Record Number of Animated Feature Films Submitted For Oscars Race

Record Number of Animated Feature Films Submitted For Oscars Race

Modern movie audiences recognize the incredible versatility and artistry inherent in animated films, as the medium allows creators to envision and generate entire worlds, like the fairy tale lands of Frozen and Brave or the surreal, introspective setting of Spirited Away. The Academy has not always been quite so keen on animation, though, and it’s hard to believe that the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature came intoto being just fifteen years ago, in 2001, when it claimed its first winner–Shrek. Before this award, animated features had to duke it out for a Best Picture nomination slot, or they were just handed Special Achievement Awards. The only animated film to garner a Best Picture nomination before the Best Animated Feature category’s creation was Beauty and the Beast, way back in 1991.

Since, animated features have made huge strides and thus garnered much-deserved recognition. Due to technological advances that led to digital animation practices, animated features have become far easier to produce, and now it’s commonplace to see multiple animated pictures duking it out for box office supremacy alongside their real-world counterparts. This influx of animation has become so apparent, in fact, that the category broke Oscar records earlier this week.

A report from Variety states that the AMPA has received a record 27 nominees for Best Animated Feature. For comparison, that’s eleven more films than the sixteen the Academy received last year for Best Animated Feature consideration. Check out the full list of submitted films, with links to our reviews (where applicable) below:

  • The Angry Birds Movie
  • April and the Extraordinary World
  • Bilal
  • Finding Dory
  • Ice Age: Collision Course
  • Kingsglaive Final Fantasy XV
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Kung Fu Panda 3
  • The Little Prince
  • Long Way North
  • Miss Hokusai
  • Moana
  • Monkey King: Hero Is Back
  • Mune
  • Mustafa & the Magician
  • My Life as a Zucchini
  • Phantom Boy
  • The Red Turtle
  • Sausage Party
  • The Secret Life of Pets
  • Sing
  • Snowtime!
  • Storks
  • Trolls
  • 25 April
  • Your Name.
  • Zootopia

Record Number of Animated Feature Films Submitted For Oscars Race

Though some films are still yet to complete their Los Angeles run, it looks almost certain that we will see five nominees for Best Animated Feature at the 88th Academy Awards, as is the case when sixteen or more eligible films are submitted. And if you haven’t heard of half of those titles, it’s likely because there’s quite a few foreign standouts in the mix. Co-productions from France, like My Life as a Zucchini and Phantom Boy, accompany Japanese epics like Miss Hokusai and Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV. There’s even an animated documentary up for nomination: 25 April, not unlike Israel’s 2008 film Waltz With Bashir, is a New Zealand film about the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign, a World War I battle that took place in the Ottoman Empire.

Though we still have a month and a half to go before 2016 Oscars eligibility ends, it looks like the Best Animated Feature category is shaping up to be quite well-rounded. This is fascinating news to get mere weeks before the premier of Moana, though, which will likely battle it out with fellow Disney production Zootopia and Pixar’s Finding Dory for the Best Animated Feature award, as the two studios have taken it home for ten of the last fifteen years. It would certainly be refreshing to see a non-U.S. film take home the gold, though, since we haven’t seen that happen since 2005, with the U.K.’s Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

No matter what, it’s exciting to see so many animated films vying for recognition, when, in a filmmaking world currently dominated by adaptations and sequels, animation breeds original creation. Whether the award finally goes to a less-recognized studio, like Laika, or Disney/Pixar remains on top, each of these films deserves a nod from the industry and from fans.


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