Oscar nominations outrage: Why was ‘The Lego Movie’ snubbed?

What the block?! If you had told me yesterday that “The Lego Movie” would be snubbed for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars (see complete list of Oscar nominations), I would have thought you were making a terrible joke.

But alas, when noms were announced Thursday morning, “The Lego Movie” only had a single Oscar bid to show for itself: “Everything Is Awesome” as Best Song. So what went wrong with this one-time Oscar frontrunner?

‘Birdman,’ ‘Grand Budapest’ lead Oscar nominations
with nine, Aniston and DuVernay snubbed

To recap, “Lego Movie” was nominated as Best Animated Feature at the Golden Globes (where it lost to “How to Train Your Dragon 2”), Annie Awards, BAFTA and Critics’ Choice. Usually all of those precursors combined equal an Oscar nomination, but not so this year. Hmm, could the film’s early release date of February 2014 have something to do with its snub?

My colleague Zach Laws put it best when he wrote, “Everything wasn’t awesome for ‘The Lego Movie’ this morning. [The snub came] despite a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a nearly $260 million box-office tally in the US alone. Perhaps the aged Academy members felt embarrassed voting for a film that revolved around children’s toys, no matter how heralded.”

Don’t forget, “Toy Story 3” was able to pull off a well-deserved victory in 2010. However, it remains the only movie about toys to secure victory with the geezers of the academy, so perhaps we were all foolish to have “Lego Movie” in our #1 positions to begin with. See the complete list of past animation winners in our photo gallery below.

Shocking Oscar nominations snubs: Jennifer Aniston, ‘The Lego Movie,’ ‘Gone Girl,’ …

According to Gold Derby’s combined racetrack odds, “Lego Movie” was riding high in first place to win this race with leading 8/5 odds. In fact, of the main 21 categories predicted by our Experts, Editors and Users, Best Animated Feature is the only race where our top frontrunner ended up being snubbed. (This also happened in those wildly unpredictable races for Best Documentary Short and Best Live Action Short.)

“Lego Movie’s” loss ended up being a massive gain for “Song of the Sea,” which Gold Derby had down in seventh place in our predictions with 100/1 odds. The other four nominees we predicted accurately: “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” “Big Hero 6,” “The Boxtrolls” and “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.”

“Lego Movie” writer/directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller previously worked together on “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” another popular animated flick that was skunked by the Oscars. Anybody else sensing a pattern here?

Here’s the fine print regarding how balloting works for the Best Animated Feature race: Voting is restricted to academy members from any branch who volunteer to be on the screening committee and see at least two-thirds of the 20 eligible films (i.e, at least 14). Members score each film from 6 (poor) to 10 (excellent) and only those films with an average rating of at least 7.5 remain as contenders. If only one film merits such a score, it will receive a special award; otherwise, the five highest ranked above 7.5 will be the nominees.

What do you think of “The Lego Movie’s” snub? Sound off in the comments section below our new Editors’ slugfest on the 2014-2015 Oscar nominations.

9 thoughts on “Oscar nominations outrage: Why was ‘The Lego Movie’ snubbed?

  1. I HATED The Lego Movie, although to be completely honest I was enjoying it until the Shyamalan-esque twist at the end ruined everything where “it was all a dream, no wait, IT WAS ALL SOME HUMAN KID’S IMAGINATION WTF?!?!?!

    It completely destroyed my suspension of disbelief and the emotional investment I had w/ the characters like Emmett & Wyldstyle etc. because they weren’t being treated along the universe itself, like Lord of the Rings or Star Wars is, as its own thing of no relation to our world. It killed the fantasy element of the story by getting humans involved and trying to (pardon me while I barf) make President Buisiness the kid’s dad and about their relationship & NOT ABOUT THE CHARACTERS I HAD ALREADY SPENT THE WHOLE MOVIE GETTING INVESTED IN!!!!

    Remember how in Toy Story 2 when Woody was trying rescue Jesse from the plane? The reason you cared was because they were being treated as if they were real because the entire premise of the movie was that toys could come to life and live as we do. That worked because the movie committed to its own premise 100% with no dumb twists or cop-outs. Lego Movie wanted it both ways w/ Emmett being able to move a little as Will Ferrell was Kragle-ing 😉 everything together and it wound up shooting itself in the foot. Maybe if this was going to be a stand-alone movie I could deal w/ it better, but I heard there will be sequels coming and I have absolutely no plans on seeing them. And that’s coming from a fan of Legos!!!!!! :

  2. If you like the movie great, keep in mind we can all have our own opinions and that I do recognize The Lego Movie was beautifully animated and EXTREMELY WELL-MADE ON A TECHNICAL LEVEL!!! If any of the top 5 on Goldderby were vulnerable to getting snubbed, I would have thought Boxtrolls and not The Lego Movie, which didn’t get that great reviews and I myself didn’t care for. I thought The Boxtrolls might be too unpleasant for some Oscar voters yet like Lego Movie, I predicted it anyway. I would like to state one final time that I really honestly LOVED The Lego Movie and even the song Everything is Awesome that a lot of people say is annoying (which I totally get, BTW), right up until that plot twist killed it for me. Again, I know I’m clearly in the minority here, so let’s just agree to disagree! 🙂

  3. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that Lego Movie was snubbed, or the fact that Dreamworks may have to change their name of their movie to “How To Win An Oscar That Doesn’t Belong 2 You”

  4. Is it possible it was snubbed because–as stupid as this sounds–it was called ‘The Lego Movie’? Which, to an old white Oscar voter who likely didn’t see it, might as well have been called ‘A Commercial Film Trying to Capitalize on the Childhood Ubiquity of Legos and Nothing More’ because that’s how basic and void of any artistic value something called ‘The Lego Movie’ sounds. (Not unlike certain Michael Bay films about cars.)

    At least ‘Toy Story’ has a creative ring to it.

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