Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oscar® Update: List for animated contenders announced

A quick Oscar update for you on this Thursday: The Academy announced its shortlist — or rather long list — of films that will vie for the Animated Feature nomination and, on March 7, the Oscar.

The 20 submitted features are:
• “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel”
• “Astro Boy”
• “Battle for Terra”
• “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”
• “Coraline”
• “Disney's A Christmas Carol”
• “The Dolphin – Story of a Dreamer”
• “Fantastic Mr. Fox”
• “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”
• “Mary and Max”
• “The Missing Lynx”
• “Monsters vs. Aliens”
• “9”
• “Planet 51”
• “Ponyo”
• “The Princess and the Frog”
• “The Secret of Kells”
• “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure”
• “A Town Called Panic”
• “Up”



The Academy noted that “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” “The Dolphin – Story of a Dreamer,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Planet 51,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “The Secret of Kells” and “A Town Called Panic” have not yet had their required Los Angeles qualifying run, which would allow them to advance in the voting process.

"Under the rules for this category, a maximum of 5 features can be nominated in a year in which the field of eligible entries numbers at least 16," the press release stated.

This would be the first time in three years the category had five nominees. There were 14 submitted features announced last year on Nov. 10, 2008. (Note: it seems the producers are following a press release announcement schedule similar to last year.) Twelve were submitted Nov. 8, 2007. (Other years are as follows: 16 submitted on Nov. 3, 2006; 10 on Nov. 17, 2005; 11 on Nov. 4, 2004; 11 on Nov. 19, 2003; 17 on Dec. 11, 2002; nine films for the first year honoring, submitted on Dec. 12, 2001.)

While being nominated in the Animated Feature Film category has seemed in recent years to satisfy Oscar voters, those films can also qualify for other categories provided they meet the requirements for those categories. But we haven't seen an animated feature content for Best Picture since "Beauty and the Beast" was nominated nearly two decades ago — and the Animated Feature category had yet to be created.

With ten slots open for Best Picture, now would be best opportunity for an animated film to rise to the top category. Nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards will be announced Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 5:30 a.m. PT.

Pete Hammond of the Los Angeles Times predicts the five likely nominees as: "Coraline," "Fantastic Mr. Fox," "Ponyo," "Princess and the Frog" and "Up."

"Spoilers for a fifth slot could be 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs' and a real dark horse, the Australian 'Mary and Max' from Oscar winner Adam Elliott ('Harvey Krumpet,' 2003 animated short winner) and which opened this year's Sundance Film Festival and is said to be a favorite among many animation insiders," he said in his blog post.

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