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Did 'Frozen' melt enough hearts to earn Best Picture nomination at Oscars?

By Marcus James Dixon
By Marcus James Dixon
Jan 08 2014 06:46 am
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Brrrr ... are the Oscars about to give "Frozen" the cold shoulder in the Best Picture race?

"Frozen" is expected to win both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for Best Animated Feature according to predictions made by Gold Derby's Experts, Editors and Users. So why isn't this Disney flick a more serious contender for Best Picture at the Academy Awards?

As it stands now, "Frozen" has leading 15/8 odds at the Oscars for Best Animated Feature, but lowly 100/1 odds for Best Picture. Perhaps the movie's biggest detriment to playing in the big leagues is the Academy's long-held penchant for overlooking animated films. They made an effort to right this wrong back in 2001 with the creation of the Animated Feature category, but otherwise animated films have been largely neglected in other categories.

It's true, over the past 85 years of Oscar ceremonies, a whopping 503 films have been nominated for Best Picture, with only three of those being animated: "Beauty and the Beast" (1991), "Up" (2009) and "Toy Story 3" (2010). No animated film has ever won.

Those last two animated nominees came from the mega-hot Pixar Animation Studios, while "Frozen" (like "Beauty and the Beast") was produced by classic Disney. Pixar has its own horse in the race this year, "Monsters University," that isn't tracking nearly as well as "Up" or "Toy Story 3" did.

It should be noted that "Frozen" features a dual-female perspective from two sisters, played by Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell. That may be a drawback amongst Academy voters, 70% of whom are male with an average age over 60. Contrast that with male-dominated "Up" and "Toy Story 3" -- the former about a crotchety old man and the latter appealing to the elderly voters who pine after the play things of their youth.

"Beauty and the Beast" remains the only female-centric animated flick to ever be nominated for Best Picture. Last year's "Brave" (2012) couldn't make the final cut despite winning Best Animated Feature, nor could other female-skewing 'toons like "Coraline" (2009), "The Princess and the Frog" (2009) and "Persepolis" (2007).

"Frozen" is a critical and box office hit, with a score of 74 at Metacritic and an astounding $300 million in domestic ticket sales. (It's also my three-year-old niece's favorite movie, if that means anything.) In other words, if there's one animated film this year that could join the ranks of "Beauty and the Beast," "Up" and "Toy Story 3," it would be "Frozen."

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The main competitors that hope to dethrone "Frozen" for Oscar's Best Animated Picture race include "The Wind Rises" (3/1 odds), "Monsters University" (6/1 odds), "Despicable Me 2" (9/1 odds) and "The Croods" (9/1 odds).

The film also has a song in contention at this weekend's Golden Globes ceremony in the Best Original Song category -- "Let It Go" -- that's tracking in first place in our predictions. Watch the music video below, performed by Menzel, then vote for Best Animated Feature using our easy drag-and-drop menu.

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