‘Kubo and the Two Strings’: From BAFTAs to Oscars?

The stop-motion animated film “Kubo and the Two Strings” may have the inside track to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. On Sunday, the film won the BAFTA Award in that category, defeating, among others, its Oscar rival “Zootopia.”

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Since the BAFTAs started handing out honors for animated films in 2006, the winner has gone on to claim the Oscar, with one exception: in 2014 when “The LEGO Movie” won at BAFTA even though it wasn’t nominated by the Academy.

BAFTA has correctly forecasted the wins for “Happy Feet” (2006), “Ratatouille” (2007), “WALL-E” (2008), “Up” (2009), “Toy Story 3” (2010), “Rango” (2011), “Brave” (2012), “Frozen” (2013) and “Inside Out” (2015).

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The win for “Brave” was especially telling because the awards that year had been going back and forth between that film and “Wreck-It Ralph.” The momentum seemed to be backing “Wreck-It Ralph” until “Brave” triumphed at BAFTA (where “Ralph” wasn’t even nominated) and the on to Oscar glory.

In terms of critical love, “Kubo” is on the same level as “Zootopia.” Both have won 19 prizes from various critics groups from around the United States and both rate in the high-90s at Rotten Tomatoes, “Kubo” with 97% and “Zootopia” with 98%.

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“Kubo” is the only Animated Feature nominee with significant support from outside that branch of the Academy. The film managed to snag a nomination for Best Visual Effects becoming the first animated film to do since “The Nightmare Before Christmas” in 1993. “Kubo” also reaped a bid from the Costume Designers Guild for Excellence in Fantasy Film, the first-ever for an animated film.

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