts on the Best Animated Feature Oscar race.  The 86th Oscars will be held on March 2, 2014.  To catch up on all of our Oscar Beat coverage thus far, click here.

despicable-me-2While the first Despicable Me failed to nab an Oscar nomination, it’ll be interesting to see if the Academy can ignore the massive box office success of the sequel—its worldwide total currently stands at a whopping $911 million.  Miyazaki’s How’s Moving Castle was nominated in 2005, and despite some mixed reviews, I’d be surprised if the Academy didn’t recognize The Wind Rises since it’s likely the legendary filmmaker’s final film.  Pixar’s Brave won the Best Animated Feature award last year so the superior Monsters University feels like a shoo-in for a nomination, and Disney’s Frozen returns to the studio’s musical roots and has garnered some high early praise, so it seems to be a likely nominee as well.

At this very early stage, I imagine Monsters University, The Wind Rises, and Despicable Me 2 will land nominations, with one or two of the several foreign films likely to make the cut as well.  Cloudy 2 scored mostly positive reviews, so it has a shot too.  As for DreamWorks Animation, The Croods feels like its best bet—did anyone actually see Turbo?

the-wind-rises-posterCheck out the full list of 19 animated features that have been submitted for Oscar consideration below, and leave your thoughts in the comments.  Does this feel like a light year in animation to everyone else, or is it just me?  What were the bright spots for you?

BEVERLY HILLS, CA — Nineteen features have been submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for the 86th Academy Awards®.

The 19 submitted features, listed in alphabetical order, are:

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”
“The Croods”
“Despicable Me 2”
“Epic”
“Ernest and Celestine”
“The Fake”
“Free Birds“
“Frozen”
“Khumba”
“The Legend of Sarila”
“A Letter to Momo”
“Monsters University”
“O Apóstolo”
“Planes”
“Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie – Rebellion”
“Rio: 2096 A Story of Love and Fury”
“The Smurfs 2”
“Turbo”
“The Wind Rises”

Several of the films have not yet had their required Los Angeles qualifying runs. Submitted features must fulfill the theatrical release requirements and comply with all of the category’s other qualifying rules before they can advance in the voting process. At least eight eligible animated features must be theatrically released in Los Angeles County within the calendar year for this category to be activated.

Films submitted in the Animated Feature Film category may also qualify for Academy Awards in other categories, including Best Picture, provided they meet the requirements for those categories.

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  • ScratStitch

    Seriously, I don’t see how Cloudy 2 could be considered a frontrunner. It really wasn’t nearly as good as the original.

    BTW, where is From Up on Poppy Hill?

    • Detrimont

      from up poppy hill released in 2011

      • ScratStitch

        Yes, but the English dub came out this year….at least to the best of my knowledge.

      • Detrimont

        if we’re going from english dub logic, Madoka and Wind rises wouldn’t be in this listing

      • ScratStitch

        We are, though. Spirited Away won the award for 2002, but it came out in Japan in 2001.

      • Detrimont

        then explain WR and madoka

  • ScratStitch

    Seriously, I don’t see how Cloudy 2 could be considered a frontrunner. It really wasn’t nearly as good as the original.

    BTW, where is From Up on Poppy Hill?

  • rajv

    I guess ‘Despicable Me 2′ should win this time. I thought it was better than ‘Monster’s University’. But again this year is not a great year for animation movies.

  • rajv

    I guess ‘Despicable Me 2′ should win this time. I thought it was better than ‘Monster’s University’. But again this year is not a great year for animation movies.

  • George

    The Wind Rises and Monster’s University should be the frontrunners. All of the rest, especially Planes, don’t really deserve a nomination

  • George

    The Wind Rises and Monster’s University should be the frontrunners. All of the rest, especially Planes, don’t really deserve a nomination

    • anon

      Planes was a turgid, un-enjoyable cash grab by Pixar that actually succeeded….

      • Norrtron

        Pixar didn’t make the movie, Disney did.

      • Nick

        You’re dumb

    • anon

      Planes was a turgid, un-enjoyable cash grab by Pixar that actually succeeded….

  • anon

    When in doubt, the Academy would most certainly give the award to Pixar…here’s hoping that Madoka Magica gets a chance to shine.

  • anon

    When in doubt, the Academy would most certainly give the award to Pixar…here’s hoping that Madoka Magica gets a chance to shine.

  • poklasd

    I didn’t watch all of them, but the one I liked the most was The Croods.

    • Nenad Kalabic

      That movie was merely ok, hardly oscar material… like the most of the submitted features… It really was a light year! I liked the halloween Toy Story special, but that was just a short…

  • Edward Benavides

    I doubt it will happen but it will be really cool to see Madoka get nominated.

    • Anon

      It won’t. And even if it gets to the shortlist, the old fogies at the Academy would dismiss any form of anime NOT in the form of Studio Ghibli.

      • Anon

        As good as Studio Ghibli films are, considering not even Cowboy Bebop, Evangelion, One Piece, Summer Wars and any anime films not made by said studio or Miyazaki himself have been distributed in America and elsewhere to positive reception yet never nominated for an Oscar whether or not they’ve actually been submitted, it means that the generation that runs the Academy still doesn’t recognize the potential anime has as both an entertainment medium and an art form for more mainstream AND casual audiences. Which is too bad, because this is 2013, and the influence of anime on many Hollywood movies and fictional franchises in both American and worldwide pop culture has not gone unnoticed, esp. not by their creators who have admitted to this.

        Puella Magi Madoka Magica is an interesting case, because much like Cowboy Bebop, Evangelion and Ghibli films, it is a franchise made with the full intention of being acceptable to fans of the genre and medium it both plays straight and subverts, yet it can appeal to casual viewers who have never watched any other mainstream anime other than the Big 3 or Bebop simply because of its themes.

        For one, the animation is beautiful, the premise, while not completely original, is fascinating. The characters are engaging and multifaceted, the pathos is REAL and none of the emotions or sentimentality are played up to be cheap unlike in most flicks and its message is both inspiring and empowering.

        Even if casual American viewers would have to go back and watch the first two films (or even the original 12 episode TV series) or deal with subtitles (there is an English version of the series that has been released and is being streamed in places like Neon Alley and is included on the series Bluray release), it is worth it.

        So many people have been exposed to this franchise since its inception 2 years ago, and it is beloved by so many people who don’t even watch anime all across the world. It has potential to be a critical success, even more than it was. It is one of the most impressive works of fiction to come out of Japan in recent memory.

        So if the old fogies want to continue favoring stuff they know instead of actually giving this franchise a chance whether or not they know of its impact thus far, then they can do that. But it would be a crime for the future of animation in pop culture and beyond if they overlooked a franchise so true and deserving of its hype and praise like PMMM. That’s all I have to say.

      • Fernando Garcia

        Better luck next time. Maybe not everyone found Madoka as good as its fans say…

    • Anon

      It won’t. And even if it gets to the shortlist, the old fogies at the Academy would dismiss any form of anime NOT in the form of Studio Ghibli.

  • HeyZeusKreesto

    I was disappointed when Brave won last time, because it did not deserve it. It was a case of “Oh let’s just give it to Pixar because yea.” If Monsters wins this year, I’ll be ok. I actually really enjoyed it, and loved that it wasn’t another typical “you can be whatever you want to be!” movie.

  • HeyZeusKreesto

    I was disappointed when Brave won last time, because it did not deserve it. It was a case of “Oh let’s just give it to Pixar because yea.” If Monsters wins this year, I’ll be ok. I actually really enjoyed it, and loved that it wasn’t another typical “you can be whatever you want to be!” movie.

  • Josh A. Stevens

    Personally, as unlikely as it is, I really hope that “Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Rebellion” gets some recognition. It’s an absolute shame that the first movie wasn’t included in the year it came out, as that would have had a much better chance.

    Personally, I think it could come down to The Wind Rises and Despicable Me 2, but I have a lot of love for Madoka, so I will always hope.

  • Josh A. Stevens

    Personally, as unlikely as it is, I really hope that “Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Rebellion” gets some recognition. It’s an absolute shame that the first movie wasn’t included in the year it came out, as that would have had a much better chance.

    Personally, I think it could come down to The Wind Rises and Despicable Me 2, but I have a lot of love for Madoka, so I will always hope.

  • The Flobbit

    Epic, Free Birds, Smurfs 2, Planes, and Turbo? A lot of stinkers here…

  • http://extreme7.blogspot.com/ susant kumar behera

    “Wreck-It Ralph” is a good movie and it has amazing old video game music.I loved the movie.But why it is not in the list..?

    • FixItFelix

      It was nominated for the award last year but ultimately lost to Brave.

      • http://extreme7.blogspot.com/ susant kumar behera

        oh…. I didn’t know that.. thanks..

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  • Dylan

    My Predictions: Academy Awards Nominations (Best Animated Feature) –

    THE CROODS
    DESPICABLE ME 2
    FROZEN
    MONSTER’S UNIVERSITY
    THE WIND RISES

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