‘Zootopia’ hops even higher in experts’ Oscar predictions for Best Animated Feature: Can anything outfox it?

Two months ago, 12 of Gold Derby’s Oscar experts from major media outlets predicted that Disney’s “Zootopia” would win Best Animated Feature. Now, following its victory at the Critics’ Choice Awards and nominations from the Golden Globes, AFI Awards, Annie Awards and more, a whopping 22 experts predict it will win, which translates to leading 13/8 racetrack odds. Can anything outfox the smartly written comedy about a rookie bunny cop who tries to uncover a conspiracy in a world of animals?

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According to our Oscar experts, the film with the best chance of unseating “Zootopia” is “Kubo and the Two Strings” (9/2 odds) from Laika, a studio that has earned a nomination for all three of its previous films. Brian Truitt (USA Today) is the lone expert who thinks “Kubo” will prevail on Oscar night, but 24 pundits think the adventure flick will at least be nominated.

And then there are a pair of Disney rivals: “Moana” (5/1 odds) and “Finding Dory” (9/1 odds). Will Disney take up three Oscar slots with “Zootopia” and these two? If so, the company will match its own record for the number of nominees in the Best Animated Feature race. The first time they achieved this feat was in 2012 when Oscar winner “Brave,” “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Frankenweenie” all scored bids.

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Rounding out our experts’ Top 5 likely Oscar nominees is the Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli co-production “The Red Turtle” (11/1 odds). This film stands alone as having no dialogue as it follows the life of a castaway on a deserted island who meets a mysterious red turtle.

Only three of these five are nominated at the Golden Globes, which will be handed out this Sunday. “Zootopia” is the frontrunner there as well, with “Kubo” in second and “Moana” in third. Replacing Oscar contenders “Finding Dory” and “The Red Turtle” at the Globes are “Sing” and “My Life as a Zucchini,” so perhaps our Oscar experts need to give a second thought to those latter two films.

Predict the Oscar nominations now; change them till January 24

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how each film is faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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