Only 3 nominees for Animated Feature Oscar: ‘Toy Story 3,’ ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ and … ?

Monday’s announcement by the academy that just 15 animated features qualified for consideration means that only three films will make the final cut. As “Toy Story 3” (Pixar/Disney) and “How to Train Your Dragon” (DreamWorks) are widely expected to be two of those three nominees, speculation turns to which film will fill out the category.

Disney has a potential second nominee with the upcoming “Tangled” rather than the little-seen “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue.” DreamWorks has the successful “Shrek Forever After” and the just-released “Megamind” in the hunt. Universal did very well this summer with “Despicable Me” while Warners had respectable showings with both “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” and “Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.”

The other films that have already been released are “Alpha and Omega,” “My Dog Tulip” and “Idiots and Angels.” Besides “Tangled,” the three other films yet to have their qualifying runs are “The Dreams of Jinsha,” “The Illusionist” — from 2003 nominee Sylvain Chomet (“The Triplets of Belleville”) — and “Summer Wars.”

While the field was one shy of the 16 films required by the Academy to expand the nominees to five, the HFPA only requires 14 entries for a full slate of five contenders.

Photos: “How to Train Your Dragon” (Dreamworks); “Toy Story 3” (Disney)

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