A total of 20 films have been submitted for consideration for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, with titles ranging from The LEGO Movie to The Boxtrolls to The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. This is an odd year in that there’s really no clear frontrunner yet. Pixar didn’t release anything, and response to Walt Disney Animation’s sole offering, Big Hero 6, isn’t coming close to the near universal praise of Frozen last year. DreamWorks Animation has a strong film in How to Train Your Dragon 2, but the sequel suffered a somewhat disappointing box office performance domestically. Princess Kaguya comes from the revered folks at Studio Ghibli and studio co-founder Isao Takahata, so it could be a formidable force in the race, and I’d say The LEGO Movie is a strong contender to take home the trophy as well given its wildly positive response from critics and audiences alike.
Check out the full list and more commentary on the contenders after the jump.
I’m a big fan of the LAIKA folks, but I didn’t think The Boxtrolls was as strong as last year’s ParaNorman. DreamWorks Animation’s Penguins of Madagascar has yet to be seen by critics at large, but it looks like more of a comedic play than something that might catch fire with Oscar voters, and the studio’s dud Mr. Peabody & Sherman is most definitely a non-starter.
Statistically speaking, this category attracts at least one foreign language film and oftentimes two every year, so I’d say The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is a likely nominee given its critical praise. I also think The LEGO Movie is very likely to earn a nomination as well, and depending on how Big Hero 6 does at the box office, a nod could be in the cards. My personal favorite of the year, though, is still How to Train Your Dragon 2 by a hair over The LEGO Movie.
How about you, readers? What’s your favorite animated film of 2014 so far? Sound off in the comments below, after the full list of films that have been submitted for Oscar consideration. The Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015.
The submitted features, listed in alphabetical order, are:
“Big Hero 6”
“The Book of Life”
“Henry & Me”
“The Hero of Color City”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
“Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart”
“Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return”
“The Lego Movie”
“Minuscule – Valley of the Lost Ants”
“Mr. Peabody & Sherman”
“Penguins of Madagascar”
“The Pirate Fairy”
“Planes: Fire & Rescue”
“Rocks in My Pockets”
“Song of the Sea”
“The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”
Several of the films have not yet had their required Los Angeles qualifying run. 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 also may qualify for Academy Awards in other categories, including Best Picture, provided they meet the requirements for those categories.
The Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live on ABC. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.